Bad Batch Season 2 (Spoilers)

Wow, that was excellent. 7/8 on the fifty-cal scale.

The combat was well done (my only objection is the tank missile thingy, for a variety of reasons), and I especially enjoyed the scene with Tech and the BARC scouts.
The writers cheated a bit with Omega. We see her firing her bow (a lethal weapon) at clones, because she “has to contribute,” but they specifically do NOT show her hitting anyone, usually not even showing where her shots hit, meaning they knew they were going outside the “no lethal force unless necessary” rule.

The portrayal of the non-Bad Batch clones was excellent, and of course the Bad Batch were done well. I really enjoyed Wilco and Rampart at the end.

One piece of very clever writing was the interaction confirming that Tech et al were still alive to Wilco. They set up the need for confirmation in an organic way, set up the method of confirmation ahead of time in an organic way, and then pay it off in an organic way. I was thrilled with the quality.

The only writing quibble I have is with the free-falling cargo container. The tension is entirely external to the characters, and for meta reasons lacks tension. We know it won’t kill them, but they set it up ahead of time as die/no die, so we know they’re going to survive. Additionally, the characters have no effect on whether the thrusters kick on or not, so there’s no time-crunch tension as we watch the character frantically try to make it work.

On the other hand, the scene with the cargo container that culminated in Tech breaking his leg was fantastic because it had consequences and combined “force of nature” with character competence, so that they were neither leaves in the wind nor masters of their own destiny. At any rate, very good. And the fact that the consequence stuck around and wasn’t forgotten later in the episode, I very much approve of. I look forward to seeing more of the show, so far I think it’s better than the first season.

Oh, side note, Omega looks a whole lot older in this one. Definitely more than five months. I can’t quite settle on why that is, though. I think her face is a bit older, maybe? It’s subtle, whatever it is.

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Nice review. I’m liking season 2 so far. Looking forward to the rest.

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8/8 on the fifty-cal scale. Utterly fantastic episode, a masterpiece.

Only quibble I really have is the troop count. Cody says “half the squad is too injured to move,” and then we see about an entire platoon of clones throughout the combat. I mostly chalk that up to typical ignorance (either the act of ignoring or a state of a lack of knowledge) of troop numbers etc.

So far, this is far better than Season 1 of Bad Batch, and I’m thoroughly impressed.

Multiple specific things caught my eye as done very well:
Lighting: Particularly around the memorial. In the end, Cody’s face is half-lit. Crosshair’s is nearly entirely in shadow, with just a sliver of light.
Music: The sound design was impeccable, particularly noticeable in the two memorial scenes.
Combat: I thoroughly enjoyed the combat, as it did an excellent job of feeling like vintage Clone Wars while increasing the intensity and quality. Tactics were mostly good, aside from certain Star Wars foibles (convenient ill-aim and the like). The commando droids were especially well-done, actually adapting to the clones tactics and being just inhuman enough to be creepy. I also really liked the brutality of the fights, whether a clone getting lit up by a droideka or Cody’s hand-to-hand vibro-knife fight with the commando droid.
Characterization: Excellent throughout, even down to the Imperial governor, whose voice alone made my skin crawl. He disgusted me, but as intended.

Also, I really enjoyed the mix of ordnance types (grenades and droid poppers) and Crosshair sniping the AAT. The latter reminded me of Carlos Hathcock counter-sniping a counter-sniper through the counter-sniper’s sniper scope.

Only story aspect that stuck out to me negatively was the Empire only sending a small strike team. They weren’t supposed to be SEAL-team sneaky (for obvious reasons), which means there would be plenty of time to kill the governor, which makes any kind of “preserve the life of the governor” play rather meaningless. So why only send a single shuttle?
Based on the troop numbers, I’m happy to just headcanon that they sent three shuttles and did away with any “peace mission” subterfuge (although it does give some story context to Cody’s negotiation efforts later in the episode).

