“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” – Season 7, Episode 1: “The Bad Batch” Review

Story posted February 24, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Andrew Field

After six years, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is back, this time for its final run, as Season 7 commences on Disney+. The season will contain 12 total episodes, and one installment will be released per week, just like “The Mandalorian,” as viewers seemed to enjoy the pace of this strategy.

The first episode, titled “The Bad Batch,” jumps right back into the actio,  as clone troopers Rex, Cody and a squadron known as “the Bad Batch” try to find an old Republic strategy that was taken from them. On the mission, they find more than what was intended, putting their lives in danger.

There was a lot of anticipation for this debut episode. Fans have been waiting for years for this to happen after the show abruptly ended its six-season run in 2014. The direction of the new season was kept under wraps for a long period of time, and no one was sure what was going to happen or where the show was going to go in terms of a resolution for some important characters.

Dave Filoni helped direct the episode, and it shows. Filoni has his footprint over many of the story arcs of “The Clone Wars,” “Rebels” and even “The Mandalorian.” To say that Filoni knows “Star Wars” and its source material is an understatement. Filoni lives and breathes “Star Wars,” so the knowledge that he is back to help finish off this series should create a lot of excitement for viewers. 

Dee Bradley Baker, who voices all the clones, does fantastic work changing his voice patterns to differentiate each character. Considering that “The Bad Batch” primarily features the clone troopers and their mission, the fact that Baker is able to carry the episode with his voice acting alone is an impressive accomplishment.

The battles and the fighting done by the clones are reminiscent of classic episodes of the past. It lends to that “Star Wars feel” that many people have been missing in recent years. There is one particular scene that is a one-shot take of the troopers storming an enemy compound. This was something that wasn’t seen too much in prior episodes of the show, and, because of that, it stuck out in a good way. The creativity of Filoni and his team makes this episode even more enjoyable to watch.

The only downside is that there is not much said or done by any other series staples like Anakin, Obi-Wan or Ahsoka. This can sometimes happen in “The Clone Wars,” as story arcs tend to go for two or three episodes at a time. Because of that, some main characters tend to be out of the picture for a little bit of time.

This isn’t necessarily a problem, though. It’s more of a story choice by the creative team. Those who are fans of the show are already used to this since that is what the show has been doing for years. Having a series stray from telling the main plot chronologically and instead divulging in episodic arcs is a different format, but once one gets used to it, it’s easy to sit back and enjoy.

“The Bad Batch” delivers on multiple fronts. The action, dialogue and acting are all up to par with “The Clone Wars” standard. Due to the amount of episodes and the stress of this show being in its final season, each episode should be crucial to the overall plot, which makes each week’s chapter an exciting ride for fans who desperately want to see how “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” concludes.

 

Andrew Field is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email aaf5329@psu.edu.