May 15th, 2021

Big Sword

The Pretty Good Batch

The third episode of The Bad Batch premiered last night and in a few ways raised my hopes for the series even as a few scenes were mildly disappointing. It was written by Matt Michnovetz, who co-wrote the original Bad Batch arc on Clone Wars. He also wrote many other solid episodes of Clone Wars, including "The Citadel", an excellent episode that's already been referenced by Tarkin in discussing the relative advantages and disadvantages of clone troops. So, unsurprisingly, "Replacements" returns to that theme.

I was pleased to see Crosshair (Dee Bradley Baker) executing civilians, a nice way of showing how far this show's willing to go. I know his line before executing the first one, "I believe you," comes from a movie but I can't remember which movie. His execution of one of the new conscripted troops was a more surprising touch. I guess the idea isn't that Order 66 makes the clones kill Jedi, it's that it makes them follow all orders without question. Which goes to exactly the point I brought up last week about the relative advantages or disadvantages of clone troopers to the Empire--if you want to limit independent thought in your soldiers, you need soldiers you can program. I thought it was a nice touch that the conscripted soldier refused to execute civilians, especially after Michnovetz had set him up as ornery and possibly villainous.

The scene earlier, where the conscripted troops are talking, was also interesting because of the point about how the Empire provided them with food and shelter, "more than the Republic ever did." Sounds like some complexity. I like it. I was less wild about how the dialogue in the scene sounded less like dialogue and more like people making statements at each other.

Meanwhile, the Bad Batch themselves are busy trying to repair their ship on a desolate planet, their efforts stymied by some giant lizards. The focus is again on the father/daughter relationship between Hunter (Dee Bradley Baker) and Omega (Michelle Ang) that's forming at peculiarly rapid rate. Her ability to commune with the lizards and the fact that she's significantly less whiny than previous young Star Wars protagonists makes her seem more in the mould of a Disney Princess. I remember they kind of tried to go that route with Sabine on Rebels very briefly though it only amounted to a brief, rather awkward moment where she casually caressed the droid, Chopper. I like Omega a lot more than Sabine, though, and I'm all for the idea of her taking on Disney Princess qualities, though the setup where she ended up going after the animals with Hunter was kind of odd. He shouldn't be considered unreasonable for not wanting her to come along--forcing him to watch out for both himself and her decreases everyone's chances of survival. The fact that she proved useful was kind of a miracle, not exactly a lesson in proper teamwork. All in all, though, I liked this episode.

The Bad Batch is on Disney+.