The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Review | ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’ closes out with a bang

The series wrapped up its third and final season with “The Cavalry Has Arrived,” an explosive finale that offered fans a satisfying conclusion.
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With an explosive 51-minute finale, “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” solidified itself as one of the best pieces of Star Wars media in recent years.

Competition for this title hasn’t exactly been steep. Recent shows like “Ahsoka” and Season 3 of “The Mandalorian” have been content to coast on character recognition and familiar story beats, recalling the greatness of past works without contributing anything meaningful to push the franchise forward.

“The Bad Batch,” on the other hand, has managed to strike that all-too-delicate balance between telling a genuine story and recalling echoes of the wider Star Wars universe. Though it only started airing in 2021, the animated show even manages to fill in a few continuity gaps along the way.

To those unfamiliar or simply in need of a refresher, the series serves as a sequel to “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and follows the members of Clone Force 99 as they struggle to find their place in a changing galaxy.

The penultimate episode saw Hunter, Wrecker, and Crosshair marooned on the planet Tantiss on their way to rescue Omega from Imperial custody. The stakes were never higher going into the finale.

What’s interesting about “The Bad Batch” as opposed to other Star Wars shows is that none of the characters have plot armor. In “The Clone Wars,” for example, the audience is never worried that Obi-Wan or Anakin won’t make it out of any given situation alive because we know how their future stories play out.

In this series, however, anyone could meet their demise at any time, which helps sell the stakes.

This finale excelled at placing the characters in their most dire situation yet, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat. After spending over three seasons with someone, it’s easy to feel for them whenever something tragic or euphoric happens.

If I were to offer any critiques of the series, I would bring up two points. One, adhering to the limitations of the wider Star Wars universe continuity can sometimes inhibit the narrative potential, and two, the dialogue can sometimes be a little on the nose and tell the audience what’s happening rather than show them.

However, that second point is never a significant issue. A case could even be made that the frank dialogue contributes to the overall earnestness of the show, and besides, it’s not too far off from how soldiers would speak.

In my opinion, Season 2 of the series features the best individual episodes, with “The Solitary Clone” and “The Outpost” even rivaling the best of “The Clone Wars,” but Season 3 consistently comes out on top.

When “The Bad Batch” was first announced, many were skeptical of the show’s necessity, but over the years the members of Clone Force 99 have won over the hearts of Star Wars fans the world over. Knowing this, it’s nice to see that they could get a proper sendoff.

All episodes of “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” are now streaming on Disney+.

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About the Contributor
Grant Darnell, Arts Reporter
Grant Darnell is a second year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in English and Creative Writing and Screenwriting Arts. He is currently an Arts Reporter for the Daily Iowan.