Monday, June 27, 2022

In Retrospect: The Bad Batch

Has it already been a year?

Strange to think but yeah, The Bad Batch came out just last year and after hearing news and seeing the trailer for season 2 it was time to discuss more. I think I appreciated and got more out of it the second time, if on nothing else but the story. I'm almost positive this story at least for this season actually has little to do with the Batch themselves, throughout all 16 episodes it's hammering the fact that the Republic is no more. You start seeing how the Empire formed, exchange for new currency, identification for all citizens on record, tagging ships, the complete deconstruction of the cloning facilities and slow phasing out of the clones. It's almost like a backdoor series just to see this birth of a new era, while of course still centered on our group of protagonists. Most of them, I think the more I see of Hunter, Omega, Wrecker, and Tech the better I like them. But Echo, man he always feels like the odd one out with little stuff for him to even do. It's like they needed a replacement cause they knew they were going to make Crosshair a baddie, which cheapens and lessens Echo's survival even more for me in The Clone Wars. Perfect example to summarize, Cid's got nicknames for all of the group, Hunter is Bandana, Omega is Tiny, Wrecker is Muscles, Tech is Goggles, and Echo.......ah. I mean I know we got a good fair bit of him and his story of course in Clone Wars, but jeez I just hope they give him more material in the next season. Props on making Crosshair a bastard just because he's an evil son of a mother, no inhibitor chip nonsense though again not that big of a shock when the guy who sounds like he assassinates babies in their cots and bombs hospitals turns out to be a villain. But it's still a good solid dynamic to work off of with these two opposing factions. I know I said the animation quality was lagging a bit behind the final season of Clone Wars, and I do stand mostly by that, but the backgrounds and environments are out of this world. I mean seriously, dat look gud!! I do feel like a major ass for having doubts about Omega, because at first I had nothing but intrigue. A female clone, what does that mean? What's her purpose? How did she come to be a pure genetic replication? And then the worry began and I was like, shit she might be this annoying dumb kid who I can't stand. But as the episodes went on, I liked her a good deal and now I'd guard her forever. Someone brought up a point I never considered with this show, in the case of Omega she is a great new set of eyes that vicariously reflects new viewers, because she's seeing everything for the first time and experiencing the galaxy while older more hardcore fans take the perspective of the clones who's seen The Clone Wars and knows all the little details. I think Lucasfilm has done a sterling job with these shows as introductions to Star Wars, while still giving fans plenty of new stuff to sink their teeth into. Now let's talk favorite moments and characters, the biggest one that sticks in my head is the reintroduction of Cad Bane I mean sweet lord. Star Wars never forgets it's roots in film serials, westerns, and samurai cinema. Like that is a Star Wars scene even my Papa could get into who was brought up on westerns in the 40s and 50s, the spaghetti stinger music, the standoff, Bane's new look, molto bene! The small bit right before the Star Destroyers obliterate the cloning facility, just that eerie quiet emptiness with that music playing, the shots are art and puts that final nail in the coffin of the prequel era. Any moment between Omega and Wrecker was a d'awwww moment, they are precious. Seeing frick fraking Republic Commandos en masse, hell yeah! The ruins of the Venators on Bracca in all their derelict beauty and deep sadness, mmm that's good Star Wars. Aftermath I still say is the best episode but that finale is mighty strong as well no doubt. It maybe wasn't the show I wanted which was essentially full on clone troopers transitioning to stormtroopers and serving the Empire, but heaven forbid they actually make a show of a positive light about albeit space natzis despite selling such iconography on literally everything. I know that was the imagery inspiration, I know, but the Empire is cooler and less horrifically evil and not a bunch of punk ass dissidents and terrorists intent on throwing the galaxy into chaos. This is the way. 4 stars, 8.5/10, Boba Fett joins us next time!

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