The latest two episodes of The Bad Batch put Star Wars Politics front and center, so if you’ve been wanting to learn more about what was going on at the heart of the Empire during its early years, you won’t be disappointed.
Head on down below to check out the full review, and don’t forget to check out our Easter eggs and references breakdown.
This week’s 2-episode drop should most definitely satiate those fans who have been yearning for the show’s overarching narrative to be thrust into the spotlight again, because Star Wars galactic politicking was on full display and it was glorious to say the least.
In fact, it never dawned on me that the second most entertaining aspect of Star Wars is its use of politics to tell intriguing and at some times mysterious tales. These days with the likes of Andor and Bad Batch the political side of Star Wars is beginning to rival its more popular mystical side.
The use of words and plans to maneuver chess pieces across the galactic board is becoming the prominent style of storytelling to make up for the lack of Space wizards, and it’s turning out to be a fun new way to dive into Star Wars lore without relying on Jedi, Sith, or any other faction that has magical powers to weave intrigue into a Star Wars tale.
These two episodes were political thriller masterclasses that further exposed just how badass Palpatine was at the long game and playing chess while the galaxy screwed around playing checkers. The way he played the good senators and Rampart into getting what he wanted in the end was textbook Palpatine and a stroke of maniacal genius.
It showed just how far behind the good guys were at this stage of the Empire’s rise, and showcased how and why he was continually able to run roughshod over the senate while looking like a wise, thoughtful benevolent leader. There is a reason it took the Rebels damn near two decades to rise up against him, and his actions in these episode show why. He knows everything, has plans for everything, and no matter how hard those on the side of good try, he always wins in the end.
In addition to Palpatine’s political mastery, this episode also featured some fantastic animated Coruscant visuals and another banger of a score from Kevin Kiner. Both of these aspects only highlighted the already excellent story points and well scripted action beats, so again, these mid-season looks were some of the show’s best to date.
Let’s not also forget the emotions that this episode could illicit. All the nostalgic Clone Wars references were awesome, and the fact that the Clones’ ultimate fate is becoming more and more clear, but the ending with the departure of Echo was pure Star Wars is making me feel all sad inside gold.
How about some top moments?
Up first is the nuanced Senate debate that kicked off Clone Conspiracy. The amount of references alone made this scene memorable, but I found it to standout thanks to the debate itself, which shed more light on how the Empire was planning on dealing with the Clones after they instituted the Imperial Stormtrooper program. It was enlightening to see that some senators had the Clones future in mind and wanted to give them representation, while other still viewed them as assets. The debate was a great snapshot on how jacked the galaxy is politically at this point thanks to years and years of Palpatine’s meddling.
Up next is the hunt for Chuchi and Rex’s rescue of her. It was just an overall tense scene as she meets with Slip before he’s assassinated, and then of course Rex gets a mack daddy intro with smoke and all to highlight his badassery and importance to Star Wars lore. Knowing the two had a past relationship via The Clone Wars was a nice touch too when Chuchi greeted him warmly.
This next moment comes from Truth and Consequences and it is the Data retrieval mission that the Batch and Rex carry out. It just felt like a classic Clone Wars mission with punch music and the clones doing their thing, but having it set at night on Coruscant really added some visual flair that made the action beats stand out. If anything, it reinforced the capabilities of Clone Force 99 and Rex, which when paired together can do some amazing things, and hopefully it’s not the last time they mess with the Empire as one unit.
Palpatine’s slow roll arrival and mic drop moment is the standout moment from both of these episodes. Not only is it his first flesh and blood Bad Batch appearance, but it also featured payoff on another one of his long game schemes to get what he wants by having the good guys do it for him. The guy has mastered that art, and once again came out looking like a hero of the people while getting even more control over the galaxy and the senate itself. Rampart getting betrayed this early on also added to the electricity this moment provided, so it was definitely awesome to see the Master Manipulator doing his thing with such ease again. Not to mention the fact that we now know that the Clones themselves aided the Empire big time when it will come to their inevitable downfall.
Finally, and boy was a hit in the gut, but Echo’s goodbye to Omega was rough emotionally. It wasn’t so much that Echo was leaving, it was how Omega took the news. She was genuinely gutted, and I felt for her, while also getting a bid emotional over Echo rejoining Rex. Echo goes way back, so this move to reunite him with Rex while pulling him away from his new “family” definitely hit harder than some of the other Clone moments featured in The Bad Batch.
Nick and I will talk more about these episodes on next week’s episode of the SWTS, so don’t forget to tune into the Star Wars Time Show on a weekly basis via our podcast platforms or via YouTube if you prefer the livestream angle.