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Star Wars: The Bad Batch - Replacements - Review

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The Bad Batch episode three continues the strong but familiar form of the series as we run into some turbulence with Clone Force 99 themselves. In a sequence reminiscent of Empire Strikes Back the Clones find themselves on an abandoned, bug-infested planet running low on supplies – it’s good to see this series address elements like this which almost gives it a Battlestar Galactica or Stargate Universe type feel – they’re running low on resources and may have to take on jobs that they don’t want in order to get what they’re looking for.

I do feel that the issues still remain with some of the dialogue not being quite ready yet for the series, it feels a bit uneven in parts – issues still remain with the first two episodes in that it can’t quite decide who its audience is, and the dynamic between Hunter and Omega is ripped straight out of The Mandalorian. But found family is always one of the franchise’s biggest strengths, and we’ve seen different variations of it played out tried and tested over and over again across the Star Wars universe.

The Bad Batch has at least worked out that it isn’t afraid to go to dark places and much of this episode is devoted to Crosshair as a character and setting up what his role in the series as the primary antagonist is going to be. We get moments throughout the episode that have shown that the clones themselves still miss Crosshair, but when they’ve made him so creepy and unhinged right from the start it’s hard to find any sympathy with him especially when he’s so ruthless from the get go, doing what needs to be done – Saw Guerra is no longer with the refugees of course, and whilst the new proto-Death Troopers are reluctant at first to kill civilians, Crosshair reminds them why the non-cloned soldiers are there in the first place. He reminds me instantly of an Imperial Guard Commissar in Warhammer 40k, unafraid to kill his own men to ensure that the job gets done the way it should. There’s also a lot of Imperial Guard in the restructuring of the Empire’s army – the gradual transition towards conscripted units would eventually lead to a young Han Solo joining in Solo.

It’s cool to get some development with Omega as a character and the little touches that the show does to make her feel part of the crew the more the series progresses are welcome – seeing Omega get her own bed put together by Wrecker was a heart-warming moment that was needed at the end of an otherwise incredibly bleak thirty minutes.

The world-building for me still remains the biggest draw of this series and that hasn’t changed. Seeing so much inner workings of the Kaminoan society instantly lets us know where they stand versus the Empire and we’re almost certainly going to see further confrontation there. It’s well documented what happened to Kamino in Star Wars Legends, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the fall of the planet and the potential end of the Clones as a functional army unit played a big role beyond this first season and into the entire series.

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