Star Wars The Bad Batch: Episode Two–Cut and Run

Welp, it looks like we’ve got another space dad on our hands, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

As soon as I knew the Bad Batch we’re going to visit Cut Lawquane, I had a feeling Hunter would try to leave Omega there. It’s the whole Mandalorian thing all over again, when Din Djarin wanted to leave Grogu with the pretty lady on the nice planet. The would-be father doesn’t believe he can–or should–take care of a child, so he wants to leave said child with another who has children. Problem is, the kid doesn’t want to leave, and in fact they and the child are meant to be together. Just as Din was the only person that could lead Grogu to his proper destiny, Hunter and his crew are the only ones who can lead Omega to her own special destiny. Both Din and Grogu are orphans; both the BB and Omega are modified clones. Makes sense for them to be together.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 2

That’s the main idea of Episode Two, and I’m glad they got it out of the way early on. Other than that, it was fun to see Cut and his family again (I just loved how tender he was with Omega after the Nexu attack; I hope Hunter was taking notes, lol). Interesting that Rex had just been there, and that he, too, sought out the only clone deserter he knew. Clearly the BB will be running into Rex soon, and I can’t wait!

Initially I had questions about Cut and his chip and Order 66–if he ran into a Jedi, would he immediately want to kill them? But after reading a bit about it on some fan groups, it seems the answer is that Cut would need to hear the actual Order to initiate it, which he did not. So I guess any wayward Jedi is safe from him.

The idea of the chain codes was interesting. The only time I’d heard of it was in The Mandalorian, when Boba showed his chain code in his Mandalorian armor. I’m not sure if such a thing had ever been mentioned before, but I suppose it makes sense–kind of like a galactic social security number. The people of the galaxy–like the clones–are being reduced to a number, one that can be tracked. Sounds pretty Imperial to me.

I’m still wondering about Omega’s jewel piece–in the episode, during a sad moment on the ship, she takes the jewel off her head and doesn’t put it back on. I’m wondering if she’s simply missing the only home she’d ever known (although I loved her reaction to the planet’s dirt, lol) or if it’s something else. Burning questions!

The Bad Batch continue to endear themselves to me, and I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen next, where they’ll go, who they’ll meet, and what they find out about Omega and themselves on their journey.

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Star Wars The Bad Batch: Episode One-Aftermath

Clone Force 99

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.

Omega

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.”

Caleb Dume, aka Kanan Jarrus

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!

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My Star Wars Weekend Update

Hello fellow Star Wars fans and happy weekend!

May the 4th is only a few days away, and with it is the premiere of The Bad Batch. I’m looking forward to it, and in preparation I’ve been re-watching Season 7 of The Clone Wars. As of today, I’m only halfway through, but will get the other half in by the time the show starts on Tuesday. The two arcs I’ve watched are the initial episodes with the Bad Batch, and Ahsoka’s time with the Cortez sisters.

The Bad Batch arc is pretty entertaining, as we get introduced to these very different sorts of Clones. Clone Force 99, as they’re called (after the Clone named 99, whose mutation was rapidly accelerated aging, and who became a fond fan favorite) are kind of fun to watch, even though I’ve always thought they’re a bit cliched. Oh well. In the arc, the BB, along with Captain Rex and Anakin, are on a mission to find out how the Separatists are predicting their every military move; Rex believes that they’re getting the information from Echo, a Clone who presumably died in an earlier episode, and who Rex left for dead. Turns out Rex is right, and they’re using Echo’s mind and memories for their “algorithms.” Echo is left mutilated and haunted by his experience, and ends up joining the Bad Batch, as he’s no longer like his other clone brothers. I think Echo is going to be my favorite BB member, if only because he’s quite unique and a touch more vulnerable than the others.

The arc with Ahsoka and the Cortez sisters is fine, it’s great seeing Ahsoka again, but I feel the arc went on way too long. I like Trace and Raffa and what Ahsoka learns from them (namely that not everybody thinks the Jedi are all that), as well as the fact that Maul is involved in the criminal underworld, but 3 episodes with these ladies? I feel it could have been tightened up a bit. I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the season, which is really where the meat of the whole thing is.

Anyway, I’ve set up my corner of the bedroom with a desk and got my microphone unpacked, but now I’m waiting for a new computer I ordered, which should be in today. It’s a Dell Inspiron, and though I’m no expert on computers, it seems like it’s a decent laptop. At any rate, I’ve never paid this much for a computer before, lol. My needs are simple–internet and podcasting–but I want it to be a good investment. Anyone have any opinions on Dell computers? I had one a long time ago, one of the very first computers I ever owned, and I seem to remember liking it. It was a bulky desktop computer; I’ll never go back to those, lol. Once I get the new one up and running, it’s time to start podcasting!

I’ve pretty much set aside the fan fiction right now, at least for the past week, since I’ve been focused on the blog, setting up the podcast, and rewatching the Clone Wars. But I do intend to finish it. I’m about two-thirds done with the first draft, and I do like the story. It’ll have to wait a bit, though.

I would like to mention that at work today (I work in a grocery store) I saw a woman dressed up as Princess Leia. She had the long, flowing white dress and the cinnamon bun hairdo, and she looked great! Apparently she was going to a Star Wars-themed 40th birthday party. I love that grown-ups can have Star Wars birthday fun, too, lol.

