Disney absolutely owns the date, May the Fourth. Unofficially dubbed Star Wars Day, major religious and political events have happened upon this date throughout history, but fans of the films (and other related properties) have declared this the day to celebrate all things they love about the franchise. And what better time to debut an all-new television series based on that galaxy far, far away?
I was a huge fan of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars and never missed an episode of Lucasfilm’s official series that aired on Cartoon Network for five seasons. Once the show was picked up by Netflix for one year of new episodes, I stopped watching the show (but not by choice). And then The Final Season aired on Disney+ and I still haven’t caught up on the events of those characters, but I haven’t lost my enthusiasm for the TV show. While I never really warmed up to Rebels (Maybe I should give it another chance?), I’m all in with my support for the TCW sequel series, The Bad Batch.
Experimental Clone Force 99 was previously introduced in Season 7 of The Clone Wars. The surviving genetically defective clones have mutations that allow each one to excel with special abilities. Crosshair, Echo, Hunter, Tech and Wrecker comprise The Bad Batch. Together, they’re a five-man army, able to take down complete brigades of enemies. Following orders seems optional to them, as their style is completely unorthodox. It takes a minute to figure out which side these characters are fighting for. But when does human nature overtake programming?
“The Clone Wars have ended. You can either adapt and survive, or die with the past.”
Are they more deviant than defective? At times, it seems that way, but I’ve got a feeling they’re more like anti-heroes and villains. And speaking of bad guys, Admiral Tarkin (one of my all-time A New Hope favorites) returns, voiced by Stephen Stanton. (Maybe the character will finally receive that promotion we’ve been expecting.) Dee Bradley Baker is a one-man wrecking crew, voicing all clones, including the corrupt Clone Army, as well as the Bad Batch. Captain Rex will crossover as well, and Ming-Na Wen brings mercenary Fennec Shand from The Mandalorian to the animated world.
“Our squad’s nothing but trouble. For your sake, keep your distance…”
While Rebels felt like it was constantly targeting younglings as its core audience, The Clone Wars felt like it was always telling a serious story more oriented for adults. The Bad Batch has pleasantly transported me back in time, as I watching the 70-minute-long series premiere. I enjoyed watching it, but I hope Batch continues to aim for an older audience, although there is a very young character involved with the storyline (naturally?).
The series timeline takes place after Revenge of the Sith, but before Solo. Since freedom fighter Saw Gerrera (voiced by Andrew Kishino) will also make appearances, how many other crossover characters can we expect to join him?
I’ll be wearing my Darth Vader socks today and looking forward to seeing more interesting bad guys in this all-new series. Surely, Tarkin will need some assistance at some point. Right?
May the Fourth be with you!