REVIEW – “The Bad Batch Season 2”

After an unexpected yet welcome renewal of a final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+ back in 2020, many fans were left satisfied but eager to see where else Dave Filoni and company could go with the animation division over at Lucasfilm, especially since the television department seems to be thriving after the launch of Disney+ and being within a post-Rise of Skywalker era of Star Wars content. For many of us, The Bad Batch was a satisfying return to form for the style and tone of what we loved about The Clone Wars – aside from a pack of clones being the focal point of the series, it had the trademark episode-of-the-week structure that Clone Wars did, but also dug into equally compelling themes about politics, war, and found family. The Bad Batch Season 2 – this season picks up months after the events on Kamino, finding the Bad Batch continuing their journey as they navigate the Empire after the fall of the Republic. As they continue to cross paths with friends and foes alike, both new and familiar; they also take on a variety of thrilling mercenary missions that will take them to unexpected and dangerous new places.

One of the most satisfying elements of the first season of The Bad Batch was seeing just how much of a spiritual continuation of The Clone Wars it was, in terms of picking up slightly after Order 66 and being placed first hand within The Emperor’s tyrannical rule across the galaxy. The trend continues here within the second season, as we are seeing just how the remaining clones are treated within the Empire and the rise of the storm troopers. My favorite part of this is seeing how the clones, even beyond the Bad Batch themselves, feel lost and without meaning – and how the same politicians they ask to help them feel equally helpless when trying to make a case against The Emperor and his policies. This is but a small thread of the compelling and meaty themes that Filoni and crew have up their sleeves for this season, but undeniably one of the best that it has to offer.

In terms of the actual main crew, one big improvement here is that I found the episode-of-the-week format to work even better this season. While I was mostly a fan of the first season, I still found some episodes here and there to feel a bit meandering – especially after the beginning of the season started with such a bang. This is a criticism I’ve had with Clone Wars and Rebels as well, with certain episodes feeling simply like filler. This isn’t to say that this season of The Bad Batch is completely void of any sense of “filler” – but I think the show has both found a strive within making these isolated episodes from the bigger picture still feel thematically important and isolated yet meaningful. The introduction of the mysterious Phee Genoa (voiced by the wonderful Wanda Sykes) serves as a character that introduces exciting new missions and opportunities for the crew.

Aside from the handful of isolated episodes that are plenty enjoyable and exciting, the episodes that are more about the big picture is what’s really impressive here. The familial story at its core with Omega becoming more attached with the Bad Batch and wanting more responsibility in their adventures is completely emotionally felt and perfectly developed. Without getting into spoilers, another big plus for me this season is the development and story of Crosshair – who has a really incredible arc and leads what I’d argue is the best episode of the entire season (you’ll know it when you see it). By the end, it all coalesces into a large-scale, big-stakes story that has a lot on its mind in terms of both character development, political themes, and a really strong emotional core. It’s just about better than the first season in every way.


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