Hmm, more I think about it, there were a couple other things.
One is just the story choice of Cody going AWOL. I thought it would’ve been more interesting for him to stay, but I certainly do not disapprove of the choice they made.
Second is the mirrors at the end to kill the tactical droid. With the angles and precision involved, it’s just too convenient.

Okay, so four things. But the episode on the whole was so positively excellent (as opposed to just avoiding errors), that it’s hard to detract points for those things.

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I also agree with it being a great episode. At first, I also thought why would the Empire just send in a Clone squad in to rescue the new governor. They I thought about it and now it makes sense.

First, the Empire is in a transition between clones and stormtroopers. The clones numbers seem to declining quickly and the new stormtrooper Corp/Army isn’t in great numbers yet. That’s why they tried the Trojan horse attack.

Next the new governor looks like a low ranking officer. If the Empire lost him “it would be for the greater good of the empire”.

Lastly the planet looked like it was deep in the outer rim. Empire still probably billing up their military assets.

The problem with what you’re saying is that an entire Venator with nat-born stormtroopers arrives on the scene seemingly immediately afterward.

As for the new governor being disposable, I agree. That’s part of why I don’t understand why they would try subtlety in the first place.

Yes I agree. But maybe the Empire is moving so fast taking planets. They were holding back strike teams to the systems that wouldn’t submit. Trying to do it the easy way.
I believe the Empire found out the this tactic didn’t work. This is why they changed their tactics to more full invasions. But this would take a lot of resources and that’s why the Death Star was needed.

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Hmm, that’s a pretty good theory! I think it is a way to explain away an issue, but that’s half the job of fans, isn’t it? :D

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Sticking with the theme that clones are disposable, this could have been an attempt get rid of more of the clones which the Commander doesn’t care about. Also to test the loyalty of Crosshair, who is part of the group that already defected and the loyalty of Cody and the other clone. By giving them more questionable mission objectives, then he could declare them traitors and continue to push for their replacement. So either way it was a win for the commander to help phase the clone troops out.

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That does make since. I really felt there was a no win situation for the clone troopers. It certainly made them feel expendable. That’s why even with the control chip, Clones started to just pushback and even dessert.

8/8 on the fifty-cal scale yet again!
This season has been absolutely fantastic.

Most of the story was pretty standard, but done very well. Racing, racers, racespeeders, all very nice.

Most notably to me, they canonized Nosaurians!

Also, they used the same voice actor who did Donatello (I think that’s his name? The purple one) in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles, and apparently the voice actor can only perform one character, because they’re carbon copies. Both even refer to themselves in the third person more than a mentally-stable person should.

And the absolute highlight of the episode, the Dowutin. From the character writing to the animation to the voice acting, absolutely flawless on every level. He has such a tremendous presence, he’s just wonderful. Perfect contrast to the Imperial “governor” from the previous episode, who had a high voice and no presence. Compare the cringing and throat clearing, for example.

Just… Wow. I’m a little blown away by the quality of this season after I thought the last one was a bit mediocre. Filoni needed three seasons to really get Clone Wars roaring, then two for Rebels, and now just one for Bad Batch. Color me impressed, and apparently just a tad oversaturated.

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I liked the treasure hunting adventure. I swear the writers must use SWRPG books to help develop characters like Phee Genoa the treasure hunter pirate.
I like the lore of an ancient race. Plus I thought the puzzle traps were interesting but not over the top. The Indiana Jones theme wasn’t too obvious. We will see if this is a one off story or has more to do with were the storyline is going.

Predictable, troped, quite enjoyable. 5/8 on the fifty-cal scale.

Poor walking tibanna gas can.

Indiana Jones theme was pretty obvious from the start, the pirating stuff was a bit on the nose, but all in all it was enjoyable, moreso than the rating would indicate.

I was unsurprised by the “impressionable young girl runs off with pirate” storyline, but was gratified and amused that her brothers/father came along. Hunter was the best part of this episode, especially when he’s fed up after the fall.

