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Star Wars: The Bad Batch - Kamino Lost - Review

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Too little too late, The Bad Batch gives us what it really should have been giving us all along, a focused, tight episode that gives us the Batch as actual characters rather than just as means to get cameos from more established Star Wars characters back for fans to go “hey, I know that character” - in the best episode apart from maybe the excellent Battle Scars, another high point of Season 1. After a very hit and miss first season we come full circle back to Kamino for the end of the prequel era aesthetics in Star Wars, one of the things about this season that has been successful has been the bridging of the gap between the prequels and the sequels in terms of narrative and now we’re seeing a roundabout pathway into the new environment for the characters – the last echoes of the old world for them are dead, Kamino is lost forever – and they’re more alone than ever before.

The character work in Kamino Lost was largely exceptional – the stuff with Crosshair especially. Crosshair doesn’t have a chip in his system and with it taken out he still wants to work for the Empire but does the Empire still want him? In a series of stop-and-start chases through the underwater environment of Kamino, Kamino Lost saw Omega save Crosshair acting as the empath of the group as ever, and in turn, Crosshair save Omega as they were pulled to the watery surface of the planet towards the end of the episode. Crosshair may not quite be Team Bad Batch yet, but in an age where it seems like every Imperial officer defects to join the Rebellion (I’m looking at Star Wars: Squadrons and Star Wars Battlefront II as recent examples, and Claudia Gray’s fantastic YA novel Lost Stars also had this) and while it’s usually handled well, giving Crosshair a slower way to get out of the Empire – if he even ever does – shows that the path to redemption especially for a character who believes so much in what he’s doing is right, is going to be slow. It’s going to be turbulent and uneasy, and there are going to be several stops and starts. But he’s come to recognise that like Dominic Toretto, the Batch are family – and nothing can separate them from each other.

The animation has been mostly stellar on The Bad Batch and it looks cinema-worthy in places in this finale, the destruction of Kamino was a real spectacle that the writers needed to deliver on and they more than hit the ground running. We get to see the end of the iconography of the Clone Wars on full display, and as the show shifts closer and closer to the timeline of the sequels, Season 2 sets up plenty of interesting possibilities. I'm assuming this won't be the last we'll see of Rex but hopefully the writers will tone down on the cameos going forward as they've easily been the weakest element of an otherwise flawed-but-promising first season. Don't forget - both Rebels (less so) and The Clone Wars both got off to shaky starts so hopefully The Bad Batch can follow in their footsteps and give its excellent animation the story that it deserves.

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