The Clone Wars may be over, but The Bad Batch is continuing the story in this action-packed animated adventure. Following the Bad Batch, a group of clones with desirable mutations first introduced in the final season of The Clone Wars, this series looks at what happens once the Clone War has ended and the Empire rises to power, but from the perspective of the titular clones.

If the main characters and time period didn’t make it obvious enough, then the animation truly makes it clear that The Bad Batch is a successor to The Clone Wars. The style is clearly that of Clone Wars, but crisper and tighter with the movements more fluid and the details cleaner. The Bad Batch takes the animation style of the final season of Clone Wars and elevates it to a spectacular degree.

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And because this is the Bad Batch there are a quite a few action scenes. The fights are not only fantastically animated, they are strategic in giving each member of the team time to shine and prove what their skills are. With Wrecker’s strength, Crosshair’s sharp shooting, Tech’s brains, Echo’s cybernetic enhancements, and Hunter’s enhanced senses and leadership, not a single character is wasted during the battles.

The episode starts with a classic Bad Batch battle against Separatist droids where the team demonstrates why they have a 100% success rate, as well as a battle simulation that because of Admiral Tarkin doesn’t go quite as planned. There will undoubtedly be more fight scenes and different kinds of action sequences throughout the series as there were on Clone Wars. And with this group they are sure to be just as exciting and beautifully animated.

THE BAD BATCH TAKES PLACE IN A YET TO BE EXPLORED ERA OF STAR WARS

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The new series does an excellent job of setting up a number of conflicts that will continue throughout future episodes. The premiere episode of The Bad Batch fully explores each of the members of the team as well as their dynamic. A major conflict not just for the Bad Batch, but the galaxy as a whole is the Empire. This new series is exploring a time period that hasn’t been seen in Star Wars film or television, how the Empire rises to power in a post Clone War world.

Although fans have seen Order 66 and Palpatine’s announcement of the Republic becoming the Empire, how exactly this galactic government manages to become the villainous force that all Star Wars fans know it to be hasn’t been fully explored.The premiere primarily shows how this transition effects the clones, specifically the Bad Batch.

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With the episode primarily taking place on Kamino, the difference in the clones after Order 66 is obvious especially when compared to the Bad Batch who, aside from Crosshair, are largely unaffected by the inhibitor chips. This aspect of the series is already set up to be one of the most intriguing aspects of The Bad Batch especially with the Rebellion already being teased by the appearance of Saw Gerrera and his declaration of a Civil War coming to the galaxy.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 1 Review: A Strong Successor To The Fan Favorite Clone Wars Series - The Illuminerdi

The internal conflict of the Bad Batch members is at the root of the series with this group of elite soldiers now living in a post war era. Clones were bred to be soldiers and the Bad Batch were specifically created to be the most elite soldiers for the Republic. Now they must figure out not only how to find their place, but also survive in a galaxy when they no longer have an army to serve in and the Empire hunting them.

Clone Force 99 also have a personal conflict caused by the Empire with Crosshair being controlled by the infamous inhibitor chip. The other members of the Bad Batch are unaffected, but from the moment Order 66 is enacted the Crosshair that our titular characters knew is gone. This culminates in the final moments of the pilot episode when Crosshair fully becomes an Imperial soldier and will without question continue to be an important plot point throughout the series as he chases after his former team.

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The Bad Batch not only dives deeper into who they are as characters and a unit, the first episode also introduced a new character, Omega. A young human girl who joins the Bad Batch and is revealed to actually be one of the five enhanced clones, the other four being the original members of Clone Force 99.

Omega eventually joining the Bad Batch feels earned, especially with the similarities to how the team brought Echo in as a clone that doesn’t fit in amongst the other Troopers. The mystery of what exactly Omega’s enhancements are will undoubtedly continue to be explored throughout the rest of the season, but her intuition and marksmanship are something to keep an eye on.

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The potential for new relationships and revelations about these characters is exciting even after only knowing the Bad Batch from their four-episode arc in Clone Wars. The Bad Batch, as any of the clones, are soldiers through and through, but by throwing Omega into the mix it opens up an entirely new avenue for character development and questions of how she will affect their decision making in this new Empire controlled world.  

The Bad Batch does an excellent job as an entry point for newcomers to animated Star Wars series. Knowing all of the history from watching The Clones Wars definitely enhances the experience and adds a level of emotion to many aspects of the show. Such as the clones being controlled by Order 66, Saw Gerrera teasing the start of the rebellion, and Padawan Caleb Dume who later becomes Kanan Jarrus of Rebels, however it isn’t necessary to enjoy this pilot. Having the knowledge of the films is enough to be able to follow the story and The Bad Batch episode is able to introduce the titular characters without making it feel overtly expositional.

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Including animated recreations of scenes from Revenge of the Sith, another perspective of the events of Order 66, and characters from the original trilogy films were smart ways to engage audiences who may not be as familiar with Clone Wars. But that being said, it never felt simplified still including elements that not only Clone Wars, but Rebels fans would enjoy and understand on a deeper level.

The Bad Batch managed to pull off this tricky balancing act in an impressive manner especially with a show that is so connected to The Clone Wars. The final scene sets up exciting potential for the next episode with the Bad Batch meeting up with a mystery friend in hopes of getting their help to stay ahead of the Empire and Crosshair.

STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH OFFICIAL TRAILER AND SYNOPSIS

Star Wars: The Bad Batch follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in The Clone Wars) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch—a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army—each possess a singular exceptional skill that makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.

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The Bad Batch premieres on May 4, Star Wars Day, and is now available on Disney Plus. Episode 2 of The Bad Batch debuts on Disney Plus Friday May 7.What did you think of The Bad Batch premiere? Are you excited for the next episode of The Bad Batch? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.

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