I don’t like The Bad Batch.
That being said, the new series isn’t bad. Far from it… it takes place right after The Clone Wars end, the Republic and the Jedi fall, and the reign of the Emperor and the Empire begins. It’s an interesting transitional time that we’ve never seen in animation or live action and I’m all here for it. Can’t wait to see more.
But, man… I hate The Bad Batch.
Even when they first appeared on The Clone Wars‘ final season, I didn’t like them. A collection of tough guy stereotypes that you could pull out of any third rate superhero comic or manga. The stoic leader? Check. The brains? Check. The dumb strong guy? Check. The Raphael/Guy Gardner of the group? Check. These guys aren’t interesting at all and, in battle, they’re so good at what they do, there are literally no stakes. No consequences. I watched this one guy get shot by blasters twice and not once did I think, “Oh no, I hope he’s going to be okay!” I knew he was. The Bad Batch is just that kind of show: God mode characters playing the game on easy.
Yes, I know that Anakin and Obiwan were God mode characters too, but at least they were fun to watch. They bantered, they had internal struggles, they were charming: Everything that every character in The Bad Batch are not. I mean, for goodness’ sake, their attitude during the rising action of the oversized premiere episode was, “Huh, that was kind of weird how our clone brothers suddenly turned on their friends and generals, the Jedi, and now there’s this empire thing going on. Oh, well, let’s go to our room!” Literally, it seems like the fallout of the rise of the Empire is nothing more than an inconvenience.
You’d think watching your colleagues turn into murderous and, at the best, completely rude jerks would have more of an effect on you.
But, as I said, these are at least interesting times. Tarkin shows up. Saw Guerra shows up. We even see a young Kanan make an appearance which was neat. It was fan service, but it was neat.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Omega. I would also be completely forgiven because, honestly, I don’t see how including a kid on the team does anything more than give kids watching this show someone to emulate. That’s fine… I understand that these animated series are made for kids, but if personality was water, this entire cast would be dying in the middle of a desert on Mars.
The Bad Batch has potential, but these characters have got to become more than just the cardboard cutouts we’ve been supplied with. They desperately need to break out of their molds, become more vulnerable, and experience true loss. The one moment which I won’t spoil where The Bad Batch experiences a loss is, once again, treated like a mild inconvenience that the devastating betrayal that it should have been treated as.
But, hey… Wrecker got to make joke, huh? Joke funny!