When Disney+ announced that a new Star Wars animated series would be based on the Bad Batch, or Clone Force 99, from Clone Wars, I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. Like a lot of other people, I wasn’t particularly crazy about them, though I didn’t hate them, either. I was more like, meh. I could take them or leave them.
But I also knew that, given the chance to expand on the characters in their own show, Dave Filoni and crew would do a great job and I’d probably love it.
Well, my intuition was correct, and I just loved the first episode, “Aftermath.” I’m not going to do a plot synopsis, but just make a few remarks about what I thought.
One big question that was answered was: will their inhibitor chips work? Will they feel compelled to execute Order 66 or question it? Turns out, none of them were aware of the Order at all, proving that they’re chips did not work. All except Crosshair. Though his teammates didn’t know it, it was clear to us viewers that his chip was working at least a little with his “Good soldiers follow orders,” bit. Crosshair is my least favorite of the group, so I’m okay with him being the bad guy here and going over to the Empire (though in his defense, it was the chip, after all, and one that got ramped up by Tarkin’s orders). But the fact that one of them had a chip that worked and the rest didn’t makes for a more interesting story.
As far as the characters go, Wrecker, Tech, and Echo remain pretty much the same as we saw them in Clone Wars. But Hunter–who seemed the least interesting character in CW–turns out to be the one who gets more depth. Makes sense, since he has to make some tough moral decisions in the show, and I approve of every one of them.
Concerning Omega: again, I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to her. When I saw the trailers, I thought, oh, okay, a kid to appeal to the younger audience; but what surprised me is that I absolutely fell in love with her, lol. She’s just so darn adorable and sweet, following the BB around like an adoring puppy. What’s really interesting about her–aside from the fact that she’s a female clone–is that she seems Force-sensitive. A lot of fans have been floating that theory around, and I have to agree, that’s what it looks like. If so, that would be fascinating. Is it chance? Or something more–we know that Palpatine likes to tinker with the Force and cloning, but how early did he start? Hmmm….and that stone on her headpiece–is it just decorative, or does it mean something? Questions…
Anyway, I love that Hunter goes back to Kamino for her. He couldn’t save one child, Caleb Dume (more on him in a minute), but he can save Omega. I was a little surprised that the BB didn’t know at once that she was a clone; except Tech, and as he said, “I thought it was obvious.” Obvious to us, I guess; but they weren’t expecting anything like her. By the way, I thought it was interesting the way the clones on Kamino all looked the same again after Order 66. There’s no individuality, something the Jedi encouraged in them; but now they have no use for it. It saddens me. They seem to be meaner, too, the bullies, lol. But I really am curious to know what becomes of them in this new order, how they adapt, both the BB and the “Regs.”
So let’s talk about the appearance of Depa Billaba and Caleb Dume at the start of the episode. They’re on the planet Kaller, fighting against the Separatists when Order 66 comes through. From what I understand, this scene was already done in Canon in a comic; here, some details were changed but the main idea is basically the same.
Was it necessary that it be this particular Jedi and her Padawan in this scene? I don’t think so. They could have put any other Jedi in there, and it could have worked fine. I’ve heard some fans of the comic complaining that they’re changing something that was already Canon, and what was the point? It’s just “fan service.”
On the one hand, I get it. It was unnecessary. It most certainly was fan service. On the other hand, am I upset about it? Not really. Aren’t the creators of the show doing their job with “fan service”? Showing something the fans love to see? I, for one, thought it was kind of cool to see Depa and Caleb (I haven’t read the comics, you see, and I’m betting plenty of other fans haven’t, either), even though we already know what happened to the Padawan who becomes Kanan Jarrus in Rebels. At any rate, I don’t feel strongly about it one way or another. It was neat (if heartbreaking). Let’s move on.
Everything about the episode is great, from the stunning visuals to the score to the fact that we can just jump right into the story without having to learn about who the characters are and where we are in the timeline, etc. It’s a great ride from beginning to end.
I’m really looking forward to seeing where this show is going to go, and from the track record of both Clone Wars and Rebels, I’m guessing it’s going to be spectacular.
What did you think of “Aftermath”? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!