Bad Batch Season 1

As the last episode of Bad Batch season one aired on Disney+ a few days ago, I wanted to talk about this show for a bit! It was the first Star Wars show of which I've watched every episode as it came out, which was a novel experience for me. I was hoping that I'd be able to have some exchanges about it with my Twitter friends about it, since I remembered some of them talking about Rebels all the time back when that aired, but for some reason Bad Batch didn't seem to inspire the same amount of enthusiasm among the people I follow at least. Fortunately my guild's Discord had a Star Wars spoilers channel where people were happily chatting away about every new episode as it was released, so that was good fun.

For me, Bad Batch has been quite the pleasant surprise. I haven't been too hyped about Disney announcing that they are working on god knows how many more Star Wars shows, simply because let's be honest: both Star Wars and Disney have always been about fifty percent brilliance and fifty percent cheap crap, and you can't necessarily know in advance which one it's going to be. Bad Batch in specific also didn't excite me at all because I didn't feel particularly enamoured with the characters when they first appeared in Clone Wars. And anyway, how interesting can a show about a bunch of clone troopers simply fighting different enemies every week be anyway?

However, I was pleasantly surprised from the very first few minutes of the pilot. Despite the Batch being the titular characters, the show isn't all about them but also about the transformation of the Republic into the Empire after Revenge of the Sith, and I'm always a sucker for that kind of world building. Also, the Batch find themselves as outcasts almost right from the start, meaning that instead of being sent into battle every week by their superiors, they instead have to struggle with the question of what it means to be a soldier without a cause. They quickly settle into working as mercenaries (which is, after all, very close to being a soldier, it's just that your employers change) but come to realise over time that there could be more to life for them than simply being someone else's hired muscle.

A big part of that is inspired by their association with Omega, the show's child character, who I'm sure made every adult fan freeze in terror or groan at least a little the moment she was introduced in the pilot... but you know, ultimately I think she's been handled well. There are a few episodes where she's a bit much, but in general she serves her purpose of being a more "natural" foil to the single-mindedness of the clones, who're used to going where they're told and not having to ponder philosophical questions about what they'd actually like to do with their lives.

If I had to criticise anything, it would be that despite of everything that happens in season one, most of the Batch doesn't really see a lot of character development. Most of the personal growth I described above happens through the lens of Hunter, the leader of the squad, while his followers mostly remain true to the stereotypes as which they were introduced. I still think that works okay though, and with everything else that's going on I didn't personally perceive that lack of focus on the other squad members as annoying or detracting. Plus it's kind of part of the package with clones that they don't really have unique backstories to explore... it's more about the choices they decide to make going forward.

With that said, I'd like to add that I was surprised by how much the show's overarching themes of finding your place in the world and being forced to leave the past behind resonated with me on a personal level. I was a very "good kid" as a child, so unproblematic that my mother used to say that I appeared to have skipped puberty... I was just happy to trust the adult authority figures in my life and do whatever they asked of me (which mostly just meant staying out of trouble and getting good grades), but this also meant that when I hit my early to mid-twenties I had major difficulties adjusting to life as a grown-up and being expected to make decisions for myself. Let's just say that was a rough couple of years in some ways. So I could definitely relate to this bunch of clones feeling a bit lost without their Republic commanders to tell them what to do, even as they knew that the Empire wasn't right for them. Or maybe it's just that I main a trooper, so it's natural that I like a show about troopers? You decide.

Either way, I'm looking forward to season two.


  1. Is Disney+ the only way to see this show?

    1. I think so, at least at the moment.

    2. It's like people these days forget that BitTorrent is even a thing...

    3. Not forget, but not everyone's into that kind of thing.

    4. Ja, i don't do torrent anymore. 20 years ago, when i was a student, ja.

      Paying multiple platforms to see some good shows is hideous, but i will not go back to torrenting because of this.

      I prefer to not pay these platforms and simply will wait till i can get hold on these shows in other forms.

      Not seeing a show is not the end of the world anymore. Or the end of your social life, when everybody around you is talking about it. I'm past that age.

  2. The story behind the story here is fascinating. Supet fan Dave Filoni is living the ultimate dream. In that lens, Bad Batch hits some solid notes

    1. I'm slightly wary of the creator worship that seems to be developing around the guy, but I can't deny that he seems to know how to hit all the right buttons with his Star Wars content.


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