Director: Nathaniel Villanueva
Starring: Dee Bradley Baker, Archie Panjabi, Michelle Ang, Freddie Prinze Jr., Ian McDiarmid, Andrew Kishino, Stephen Stanton
We saw a glimpse of the old Clone Wars ways at the opening of Episode 3 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch as their shuttle crashed landed on a moon – if there’s not a ship crashing somewhere, is it really a Star Wars animated property?
Once on the moon, the Bad Batch (all Dee Bradley Baker aside from Michelle Ang’s Omega) need to repair the ship but struggle against a power-hungry (literally) dragon.
Some nice moments followed, but, of course, Star Wars characters stuck on a moon is something we’ve all seen before; the strength of the episode comes from seeing the background machinations of Tarkin (Stephen Stanton), Rampart (Noshir Dalal) and the Kaminoans.
Tarkin and Rampart are trying to implement a system that slowly removes the costly clones from the Empire.
Naturally, the Kaminoans are hesitant about this, mostly because it will represent a massive loss of income – their strong presence in the show is not one I expected when the series was announced but it makes perfect sense.
Say what you will about trade agreements in The Phantom Menace, but the political, economic and military factors at play in deciding what happens to the clone army poses many opportunities for the season ahead.
Frankly, we’ve seen a show that’s dedicated to an armour-wearing outlaw already, and so the way Filoni and the team are setting up two concurrent storylines is exciting.
Is Star Wars: The Bad Batch a kid’s show?
Read more: How The Bad Batch Changes Star Wars Canon
Oh yeah, is The Bad Batch supposed to be a kid’s show?
Filoni’s animated shows have always juicily balanced the line between child and adult entertainment (who remembers when Savage Oppress impaled Jedi master Adi Gallia?) and this episode is no exception.
Crosshair’s ruthless scenes with Saw Gerrera’s rebels on Onderon sent chills down my spine – it’s moments like that where it’s easy to forget you’re watching an animated show.
Sideways references to the next phase in cloning have the potential to tie The Bad Batch into the other Star Wars shows.
Other scenes foreshadow a potential redemption arc for Crosshair and maybe even a slightly darker path for Wrecker, whose constant complaints about a head injury make me worry that his chip is going to malfunction like Echo’s did in Clone Wars.
There will be better episodes than Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3
As time goes on, there will be better episodes than episode 3, but after last week’s side quest this episode has welcomely taken a strong step forward.
There’s roughly nineteen years between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope – learning how the world we’re watching will develop into its later form is where this show will really take off.
Whatever is to come, I’m excited to learn about this vital time in the history of the Star Wars universe.
What do you make of this review of Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
What do you make of this story? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages! And if you enjoy listening to film podcasts, why not check out our podcasts, Small Screen Stories and Small Screen Film Club wherever you get your podcasts!