After a long hiatus, Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns with a triumphant re-introduction to a familiar world of welcoming characters and thrilling action. “The Bad Batch” serves as the first episode of the show’s final season released exclusively on Disney Plus. Although what will become the first arc of season 7 was already released to the public in story reel form in 2015, this is the first time these stories are completely animated and finalized. The full realization of this arc is truly the work of the show’s fandom, a testament to Star Wars’ legacy in animated storytelling. Now that the first full-length taste of revitalized Clone Wars content is available, fans can enjoy all that they expected from previous seasons and more.
“The Bad Batch” sees the return of fan-favorite clones Captain Rex and Commander Cody. Their mission is to retrieve strategic data from the Separatist cyber center not far from their operations on the planet Anaxes. The task proves to be something deeper for the Captain as he shares suspicion that fallen trooper Echo, who seemingly “died” in season 3, might be alive and leaking Republic battle plans to the Separatist forces. Only he and Echo previously drew those plans. In order to infiltrate the cyber center, he must work with the titular Bad Batch- an experimental group of clones that wield super power-like mutations.
With an in-story emphasis on new unseen tactics, it is not unwarranted to say that this episode offers a fresh take on Star Wars action. A standout sequence depicts the troopers seizing the cyber center in a stylized one-shot which will surely send fans of Netflix’s Daredevil into nostalgic relapse. The first on-screen appearance of the Bad Batch also brings an interesting development of new battle strategies, many of which are more visually interesting and inventive than traditional warfare seen in the show’s past.
While the script is a bit uninteresting at times, the episode manages to remain incredibly kinetic with a high energy level from start to finish. It stands as an immersive story augmented by lively visuals and vibrant sound that will please audiences of all ages. Furthermore, fans of Star Wars music will be happy to hear the return of composer Kevin Kiner. His work once again invigorates the world of The Clone Wars with explosive power. The percussive score never fails to keep viewers engaged and captivated.
One cannot understate how satisfying and impressive it is to see once incomplete work from nearly half a decade ago come to fruition with the same quality and tone as its predecessors. With what has been showcased in the unfinished story reels, the next few episodes are sure to entertain and delight. However, it would be helpful for fans to catch up on their knowledge of the previous seasons- especially the “Citadel” arc from season 3.
Catch new episodes of the final season of The Clone Wars every Friday on Disney Plus!
Follow writer Chris St Lawrence on Twitter: @ey2studios