The only thing I didn’t expect was the “War of the Worlds”-like walker.

The episode wasn’t without issues, however.

  1. The “door.” When they shifted the lower rings, they would have blocked it off.
  2. The blaster-proof creature. They just took it too far, I think.
  3. The fall when the walker toppled should’ve killed them.
  4. Why was the clockwork walker there in the first place? Sure, there can be an explanation, it just seems odd and I’m wondering what that explanation is, because they treat it like a one-off, not something that’s going to be scattered all over the planet as relics of an old war.

Eh, episode six was rough. 3/8.

My problems are as follows:
A lot of the stuff in the episode was contradictory or didn’t make sense. Exhibit A being “Imperial tanks.” What clone would call AATs “Imperial tanks”? The Empire hasn’t even been shown to use them, or if they have not with the Bad Batch present. The more logical conclusion would be that the Trandoshans bought AATs from the Separatists.

The worldbuilding of Kashyyyk has certainly changed from Legends. The forest floor has certainly been de-mystified. All in all, I think it takes a lot of the gravity away from Kashyyyk; Fallen Order did it well.

The Kinraths are predators, and previously shown as being aggressive. If anything, showing yourself as a threat would make them more likely to ignore you, not the other way around. Being a warm-blooded food source walking around peacefully in a Kinrath nest would be essentially holding up a poster saying “come eat me, please!” and they’d probably take you up on the offer.

At any rate, their target discrimination is certainly impressive.

The mention of “significant deforestation” wasn’t really borne out by what we saw. There’s probably more, but those are the main points and this was just a downbeat episode. Hopefully the others are better.

Oh, one more thing. I know I’ve said it before, the Order 66 was the least effective “successful” purge in the history of purges. At this point, there are more Jedi confirmed as surviving the purge than as dying in it! It used to be special and interesting if a Jedi survived, but now it seems to be a matter of course.

Hopefully the next two are better.

Episode seven was quite a turn-around. 8/8 on the fifty cal scale, with a couple thousand-pound bombs thrown in for good measure. Wow!

Best thing I’ve watched in a very long time; the best of the Clone Wars, and somehow even better!

Everything was perfect, from top to bottom. Marvelous! Loved seeing Riyo Chuchi again, but doesn’t she sound suspiciously like Omega? Different actresses, I know, but the resemblance made me wonder.

Only thing that threw me for a loop all episode was the vocal similarities, and then I thought that Captain Rex was going to turn out to be Cody. Intentional misdirection or me reading too much into something, I don’t know, but this choice works at least as well as making it Cody, probably better.

The loyalty and competence of Riyo’s Pantoran guards impressed me (those sorts of characters are usually just cannon fodder), and I loved Slip’s escape, where it shows just how competent a random clone trooper can be.

Top to bottom, this episode was fantastic, and I probably didn’t even cover everything.

Worth noting that one of my players has a character named Cade. Disney loves stealing names from our games. :D

Oh, and an Easter egg where one of the screens in 79’s showed Tech’s race on whatever that other planet was.

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Episode eight was likewise fantastic. 8/8 on the fifty-cal scale.

Just excellent, top to bottom.
I’m a little concerned for Riyo’s political career after launching an attack on a Republic Venator and causing it to crash into its drydock, but we’ll just ignore that for now. ^_^

The political games, the reversal of fortunes, the Emperor’s manipulations, it’s all wonderful. It would’ve been a great season finale, but this is only the halfway point of the season!

I’m very much enjoying this show, and have been thrilled with (most of) it so far! I’m also very relieved that Trace and Rafa got mentioned without even being named or even shown. They are fully capable of immediately destroying any situation or media into which they thoughtlessly blunder.

Just … amazing. Season started off strong, and ran strong into the mid-point. I hope they keep it up!