My non-Star Wars indulgence this week was going to see The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings being my other favorite fandom, though Star Wars has been with me a lot longer) at my local movie theater. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since I last saw it on the big screen. How can that be?! I was so thrilled our theater brought back all three films in honor of the Oscars (Return of the King won a slew of them, including Best Picture), but I could only make the time to see Fellowship. For all the epic scope of RoTK and its brilliance, Fellowship is probably my favorite. It was a really happy two and a half hours spent that evening, and what made it even better was that I was the only one in the theater! It was like my own private showing of the film.

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Have a great weekend and see you around the blogosphere!

My Ranking of the New Upcoming Star Wars Shows

With the release of the cast of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, and a new trailer for The Bad Batch, it’s ratcheting up my excitement for the new shows. First, I want to briefly address these recent announcements, and then I’ll rank all the new upcoming shows based on my preferences and why.

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First, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Starwars.com released the cast list and stated production will begin in April. From what we understand, it will release sometime in 2022. I’m going to go ahead and admit I don’t know half the actors in the cast list. Ewan and Hayden are obvious, and Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse are returning as Owen and Beru from Revenge of the Sith. The only other person I know is Indira Varma from Game of Thrones. But that’s all right–I prefer unknowns (to me) in Star Wars, as they don’t bring along any of their other roles. They’re blank slates and can truly become the character for me.

As far as the trailer for The Bad Batch, it’s getting me a bit more excited for the show. The characters themselves aren’t as interesting to me as the setting of the show itself–post Order 66 as the Empire takes power. I love the Clones and want to see what happens to them after that fateful order, and whether or not the Bad Batch have a chip in their brains as well (I’m guessing no? Maybe?) Fennic Shand is an interesting addition, and was that Saw Gerrera I saw? As far as that kid goes–hmm. Not sure what that’s all about, but we’ll see. Looking forward to this show’s premier on May 4th.

So, without further ado, here’s my personal rankings based on my excitement and interest of the new shows coming up:

10. Droids. I don’t necessarily hate the kid’s shows, but no thanks.

9. Visions. I’m not sure what this is all about, but it might be interesting.

8. Lando. Look, I love Lando, but for a whole freaking show? I’m not sure that will work. But of course I’ll watch.

7. Boba Fett. So I loved Boba in The Mandalorian. Does that mean I want a whole show of him? Not really. But I’ll tune in to see what it’s all about.

6. Rogue Squadron movie. Not a show, of course, but the next movie coming out in 2023. I’m not a huge fan of pilot stories, but it’s a Star Wars movie. I’m going to go see it.

5. Rangers of the New Republic. Again, pilots. But will probably cross-over with Mando, so I’m on board.

4. The Bad Batch. As explained above, I want more Clones. This is what we get, so I’ll take it. I’ll probably love it, lol.

3. The Acolyte. Super curious about this one. I think it takes place about 50 years prior to The Phantom Menace, at the end of the High Republic. I’m thinking darksiders, Sith stuff, maybe Plagueis or Palpatine. Finally, some Force-users! Dark side, in all likelihood, but I’ll take it.

2. Ahsoka. Duh. I can’t wait to see Ahsoka in live action again, looking for Thrawn, maybe find Ezra, maybe with the help of Sabine. This one’s gonna be good!

#1. Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is, of course, my number one, because: Obi-Wan. As you might have figured out if you read this blog, Obi-Wan is my favorite character. For a long time, fans have wondered–just what did Obi-Wan do to fill his time on Tatooine while watching over Luke? And since most of us would happily watch Obi-Wan drink tea in the desert for 6 hours (am I the only one?) this will be a real treat. With Hayden coming back as Darth Vader, the excitement level is off the charts, at least for me. I can’t wait to see how it’s all gonna play out.

I didn’t include The Mandalorian Season 3 simply because it’s not a “new” show, but obviously looking forward to it returning, sometime in 2022. I’m really gonna miss Baby, though.

What are your thoughts on these shows? Which ones are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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Star Wars: The Bad Batch Release Date

Yesterday Starwars.com announced that The Bad Batch will be premiering on Disney+ on Tuesday May 4, 2021 (Star Wars Day), and its second episode will air on Friday May 7th. A new episode will subsequently air every Friday thereafter.

I’m fairly excited, as this is the first of the many new Star Wars series we’ll be getting in the next few years, and any new Star Wars is exciting. I will admit that when the Bad Batch, as they call themselves, showed up in the last season of Clone Wars, I wasn’t crazy about them. I didn’t hate them, I just thought the characters were a bit cliched. (Every time I see Hunter, I see Rambo, lol). I do find all the clones fascinating, though, so a new twist on them isn’t a bad thing (no pun intended).

Anyway, the Bad Batch (officially called Clone Force 99) are a group of clones that didn’t quite come out of their pods the same as their identical brothers, so they don’t fit in. They look a bit different, and have different natural skills. They are Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, and the later addition of Echo. The show will take place immediately following the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. It will be interesting to see how these clones (and all clones, actually) deal with the aftermath of Order 66, and how they fit into the new order, if at all.

I’m confident that this show will contain the same level of excellence that was evident in the last few seasons of Clone Wars. I’ll definitely be grabbing my popcorn and tuning in on May 4th, and will be posting my thoughts on each episode. Can’t wait!

Are you looking forward to The Bad Batch? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.