So with two months to go until The Bad Batch makes its debut, I need a Star Wars show to watch. I’ve watched everything there is to watch several times already, and I need something new to explore. The only thing I haven’t seen yet is Resistance, the animated series set during the time of the struggle against the First Order.
I know, I know: most people don’t like it. It’s for young kids, it’s nowhere near the quality of Clone Wars and Rebels, yada yada. I’ve heard it all. But I like to decide for myself, so I thought I’d start watching and give it a go.
And you know what? It’s not bad. It’s not great, but I’m only two episodes in. I don’t hate it. I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t like the animation style, but I kind of like it. It’s very different from both Clone Wars and Rebels, and it should be, really. It needs to be its own thing.
So Resistance is about a young New Republic pilot named Kaz who is recruited by Poe Dameron to spy for the Resistance on a large aircraft refueling station called the Colossus. He’s supposed to work undercover as a mechanic while he roots out a First Order contact. He’s young, has been a bit sheltered, and tends to be found by trouble. Poe Dameron sees something in him, though, and leaves him in the care of Yeager, an old friend of his, as well as BB-8 to keep an eye on him. We meet a few characters who will undoubtedly be regulars, including Neeku, a sweet, wide-eyed alien who takes everything Kaz says literally. I like him; he has a child-like innocence that is endearing. I also like the time period; we’ve had so much Clone War and Empire era stuff, I’m ready for sequel trilogy era stories.
And it’s produced by Dave Filoni, so it can’t be that terrible, right?
I probably won’t report on every single episode I watch, but will rather give my opinion on it as a whole when I finish it. Since it’s only two seasons of 21 and 19 episodes (25 minutes long each), it shouldn’t take too long. Stay tuned!
Have you watched Resistance? If so, what did you think? (But please, no spoilers!) Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
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!
My next installment of Women of Star Wars: Animated Edition is Ahsoka Tano.
Ahsoka Tano is Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan in Clone Wars. She’s a young togruta with big blue eyes, and presumably was going to be Obi-Wan’s new Padawan since Anakin had achieved Jedi Knighthood. The particulars of how she became Anakin’s apprentice rather than Obi-Wan’s is detailed in the Clone Wars movie; turns out that Ahsoka has a slight rebellious streak. Despite his initial resistance to taking on a padawan, Anakin himself says to her: “You may not have done well as Obi-Wan’s padawan. But you might do okay as mine.”
The pair make a good team, despite being a bit too similar and getting on each other’s nerves at first. Ahsoka calls him “Sky Guy” and Anakin calls her “Snips”, referring to her initial snippiness.
I’m going to say right up front that I much preferred Clone Wars Anakin over movie Anakin (they almost seem like different characters to me), and I think Ahsoka has a lot to do with that. The fact that he has someone to feel responsible for makes him grow up a little bit; he also comes to care for her and risks his life many times for her. I just find it kind of funny when he dispenses sage Jedi wisdom, like stressing patience, when he can’t even take his own advice!
Ahsoka had some great arcs in Clone Wars; she grew from an impetuous, eager youngster who wanted to prove herself into a thoughtful, cunning, and brave Jedi warrior. But I feel she really came into her own when she actually walked away from the Jedi Order. Accused of murder, expelled from the Order, and put on trial, she’s eventually exonerated (with help from Anakin). But when the Jedi Order welcomes her back in, she refuses to rejoin them. Her hurt and betrayal at their lack of loyalty opens her eyes to other options; she decides to find out who she’s supposed to be and what she’s supposed to do on her own.
Ahsoka’s decision to leave the Order devastates Anakin. He understands, but Anakin himself values loyalty to a fault. Ahsoka knows this, and her guilt at leaving him comes back to haunt her in Rebels.
While Ahsoka is absent from Clone Wars during Season 6, she returns in the seventh and final season. After a much-too-long arc with the Martez sisters, she meets up with Bo-Katan, who enlists her help to liberate Mandalore from Maul. Her confrontation with Maul is thrilling and satisfying. It’s during the trip back to Coruscant with the imprisoned Maul that Order 66 takes place. It’s Ahsoka that liberates Captain Rex from the inhibitor chip in his brain that forces him to attack her, and together they escape the other clones who want them both dead. (Maul, unfortunately, escapes).
The final few scenes of Season 7 Clone wars is haunting and heartbreaking, with Ahsoka contemplating the death of clones she’d fought with, and the devastation of the Jedi Order. She drops her lightsaber into the snow. Later, Darth Vader picks it up, wondering, perhaps reminiscing, watching a lone bird circle above, Anakin’s eye just visible through the red lens of his mask. This whole sequence gives me the shivers.
We don’t see Ahsoka again until Rebels, after 15 years have passed. It wasn’t until the book Ahsoka, by E.K. Johnston, came out that we knew what she’d been up to in the meantime. After Order 66, Ahsoka and Rex parted ways, agreeing it would be safer for them both to do so. She wandered from place to place, hiding her identity and Jedi abilities, calling herself Ashla and repairing droids and mechanicals for a living. It’s in this book that she ends up facing an Inquisitor and defeating him. She takes his double-bladed lightsaber and makes them her own, “healing” the red, bleeding kyber crystals and turning them white. She also meets up with Bail Organa, and decides to join the Rebellion in a specific capacity: running his intelligence networks as Fulcrum. It’s a good book, and I recommend it.