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Nine and ten were… meh. Very typical “Oliver Twist”-style Disney villain, just generally unremarkable. I watched them a few days ago and just didn’t have much to say.

Eleven was excellent, and I really enjoyed the Zillo Beast stuff (6/8). However, my enjoyment was tainted by the severe significance dilution since we’ve had probably eight blaster-proof monsters just between the two seasons of Bad Batch, to say nothing of having just watched “let’s fight the giant blaster-proof creature” in the first episode of The Mandalorian. In all of The Clone Wars, I think we had maybe the Zillo beast, and that was it? Maybe some creatures who could take a hit or ten, but not the imperviousness we’ve been seeing recently.

They aren’t using the commandos like commandos, but if you replace the commandos with regular troopers the whole mad science project bit is great.

Hemlock’s (such a subtle name) maneuvering is excellent, and I’m enjoying the intrigue stuff. The way the Imperials swooped down on the planet to clean up the situation was excellent, and I enjoyed that immensely. Swift, brutal, and efficient.

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7/8 on the fifty-cal scale. This one was very good, with really the only issue being that with Mayday dying so soon, he was probably beyond help.

The animation was mind-blowingly excellent. The snow effects in particular were incredible. The style has grown so much over the last fifteen years (that’s right! Fifteen years since the Clone Wars movie!), and just as an example compare the snow here to the snow in Trespass.

I’m really appreciating the more serious episodes, and this one definitely upholds that. The character design for Mayday and his men was excellent, as was that for the “raiders.” It gives a more gritty, veteran, “I don’t care about the regs anymore, we’ve been stuck out here way too long” feel to it that I really enjoy.

I do question calling Mayday a “commander,” though, but Star Wars has always been iffy when it comes to ranks. They did nail the squad-size though, it being nine clones plus a sergeant, since really that’s what Mayday seems to have been. Otherwise the Lieutenant wouldn’t have been able to give him any orders and Mayday wouldn’t have only had a squad.


6/8 on the fifty-cal scale.

This was a generally okay episode, nothing too spectacular either good or bad. Only thing I really have to point out is the “there’s too many!” “We should deploy the rescue ladders!” Just… Why did you do that in the first place? Anyway.

The opening scene was a pretty good negotiation/double-cross, my problem isn’t with that, just with the trope. If you double-cross your clients, it’s pretty hard to run a black-market business because people stop trusting you. The only other thing was the tree thing. It didn’t look very artifact-y or very valuable at all. It seemed like a pretty standard pottery/porcelain household decoration, certainly not worth a briefcase of credits.

Anyway, the story structure was pretty good regardless and I enjoyed it, but the island is an interesting worldbuilding puzzle. It’s so densely covered in habitation that there is a decided lack of accessible natural resources, and the lack of obvious factories makes it seem that they import a great deal of their manufactured goods, even the simple ones. Not only is that very expensive, but they would’ve also had to import the majority of their basic building materials unless they have an off-screen quarry, like on a nearby island.

Food is covered by fish from the sea, and I don’t know enough about the economics of fishing to say whether it could support a population that dense, but it’s all very interesting, and that tension leads to a lot of problems when they get hit by a tsunami that wipes out the lower levels with no commensurate loss of life. Now you have the same population, but half as much housing, to say nothing of the material and job loss as businesses, merchandise, and equipment are all wiped out.

Tech’s estimation of “several rotations” only works if he really meant years, because yikes. <_<

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Tech and Phee specifically discussed that. Its value was to some of the refugees on Pabu. The most logical conclusion is that either they were willing to pay that price for a piece of home, or Phee was willing to pay that price for them (given her character, though, likely expecting the double-cross and that she’d grab the credits back).

But why would they offer that much to begin with, or why would it even be on the black market, much less priced that highly? The “artifact” itself appears very unremarkable, so what gives it its value to anyone who doesn’t have a sentimental connection to it?

I might be willing to spend a ton of money on a given thing, but if it’s priced for $10 I’m not going to spend $100.