How the Bad Batch Won Me Over

Our boys.

So now that Season Two of the Bad Batch has ended with a final Season 3 on the way, it’s safe to say that the show is a fan favorite. I’ve seen a ton of love for this show on social media, and I couldn’t agree more. I love these guys so much. But for me, at least, it wasn’t always so.

When we first met Clone Force 99 back in the first arc of Season 7 of the Clone Wars, I thought, who the heck are these clowns? They just seemed so over the top and stereotypical: the broody leader, the strong one, the smart one, and the grumpy sniper with the toothpick. I kind of rolled my eyes. I already loved the clones; why’d they have to create these weirdos? Lol.

By the end of the arc, they’d grown on me a little bit, but I swiftly put them out of my mind as the exceptional season 7 continued. But then the announcement came: The Bad Batch would have their own show. Really? I thought. Those guys? Why? Oh well, I’ll tune in, but I’ll probably hate it.

Two seasons later, and I’m slightly obsessed (okay, full-on obsession), and Season 3 can’t come fast enough. And can’t we have more than 3 seasons? Please????

So how did this turn around so much and so fast? I thought about it, and here are the main points about the show that won me over completely:

  • First off, we get a glimpse of the early years of the Empire, which we haven’t seen too much of, outside of books and comics (and yes, another Order 66 scene, one that involves a young Kanan Jarrus. Points for familiarity and ties to Rebels). We see what happens on Kamino and how the clones are affected; including Project War Mantle, or how the clones were being replaced by stormtroopers. Later, in Season 2, we see Mt. Tantiss, a throwback to Legends, and Palpatine’s secret doings there. It’s a different timeline than we’ve seen before, and it’s interesting.
  • It’s the continuation of the story of the Clones. Clone Wars told of how the clones and the Jedi worked together during the war, what exceptional soldiers they were, and helped us see them as individual human beings. We also saw hints of what’s to come with Fives and his malfunctioning inhibitor chip, and our dread increased. In the BB, that story continues, with the fallout from Order 66. It’s not just the Jedi who were betrayed, but the clones themselves, used as a tool for Palpatine’s plan, and then discarded. What happened to Kamino and the Kaminoans? How were the clones replaced? How did the clones feel after Order 66? What happened to them? These questions and more are answered in the show.
  • Besides these two rather objective plot points, I want to talk about the Batch themselves, naturally. They are what make the show. Yes, they were rather stereotypical at first in the Clone Wars arc, and perhaps at the beginning of Season 1. But they quickly became more three-dimensional as the show went on, and I, for one, came to love them all. In Season 2, especially, we see a lot of character growth for all of them.
    • Hunter. Hunter’s growth comes mostly in Season 1. He has to learn to adapt and lead his team in this new world of the Empire. But mostly his growth comes with Omega, who he has taken on as his responsibility. And as the season wore on, he had to learn to let go and not overprotect her so much. It’s natural to worry about a child’s safety, but Omega is part of the squad. As a mom, I thought it was a huge leap of faith to allow her to participate in dangerous missions. In Season 2, he has to decide what’s best for the team, pull away from Cid, and decide whether or not they should stay on Pabu. In the end, it’s about protecting their own: going after Crosshair, and finding Omega.
    • Echo. Echo was a reg and not part of the original team, so he’s always felt like the odd man out. Maybe that’s why he’s always so grumpy, lol. But the squad welcomes him in as one of their own, a clone who’s not like the others. But from the first episode of Season 1, Echo has wanted to do more to fight the Empire. He was a loyal soldier to the Republic, and this Empire doesn’t sit right with him, especially with what it’s doing to his brothers. But Hunter has other priorities: Omega, and keeping them safe. It comes to a head in Season 2, when he leaves to join Rex on his missions. It saddens Omega, but I’m glad they had a little moment that brings them closer together.
    • Wrecker. Wrecker couldn’t get more stereotypical: the big dumb muscle of the group. He likes to blow things up (because he likes to blow things up!), but he’s nevertheless child-like with a big heart. He bonds with Omega right away, a fellow kid he can have fun with (and share Mantell mix with). His brute strength is impressive, but he’s not all dum-dum: in Season 2, while trying to escape clones on Serenno, he innovates and creates a new weapon out of old ones. Still no genius, but he’s good with weaponry, at least. And I think it’s easiest for him, out of all of them, to adapt to their new situation. He’s very happy blowing things up, but he’s also very happy fishing for dinner on Pabu. Love the big lug.
    • Tech. I’m not going to say Tech had the most character growth out of them all, but I would say he had the most dramatic. From the very beginning, I think Tech struck a nerve with a lot of fans–some feel he represents the neurodivergent community, and that’s cool. He’s clearly more comfortable with a datapad in his hand than with interpersonal relationships, and as someone who often has her nose in a book to escape socializing, I totally get it. Season 2 really got into his character, highlighting the fact that although it’s hard for him to show emotions, or even articulate them, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel them. He has a wonderful bonding moment with Omega showing this, when she’s so upset about Echo leaving. It’s hard for him to even explain this to her. But he clearly loves his squad/family, as he sacrifices himself to save them in the season 2 finale. Oh, and that sort-of thing between him and Phee is delightful–she flirts and teases, and although he doesn’t quite know how to react, he’s definitely not unaffected by it. If you pay close attention, you can see that he watches her a lot. You can tell he wants to say something to her when they leave for that last mission, but he doesn’t know what to say or how to say it. Which is all the more heartbreaking. 😦
    • Omega. I love this girl so much. She’s sweet from the very beginning, and has served as the moral compass of the group, always insisting on doing the right thing, even though it may be inconvenient to them. She’s spirited and brave and smart and learns quickly. She loves her brothers unconditionally (even Crosshair). It’s only in Season 2 that she starts to display a bit of adolescent rebellion, lol. While it took me awhile to warm to other Star Wars kids, like Ahsoka and Ezra (and I love them both so much now), it wasn’t a struggle to love Omega. I think it’s really interesting that she’s actually older than her brothers, and maybe even saw them when they were babies. How weird is that?
  • And let’s not forget Crosshair. Crosshair’s betrayal in the very first episode of the series is the twist that gives this show its dramatic gravitas. One of their own, their brother in arms, has joined the Empire and hunts them down like enemies. That hurts. It hurts even more when we realize he consciously makes this decision, as he had his inhibitor chip removed at some point. One of the more compelling questions of the show has been: why? If it’s not the inhibitor chip, what makes him stay with a regime that is so clearly contemptuous of him? That is so heartless, violent, and cruel? Personally, I think it’s fear: he doesn’t know who he is if he isn’t a soldier. The others in the Batch are dealing with that conundrum, but Crosshair can’t even consider it. So he does everything the Empire asks of him, just so he can be what he’s used to being. My take. Anyway, Crosshair is one of the most interesting and complicated characters of the show, and his episodes are consistently excellent. I can’t wait to see what will happen with him and Omega on Mt. Tantiss in Season 3.

I could go on and on. The gorgeous animation, Kevin Kiner’s awesome score, the humor, the attention to detail–the way Hemlock holds his black-gloved hand (what’s up with that, anyway?) So these are the things that won me over, and this is my love letter to The Bad Batch. 🙂

Cody contemplates the Clone Memorial.

What do you think of the show? What’s your favorite thing about it? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

2 thoughts on “How the Bad Batch Won Me Over

  1. I just learned that TBB, is only doing a 3rd FINAL season! WTHIUWT? To get me totally anticipating a 3rd season, only to learn that THERE WON’T BE A 4th! Who’s the Palpatine @ Disney, who thought THAT up?

    Liked by 1 person

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