Hey! Hallie here!
For those who followed my reviews of season one of ‘The Bad Batch’, you might not be all that surprised that I’m so late to start talking about season two. I didn’t dislike season one, it had plenty of good ideas and I absolutely adore Omega as a character, but I also didn’t like that first season very much. I felt the characters were lacking. So lacking, in fact, that I wasn’t sure I would be back to watch season two despite my love for Omega. But ultimately, the more I heard about this season the more I was convinced to pick it up again. Once again the writing seems to refuse to shy away from the darker and more interesting parts of Star Wars lore, and some of the characters in this season are actually getting the development I wanted in season one. Granted, it still struggles with many of the flaws I saw in that first season, but I do want to talk about what I’ve been liking from this season so far. This is a SPOILER warning and also a warning that I’m not completely caught up on the series. This is more a midway point review and I will likely do another review once the season finale airs.
The Characters: This was my main complaint in season one so let’s talk about how season two compares. First off, Omega is as great as always. Though her character could definitely stagnate now that she’s essentially come into her own, she doesn’t at all. Now we’re focusing on her struggle to keep the family she’s built together as each character grows and changes, meanwhile harboring a guilt over her essentially being the cause for the Bad Batch having to go out on their own in the first place. And can I just say, I’m so glad we’re done with the storylines where Omega has to constantly prove herself to the Batch each episode. Now she’s accepted as a fully capable member of the mercenary group, and is even depended on to hold her own in battle. I really like this, both because Omega deserves it and because it makes the other members of the Batch interestingly conflicted. On the one hand, she’s growing up and they have to acknowledge that there are things she can take care of on her own. But on the other, she’s still a kid and they wish they could give her a proper childhood.
Speaking of the Batch, let’s talk about Tech. Tech has been getting SO MUCH this season, and as someone who pretty instantly knew Tech was my favorite member of the Bad Batch, I’m ecstatic. Tech got a few cool moments in season one, but he was mostly just “the smart one” who provided most of the show’s sarcasm. This season he has plenty of cool scenes, now actively taking part in every firefight, and his character development is excellent. We’re seeing him get paired off with Omega a lot, and the comparisons being drawn between himself and Omega are interesting. They’re essentially foils for each other, with Omega being passionate and emotional, and Tech being level-headed and calculating. This has led to plenty of cute moments where the two surprise each other with their supportiveness as well as discuss their differences. There’s even a scene where Tech talks with Omega about how he processes things differently from other people, confirming the statement made by clone voice actor Dee Bradley Baker that Tech is on the autism spectrum. Hell yeah! The other characters still don’t seem to have as much development as I would like, though I do appreciate that Echo taking his leave to join the Rebels was very in character. Still, they’ve been doing more character work this season than I expected and I’m loving it.
The Storylines: One thing ‘The Bad Batch’ has never been bad at is storylines. Some storylines can come across as too silly or over the top, but for the most part, they really dig their heels into developing Star Wars lore and giving it depth. The episode that stood out the most for me in this regard was episode three of the season. This episode doesn’t feature any of our main characters, so it almost comes as a surprise how immediately it hooks the audience. In it we catch up with Crosshair, who still isn’t getting as much time as I would like after all of the dramatic moments in season one’s finale. He’s apparently had to go through an extensive healing process after waiting days on the destroyed remnants of Kamino to be rescued by the Empire. Though we don’t really see signs of the headaches he was suffering from in season one, we know he’s still struggling with his position in the Empire because he hasn’t been sleeping well. And what better way to explore Crosshair’s inner dilemma than by pairing him off with the ultimate clone betrayer, Commander Cody?
I was so conflicted to see Cody return. We haven’t seen any story about him surrounding Order 66, which left his likable personality in Clone Wars feeling like a bit of a lie knowing how quickly he turned on Obi-Wan. Here he’s still on the “good soldiers follow orders” kick, but just like Crosshair, he’s questioning himself. The two fall into the mission given by the Empire easily, especially because they’re mostly fighting against Separatist droids. But when Cody tries to convince their target that they can talk everything out and achieve the peace he feels the Empire wants to achieve, he’s given a rude awakening when Crosshair immediately shoots her instead. By the end of the episode Cody’s defected from the Empire and Crosshair is even more conflicted than he was at the beginning. It’s such a brilliant episode and perfectly pairs together two of the clones fans have most held grudges against. Along with this storyline we’ve seen Captain Rex come back, the return of Gungi, the Wookiee Jedi, and we even got to explore the spiritual connection between Wookiee tribes and the nature on Kashyyk. They really haven’t disappointed me with an episode of the season so far.
The Animation: Star Wars animation has come so insanely far since the first season of ‘Clone Wars’. Everything in this season looks so realistic, from the sand on the desert planets, to the water on ocean planets, to the lighting on character’s faces. I am absolutely amazed by the way the series has managed to keep the stylistic look of the characters, including the blocky structure of their faces and the solid shape of their hair, all while still looking like they could walk out of the screen. The landscape shots in this show are so gorgeous that I’ve actually gasped while watching them. I can’t get over how amazing this looks, and how much improvement there is even compared to the first season of ‘The Bad Batch’, which already looked incredible. It’s getting to the point where I would recommend this show for how gorgeous it looks alone.
And those are my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far! I didn’t have a place to talk about this in any of my categories, so I also want to quickly give a shout out to Hector Elizondo for being an iconic actor and having an amazing voice for voice acting. I love Hector Elizondo, mostly from my days obsessing over ‘Princess Diaries’, and his voice is so recognizable that the minute I heard him at the beginning of the season I nearly started crying. But even with my bias for Elizondo aside, this season has already done some major work at winning me over. I can’t wait to see what else ‘The Bad Batch’ has up its sleeve. While I wait to see where the end of season two puts the crew, for now I’ll be spending all my time catching up on the episodes I missed.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!