The Bad Batch: It’s More Clone Wars, But Less Filler – Disney+ Review

I’m going to be perfectly honest here: Clone Wars was not my thing for a long time. When I was finally convinced to finish the series, it did end up being pretty good as it went on, and I will attribute at least some of my initial dislike to how it was replacing Genndy Tartakovsky’s amazing Clone Wars series. I prefer the darker and harsher tone of the hand-drawn to CGI and I still absolutely hate the Clone Wars pilot film. That said, the show did get better and, by the end, I admit that it grew on me to the point that it’s among my favorite Star Wars properties. The show was at its best when it was focusing mostly on Commander Rex and the 501st Legion, who eventually became aware that they were literally biologically programmed to kill the Jedi and had nothing they could do to avoid it. So, when they stated they were going to do a series that starts at the end of the Clone Wars (and the carrying out of Order 66) and bridge the gap between the series and the Rebels series following a group of renegade clones, I was on board.

They are discriminated against by people they’re genetically nearly-identical to. Fun.

The series literally starts with the implementation of Order 66. The “Bad Batch,” a group of genetically mutated clones who each have an enhanced ability: Hunter has heightened senses, Wrecker is strong, Tech is smart, Crosshair has superior marksmanship, and Echo is a cyborg (all voiced, like all clones, by Dee Bradley Baker). They witness the betrayal of the Jedi by their fellows but, except for Crosshair, feel no compulsion to do anything and they allow the young Jedi Caleb Dune (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), who will one day be Kanan Jarrus on Rebels, to escape the purge. The group, minus Crosshair, is soon accused of treason against the newly-formed Galactic Empire, but they manage to escape along with the gender-bent clone Omega (Michelle Ang). They then must travel along a rapidly-changing galaxy as outlaws, regularly interacting with characters from other series. 

She’s an unaltered clone, so she’s small, but also a she.

The weakness to this show, and it is not a huge one given the target audience, is that it is pretty lore heavy. If you didn’t watch Clone Wars, you probably won’t know the significance of about half of the things mentioned in a given episode. Sometimes, the references will be to things that occur in films or series set even later in the franchise, like Rebels. It does get more than a little annoying after a while to have to look up ten characters on Wookiepedia just because you might not have a perfect memory of Star Wars minutia. However, if you are either very dedicated to Star Wars or, unlike me, can just enjoy something fun, then you will like this show. The animation is great, the clones all have solid character development (particularly when contrasted with other renegade clones), and the settings are as creative as anything in Star Wars. Unlike The Clone Wars, I don’t feel like one-tenth of the episodes are filler or focused around characters that I don’t care about.

You get a lot of “cameo guides” for this kind of show.

Overall, it’s a good show, but it is definitely meant for Star Wars superfans.

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I'm not giving my information to a machine. Nice try, Zuckerberg.

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