With the Clone Wars series, and Rebels, Star Wars has broadened its storytelling abilities with its animation in ways it would be difficult to fit into a movie. With The Bad Batch, Dave Filoni and the folks in charge of Star Wars have taken even that to new heights and created a beautiful new avenue of narrative.
In case your not totally familiar with the setup, The Bad Batch is about a squad of clone troopers that had their genetics altered in various ways. There is one with heightened instincts, able to read a situation much quicker than any normal person, named Hunter who leads the batch. He is joined by the overly smart Tech, the overly strong Wrecker, the overly accurate Crosshair, and a normal clone who went through some traumatic alterations at the hands of the Separatists, named Echo. (That’s as much detail as I will go into about Echo so as not to spoil a huge storyline in the Clone Wars series)
The first episode of the new series is a feature-length, movie-quality work of art. The animation and the detail on scenes, characters, and the overall environment is exquisite. It’s important to note this first as, when you watch it, you’re going to quickly set aside your trepidation with animated shows (if you have that).
Without going into any spoilers with the story, I will simply set it up. The first episode takes place as the Batch are carrying out their last mission before the end of The Clone War. The overarching theme of the first chapter is all about how the Batch deal with Order 66 and which one is actually still affected by the genetic programming placed in each clone (With their alterations, the genetic programming was different for the Batch). For those who have seen the Rebels series, there is a cameo by a main character from that show in this first installment of The Bad Batch.
From the get-go, The Bad Batch grabs ahold of your Star Wars sensibility and wrestles with your overall emotion. The drama from the Batch having to deal with the end of the Republic and the formation of the Empire grips you, but you’ll revel in the moments of comedic respite that they offer, too. The first episode does a beautiful job of telling its own story while still setting up plenty more for future episodes. You will be excited to see how a myriad of stories unfold on the outset of episode one, which is good because they have 12 more episodes with which to tell those stories.
The Bad Batch’s beginning is just another exhibition on why Star Wars is so awesome and why I have been so enamored with Disney’s new offerings and continue to be excited about ones to come.