It’s in Rebels that we see the fully adult Ahsoka Tano, when Fulcrum’s mysterious identity is finally revealed. She comes to know the whole Ghost crew, and is reunited with Captain Rex. These are some of my favorite scenes of Rebels. When they learn of the existence of a Dark Lord of the Sith, Ahsoka feels something familiar about him, and has her suspicions. She’s believed Anakin dead all these years, but her confrontation with Darth Vader in a Sith Temple on Malachor proves to her that Vader is, indeed, her former Master. “I’m not leaving you,” she says. “Not this time.” At these words, we see Vader pause, as if she’s gotten through to Anakin somehow. But only for a moment. “Then you will die,” Vader replies. She only survives the duel because Ezra, in a later timeline, pulls her through to the World Between Worlds.
We don’t see Ahsoka again until the final episode in Season 4, when she appears at the very end to meet with Sabine. They’re going to search the galaxy for Ezra, who disappeared with Thrawn in the last battle on Lothal. When they were in the World Between Worlds fleeing the Emperor, Ezra says, “When you get back, come and find me.” “I will,” Ahsoka replies. “I promise.” Ahsoka Tano keeps her promises.
What do you think of Ahsoka Tano? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
After watching The Clone Wars (and absolutely loving it), I moved on to Rebels. I’d heard good things about it, but I wasn’t sure. How can anything top Clone Wars? I’ll probably just be disappointed…but I knew Ahsoka made an appearance, along with Captain Rex. Darth Vader, Maul, even Obi-Wan. How could I stay away?
So I gave it a try. The first few episodes, I thought, hmm, I don’t know. It’s not really catching me. But that’s how I felt with Clone Wars at first. So I kept watching. And I’m so glad I did. As Season One drew to a close, I knew it had me.
Season Two was when things really picked up, and it only got better from there. I just finished Season Four, and I got a little emotional that it was over, at how wonderful it was, and the questions I still had.
I thought I’d highlight a few favorite moments from the show:
There are so many more fantastic moments in this show, I could go on and on, but these were at the top of my list. Rebels truly exceeded my expectations, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you’re really missing out on some great Star Wars moments.
Once upon a time, I didn’t hold the Star Wars prequels in very high regard. When they came out around twenty years ago, I was disappointed and not impressed. I grew up with the Original Trilogy, you see, and I didn’t get a Round Two of the OT. Why I expected this is beyond me, but I quickly dismissed them and didn’t give them another thought, really.
When the sequel trilogy came out, I absolutely LOVED them, and they plunged me back into a Star Wars obsession I haven’t experienced since I was a kid. This caused me to explore all manner of Star Wars media, and have since realized we’re living in a golden age of SW, in my opinion. I caught up on Rogue One (amazing!) and Solo (fun!), watched The Mandalorian (cool!), and have since read several canon books (see my sister blog, The Star Wars Reader, for my book reviews). I’ve even rewatched the prequels and found a new appreciation for them. It’s all great, it’s all fun, and I’m loving every minute of it.
However, I hadn’t watched The Clone Wars, which I was hearing all about in my social media feeds, especially the last upcoming Season 7. Up until then I hadn’t seriously considered watching it, as it dealt with prequel-era stuff, and, well, it was a cartoon, right? “I ain’t watching no cartoon!” I told myself.
But the hype leading up to Season 7 was compelling and caught my attention. What’s the big deal? I wondered. People my age (the other side of 40) were watching this “cartoon” and loving it. I got the sneaking suspicion I was missing out on something important.
So I watched the first few episodes on Disney+. And while the animation was impressive (not cartoonish at all, but more like CGI video game kind of stuff), as far as the storylines went, I thought, “Meh.” What I wanted was the good stuff I was hearing about in Season 7. So I started there: I watched Season 7 first.
And was blown away by what I saw. I was familiar enough with the Star Wars universe and the characters not to be totally lost, and it was pretty damn amazing. This was movie-quality stuff, and the last few episodes were gripping and tragic, the other side of Order 66 that we don’t see in Revenge of the Sith. I liked the character of Ahsoka, and absolutely loved Captain Rex and the Clones, who up until then were just faceless drones to me. I needed to know more about them all, and so I decided to watch Season 6. And then Season 5. And 4, and so on.
I was watching it backwards, but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on this great Star Wars material. I’m obsessed. I love the Mandalorian arcs–I now know more about the Dark Saber, which showed up at the end of The Mandalorian (I had no idea what it was, and was like, huh? Wat dat?). I love that Obi-Wan had a love interest (who knew?). I’m fairly in love with Obi-Wan myself now; I love his quips, his courage, his kindness, and his strength in adhering to the Jedi Code.
And I definitely like Anakin much more in Clone Wars than in the movies. No disrespect to Hayden Christensen, who is a fine actor, but the character of Anakin just never clicked with me. He’s much more likable in Clone Wars, which only makes his fall to the Dark Side more tragic to me. The clues are there, but for the most part, he’s a great character here.
I admit, I skipped a few episodes, namely the droid adventures, and a few with Ahsoka and the younglings. Some arcs are more interesting than others. I especially love the ones about the Clones, Rex and Echo and Fives, and so many others. My heart broke with 99, and the Bad Batch were a scream.
Basically, Clone Wars caused me to fall in love with prequel-era Star Wars, which is a great gift. I’m looking forward to watching Rebels, as well, and gaining even more appreciation for Rebellion-era Star Wars. It’s all great, it’s all fun, and I’m so lucky to have this galaxy far, far away in my life.