‘The Bad Batch’: Star Wars Fans Who Were ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About the Show Can’t Get Enough Now
Star Wars: The Bad Batch recently premiered on Disney+. The streaming animated series, which is an official extension of the greater Star Wars universe, is a sequel and spin-off of the 2008 series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Unlike some other Disney+ shows, the streaming giant is releasing just one episode of The Bad Batch a week.
And while the newest Star Wars show has not even reached its halfway point yet — the first season will consist of 16 episodes total — fans already say that they can’t get enough.
‘The Bad Batch’ continues the stories featured in ‘The Clone Wars’
The Clone Wars began with a theatrical movie in 2008, and continued forward on the Cartoon Network, Netflix and Disney+ for a total of seven seasons. The space opera filled in the gaps between the Episode II and Episode III prequel Star Wars films and was a ratings success until it ended in 2020.
The Bad Batch picks up after The Clone Wars.
“The series follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in The Clone Wars) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War,” reports Deadline. “Members of Bad Batch – a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.”
Voice actor Dee Bradley Baker voices most of the clone troopers in Clone Force 99. The animated series also stars Archie Panjabi from The Good Wife and Fear the Walking Dead‘s Michelle Ang.
‘The Bad Batch’ premiered with a special 70-minute episode
Each episode of The Bad Batch runs for approximately 30 minutes in length, reports IGN, with the exception of its premiere. Debuting on May 4, 2021, the first episode of The Bad Batch was more than twice as long, ringing in with a 72-minute runtime.
In the premiere, audiences meet the Bad Batch as they help Jedi Master Depa Billaba (voiced by Panjabi). Shortly after, an Order 66 is issued and the Jedi Master is taken out by her clones. However, the defective Bad Batch mostly do not comply with the order, and they allow the Jedi Master’s Padawan to escape.
The Bad Batch then learn about the end of the Clone War and the rise of the Republic, kicking off the whole series.
Critical reception from the media was favorable. “I can safely say that the first two episodes of #TheBadBatch are absolutely fantastic,” wrote Charlie Ashby, the host of the Imperial Senate Podcast, on his Twitter feed. “While it continues the animation style, this is not [The Clone Wars’ season eight]. It builds upon that show by exploring the world in a new era [and] through the eyes of these characters.”
Meanwhile, Slashfilm and First Showing TV critic Adam Frazier said on Twitter that The Bad Batch was “a perfect blend of Clone Wars and Rebels” and that the “first episode feels like a legit full-length feature and immediately locks you into the premise of the series.”
Fans also responded favorably.
‘Cautiously optimistic’ fans can’t wait to see more of ‘The Bad Batch’
“I was pretty cautiously optimistic about the show going in,” says Star Wars fan and Reddit user killershark101 on Reddit. “But after watching the episode, I can easily say that it exceeded my expectations. The way the characters interact with a post-Order 66 galaxy is incredibly interesting.”
Others agreed. “I haven’t enjoyed much of anything they’ve put out over the last 3 years but this was a really good start and far, far better than I expected,” said Reddit user Skylightt. “I’m curious how the rest of it goes because to me it kind of felt like it’d be a really good movie rather than show.”