In ‘Rampage’, this week’s episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the team become mercenaries in order to earn some much-needed money and information. It’s an entertaining, painting-by-numbers episode from the animated Star Wars universe.
Echo insists that Cid (Rhea Pearlman), an informer of the bygone Jedi, can provide them with some intel about why Omega (Michelle Ang) is being hunted by Fennec Shand. Sent to find Muchi, who is being held by Zygerrian slavers, the Bad Batch (all Dee Bradley Baker) are promised some help in exchange for their services.
The episode ties well into the wider Star Wars universe
The show also continues to tie into the wider universe of this galaxy far, far away: a slimmed-down Bib Fortuna (Matthew Wood) has a cameo role following his corpulent appearance at the end of season 2 of The Mandalorian.
Zygerrian slavers will be familiar to those viewers who have seen The Clone Wars. The way in which executive director Dave Filoni and his team are building up the universe continues to impress.
Given the show’s willingness to include familiar faces, the world’s our oyster (or should that, the galaxy?) as to who might pop up next. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little disappointed that Dexter from Attack of the Clones was not the informer: who better is there as an in-the-know friend of the Jedi than him? Maybe sometime soon.
The Bad Batch’s skills are being diluted
Wrecker’s head in fact is still sore, picking up a thread from episode three that bodes ill for the character. Yet this might not be a bad thing, for Wrecker’s role is increasingly providing comic relief to the show. A reminder of how fearsome he is might be welcome.
This slight dilution of Wrecker’s abilities is also representative of the entire Bad Batch, who are easily outwitted during this episode, which is nothing if a little disappointing.
The continuing question of what abilities Omega’s genetic modification gives her is still to be answered, but the episode provides a few more hints here and there.
Unfortunately the adolescent rancor Muchi does look a little derpy, a rare moment where the show’s design was not quite on par with its strong quality. That said, there’s a fight between Muchi and another space creature that feels weighty.
The naiveite of both the Bad Batch and Omega is highlighted again in this episode: the former don’t know how to negotiate and the latter asks what a slave trader is. If these ‘cartoons’ (I use the term loosely and not perhaps in the mainstream, pejorative sense) do offer some education to children, then Star Wars can teach about the continuing disparity people find themselves in today.
Otherwise, there’s not much else to add. This is typical Star Wars animation: self-contained with hints towards a wider story, (mostly) brilliant visuals and some fun action.
Once this show takes off I think it’s really going to fly and will make a claim to being some of the best animated Star Wars content we’ve yet to see, but, at the moment, it’s got a long way to go to get there.
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