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Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 2 Serves As A Bridge Between The Prequel & Original Trilogy Eras

After almost two years since the end of Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 1, the series finally returns for a second season. The first season of the spinoff and successor series to Star Wars The Clone Wars wasn’t perfect, but what about the second season?

Rise Of The Empire

Star Wars The Bad Batch follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (or Clone Force 99) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone Wars. When Season 2 starts, several months will have passed since the end of the first season. The first season mostly focused on how the Bad Batch betrayed the Empire, went AWOL and met Omega. They were presumed dead at the end of Season 1, so it’s refreshing to see them now no longer actively just always on the run, which got old fast. Now, they’re in hiding and somewhat free to do what they want, but with the threat of the Empire always looming on the horizon.

Unfortunately, Season 2 does commit some of the same mistakes as Season 1. Being 16 episodes long per season, fillers were unavoidable, but Season 2 does feel more structured overall, with a higher sense of urgency as the Empire grows stronger. However, the problem is that the filler episodes are always those involving the Bad Batch themselves on random missions or jobs for Cid to get money. Sometimes we get variations like an episode that introduces a new variant of Podracing, but most of these episodes feel samey and bland. In contrast, the best episodes are often episodes that put the spotlight on supporting characters such as Crosshair, Captain Rex, Commander Cody and others. I can safely bet that these episodes will be the ones that turn out to be fan favourites when they eventually premiere.

Emperor Palpatine in a scene from “STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH”, season 2 exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

My favourite of the season was one episode that finally addressed and explained how the Empire transitioned from using Clone troopers and started employing, as well as deploying, Stormtroopers. This question finally gets answered in canon this season and I’m sure fans of the franchise would look forward to that. That alone should be enough of a hook to start watching this season, but Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 2 also has more fun easter eggs and references for fans, including the return of the Jedi Wookie named Gungi (which can be seen in the trailers) and more. I believe one is even a homage to Ridley Scott’s Alien and Godzilla.

In Season 2 Star Wars The Bad Batch also isn’t afraid to tackle mature and serious subject matter, such as the Empire’s inhuman treatment of the remaining clone troopers, discarding them aside and treating them like property. This can be seen as social commentary and an allegory to the United States’ treatment of war veterans.

As fans of the franchise, it’s also nice to see the military of a proto-Empire. At this time, the Empire was still phasing out the clone troopers and the early stormtroopers wore the TK trooper armour instead of the iconic stormtrooper armour we all know from the movies. The Empire also still used the Venator-Class Star Destroyers and not the iconic Imperial-Class Star Destroyers. All these details are surely great fodder for fans of the franchise.

Last but not least, Dee Bradley Baker triumphantly returns as the voice of the Bad Batch and Michelle Ang as the voice of Omega. Rhea Perlman returns to guest star as Cid, Noshir Dalal returns to guest star as Vice Admiral Rampart, and Wanda Sykes makes her guest-starring debut in the series as Phee Genoa. All of the voice performances are commendable, but the MVP is once again Dee Bradley Baker, of course, due to the sheer variety of voices he has to perform as different clones. Also, be prepared for some unexpected cameos and voice actors, which are fun to spot.

The Fall Of The Clones

Ultimately, it’s still a shame that Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 2 doesn’t resolve all of its problems from Season 1. However, it’s still an improvement over the previous season and a must-watch for fans of the franchise if they want to keep up with canon lore. It’s a shame that some of the Bad Batch-focused episodes still feel like filler, but they’re worth sifting through in order to get to the “good stuff”. Perhaps Star Wars animation is best served with shorter and more focused like in Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 7, or an anthology format like Star Wars Tales Of The Jedi.

FINAL SCORE: 80/100

We received an early screener of fourteen episodes of Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 2 courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia. Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 2 is slated to premiere on 4 January 2023 on Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia, with subsequent episodes following every Wednesday.

In other related content, we participated in a brief exclusive interview with actress Gwendoline Yeo, who voices the Kaminoan named Nala Se in Star Wars The Bad Batch, courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia. We also managed to participate in a roundtable interview with head writer and executive producer Jennifer Corbett as well as supervising director and executive producer Brad Rau, courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia.

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