Star Wars: The Clone Wars
When clone-led battle strategies are threatened by an intelligent Separatist learning system, the Republic recruits the skill set of The Bad Batch. Made up entirely of clones with specialized genetic mutations, Separatist forces are unable to predict this team’s battle plans.
Spoiler Level: Low
Star Wars is and always has been driven by its characters. By the boys from Tatooine who were destined for something greater. By the Stormtrooper who defected from an army he was born into. By the Padawan who rejected the Jedi Order, leaving behind people she loved. At the end of the day, it’s less about how many Death Stars there are and more about who’s blowing them up. We want to know more about them. We want to feel for them. Star Wars is a call to our innermost empathetic selves and nowhere is this exemplified as well as it is in The Clone Wars.
The long awaited return doesn’t disappoint, remaining true to the heart of the story and focused on the individualism and humanity of war. Hardcore fans of the show will no doubt recognize the initial Bad Batch arc as the previously Legends content by the same name, finally released under the classification of Canon. It brings out a familiarity in the show, easing the transition from Netflix to Disney+ and highlights the soul of the series: the clones.
Since its beginning, Clone Wars has utilized its unique character set to great effect. Clones work, because clones are not droids. They are individuals, capable of personalized thought and varied motivations. They are able to succeed because of their humanity. Season seven’s introductory episode brings this idea front and center.
The Bad Batch: a task force of clones with genetic mutations. Through their diversity, they are able to be more effective than even the existing troops.
The genius in this storyline lies in the implications. Although it’s highly unlikely that audiences will see an animated version of Order 66, this final season is undoubtedly building towards that ultimate emotionality. Viewers know that, sooner rather than later, the clones will be forced to turn on the Jedi. The depth of the relationship between a clone and a Jedi relies on the ingrained devastation of impending betrayal. Tender moments turn coarse. Sweetness turns sour.
Throughout the entire show, every relationship brings with it the bittersweet knowledge that the clones will eventually be stripped of their free will, their actions taken over by evil with no warning. It adds depth to the overarching narrative and, more importantly, it totally rips your heart out.
With this in mind, the very existence of the Bad Batch brings an entirely new dynamic into play—one that, for now, mostly comes in the form of questions. Do the Bad Batch have control chips that would involve them in Order 66? Will they be subject to them in the same ways as the standard clones? Do the Bad Batch survive Order 66 with full consciousness and, if they do, is there a moral obligation to the Republic? Would they even know how to live, if they weren’t soldiers?
This show has so far done a truly phenomenal job addressing some of these issues, and has room to grow in other areas. The Bad Batch seem to be the beautifully heavy-handed, last ditch effort to really drive these themes home before coming to the very real conclusion of the story. On top of that, this episode brings with it a fair amount of mystery and intrigue, with the potential to be another great arc for a series known to be best in chunks.
It’s exactly what longtime fans will want, and it’s precisely what new fans will need. There’s still a long way to go before we get the kind of emotional payoff that this shown is great at, but the buildup is promising. Like The Mandalorian brought us together amidst trying cinematic times, Clone Wars could bring peace to the galaxy once more.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Beginning of the End
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 8/108/10
- Production - 10/1010/10
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