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Star Wars: The Bad Batch - Decommissioned & Battle Scars - Review

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The Bad Batch 1.06: "Decommissioned" - Review:

The Bad Batch episode six signified a much-needed improvement over the case of the week but with a cameo-type storytelling that we’ve been introduced to in the series so far, as the group stumble across the Martez sisters whilst pulling off a job searching for a tactical droid, a relic of the Clone Wars, in a droid factory. It’s a pretty solid episode, and it’s no coincidence that it’s an improvement on what came before, out of the two individual story arcs in the last Clone Wars series, it was the Martez’ storyline that I preferred, and it was a joy seeing them back – and it makes sense to bring them back more than anybody else here, as the characters are paired up with the Bad Batch by the fact that they’re part of the same respective series, even if they haven’t met before now.

What follows is a fairly standard Star Wars episode that follows the Clones getting into fights, working with the Martez sisters eventually coming to an understanding. It’s a rinse-and-repeat of the Clones using unorthodox methods to get the job done with Tech eventually getting the Tactical Droid to help lead an army of super battle droids into battle vs security droids, and in the grand scheme of things it’s a relatively disposable fight – but the action is well choreographed and instantly likeable. Seeing how the Martez sisters have evolved since The Clone Wars almost makes me wish we’d spent time following them during this period instead of the Bad Batch – but what perhaps is more pressing, and more prevalent in this episode is the attention on Wrecker – whose bond with Omega is fleshed out giving them both a sense of connection. Omega’s practice with her bow gives the show a mini-arc for her character, and even though the conveyer belt method is tried and tested it does give her some creative action set-piece of her own. Elsewhere, Rafa and Echo got a fun one liner where Rafa asked if there was an Echo in the room, to add some light hearted humour to a fun episode.

Wrecker now has another hit on the head as a result of his desire to get into a conflict – and sooner, rather than later, the chips in the head of the Bad Batch are about to become a ticking time bomb. At the moment the Batch themselves are just running mercenary jobs – but it was interesting to see them start to develop a personality and question why they’re doing certain jobs as a result of this encounter with the Martez sisters – who tell them to pick a side.

The Bad Batch 1.07: "Battle Scars" - Review:

Battle Scars picked up from where we left off at the end of Decommissioned with the anonymous figure making himself known to the Batch themselves, and to their delight, it’s Rex – who of course was going to show up in the show at one point and the fact that he’s here, now, makes it a wonderful opportunity to not only push the Batch back into the threat of being activated by Order 66, but also continue to explore what they’re doing and what they’re fighting for. I liked the importance that Omega has to him as a revelation and seeing her learn that there was one regular clone that they liked was an important character-building moment, just as Rex came clean about the dangers of the inhibitor chip – he’s clearly expressed regret about what he’s done to Ahsoka in the past and their conflict in that season of The Clone Wars makes Decommissioned and Battle Scars feel like epilogues to both respectively, picking up leftover threads in a wider galaxy.

This isn’t the last time that we’re going to see Rex or the Martez sisters, I think – and both feel among the more relevant cameos to the plot that we’ve had so far. Rex taking the Clones back to a graveyard of ships and the exploration of an old Jedi cruiser allowed for some fascinating character-building whilst also making light-work of some action along the way, adding just the right amount of tension to the plot that moves beyond, for the first real time, just another standard fetch-and-retrieve mission. This is the direction that The Bad Batch should be pressing towards – Omega and Wrecker get the emotional core of the episode and it’s clear that their friendship is one of the series’ biggest strengths’, acting as the real heart to the matter. Giving Wrecker some depth was the best thing that The Bad Batch has done so far, it makes it so much more impactful when he tries to hunt down Omega – moreso than had any of the other clones turned. It’s doubly heartbreaking because we know that Wrecker, like all of the Clones, has no control over the situation – and possibly spells hope for a Crosshair redemption arc should the show opt to go down that route in the future.

I did like the tie-in in the Venator-class ship to Jedi: Fallen Order on Bracca, and it’s no surprise that the popcorn that Wrecker and Omega have developed into a mission routine is found at Galaxy’s Edge. Some tie-ins work better than others, but I do like how despite everything the show remains broadly accessible to those who have just watched the movies – but the more familiar you are with the wider expanded universe, the better.

Two great episodes in a row allow for The Bad Batch to truly find its feet. Grounding it and giving it a sense of purpose as the Clones figure out what theirs is in a galaxy where the very early days of the Rebellion is coming together (will we get a Cassian Andor cameo?) is paying off divdends and I can’t wait to see what lies in store next, in what is sure – now that the salvage guild are aware of the Batch themselves – going to be an action-packed episode.

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