Last two episodes weren’t great, but I really liked this one. I’ll talk about episode five first, since I’m a bit negative about the previous two.
Episode five: Whoo! That was fun. I loved seeing Ord Mantell. One of my favorite locations. The animation was breathtaking, as always, and they did a fantastic job with the animals.
I’m still really holding out hope that Omega isn’t Force sensitive, but my hope is diminishing with every passing episode. I just want new stories disconnected from Palpatine (except as a distant factor for being the government) and the Jedi, and I thought that was where Bad Batch was going. It also seems like it may be skating too close to a repackaging of The Mandalorian.
As soon as I saw the bottom half of a Twi’lek’s head, I realized that it was Jabba’s rancor. Or at least a rancor belonging to Jabba.*
Wrecker boxing a rancor was fun, though seeing him get up from being thrown headfirst into a rockpile after what we saw in episode four seemed a bit incongruous.
Episode three: Very meh. Felt like filler, and they didn’t do a good job with the stormtroopers. “First of our elite troopers”? Really? Have they had any training yet? Where’d you get them from? What conditioning did they go through before sending them into a “loyalty testing” scenario? If you send them straight into “kill civilians” mode before any indoctrination or conditioning, you’re going to lose a lot of potentially useful recruits, and may end up training people who have already developed significant resistance to your propaganda (since they already see how evil you are), even if fear keeps them in line for now. Down the line, there’s a decent chance they desert or have mental problems (potentially including suicide) from having been forced to gun down civilians while not yet indoctrinated.
Add that fire is a terrible way to go, and to be the one flamethrowing civilians is definitely going to be terribly scarring experience unless you’re an unhinged sadist.
It’s been what, a few weeks at most? I can buy that they passed boot camp, but Navy SEAL training takes a year to graduate, and there’s still about a year and a half of training before deployment. That’s elite. A private fresh out of boot camp? Not elite. So many problems.
It wouldn’t be too hard to correct that with mention of them being farmed from PDF special forces or something, even then, you still have to train with the squad, learn SOPs, the new organization’s culture and methodology, etc. Felt very lazy, half-baked, and poorly executed.
Plus eye rolls at boxcheck squad.
Episode four: I enjoyed it, but it was mediocre. One of my largest issues was just how easily everybody got knocked out, especially Wrecker (who then had a boxing match with an adolescent rancor in the next episode).
Also, shouldn’t there have been more Pantorans on Pantora? You aren’t even restricted by makeup costs for only having human actors.
I noticed they recycled models for New Mandalorian civilians. I was quite amused. It’s perfectly reasonable to do so, but it tickled me (honestly, that’s probably why there were few Pantorans. They didn’t have many Pantoran models to grab from, or the budget/willingness to invest in making more).
*It’s a small world, after all… From Jabba’s rancor to Fennec Shand, it’s a small world, after all.
I really wish they’d do more to introduce new characters. It’s a big galaxy, we don’t need to have the same small roster of characters. Seeing Derrown in the background of a random cantina, sure that’s a fun Easter egg. But splicing around characters like this seems unnecessary and excessive. In Clone Wars, there were many new characters introduced, or one-timers who appeared for just one episode and then scampered off to parts unknown.
Now, this is not to say that you can’t write more stories about a particular character, but merely an objection to how all of these characters’ paths intersect so easily and frequently. If it happened occasionally, I’d go “Oh, that’s so cool!” but when it becomes predictable and happens constantly, it becomes less of a “They met someone I know!” than a “I wonder which characters they’re going to meet?”
Also, sometimes they stretch the timeline a bit in order to accommodate the small world. With Bo Katan in The Mandalorian, she’d be about sixty (old enough to be her actress’s mother, and actresses usually look even younger than they are anyway). Fennec Shand looks about 40 or so in The Mandalorian, which is probably a few years younger than Ming-Na Wen given Hollywood’s Faustian bargains of agelessness…
*Does a quick Google.* SHE’S FIFTY-EIGHT!?!
Okay. Well. She aged quite gracefully. That’s Hollywood for ya.
Still, it seems a bit of a stretch that Shand would still be that fit and active as a field operative at fifty.
[Edit: I think I may have overdone it. Oh, well. Enjoy. :P]