Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Reel Thoughts: ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’ hits its stride in season three for satisfying conclusion

Doctor+Hemlock%E2%80%99s+secret+base+on+the+planet+Tantiss+looms+large+over+the+entire+season.
Illustration by Danny O’Grady
Doctor Hemlock’s secret base on the planet Tantiss looms large over the entire season.

This review contains spoilers.

Just as the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” reached its inevitable conclusion in 2020, so too has its spiritual successor “Star Wars: The Bad Batch,” ending its three-season run. Its recently released final season may be some of the best animated Star Wars television produced to date.

Season one was a strong start that established the themes and overarching plot of the show. Season two expanded on the skeleton outlined in the first season but made several noticeable mistakes along the way. Thankfully, season three rectified most of these mistakes and ushered in a satisfying conclusion for the beloved characters.

Most notable among the mistakes made in season two were its filler episodes that did not progress the story. Simply put, while you could get away with skipping an episode in season two, you can’t in season three.

Season three has its missteps, but not nearly as faulty as the mistakes made in season two. For instance, the cliffhanger ending of season two which revealed Dr. Karr (Keisha Castle-Hughes) as Omega’s sister didn’t materialize into anything substantial. Additionally, some minor plot holes conveniently make it possible for the Bad Batch to finish their mission.

Cutting out the filler episodes left a final season that progresses at a nice pace and leans on the strength of its characters. Each member of the Bad Batch (all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) has true character development from the beginning to the end of the series. For instance, the batch treated Omega (Michelle Ang) as cargo at first but quickly made her a part of their family. The character growth is tangible, making it easy to root for the protagonists.

The Bad Batch also did not fall into pitfalls other recent Star Wars shows did. While “Ahsoka” utterly failed to produce a compelling villain to counter the protagonists, “The Bad Batch” does not struggle with this in the slightest. Doctor Royce Hemlock (Jimmi Simpson) is one of the most captivating villains “Star Wars” has produced in a long time. He is intimidating and scary as all memorable villains are, but what makes him stand out is his conniving brain. Hemlock is always a step ahead of the Batch and seems to have a plan for every possible action they take.

Supporting the main cast is a group of fan-favorite characters that make brief cameos throughout the season. Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman) returns for the first time since the end of the Clone Wars. The only problem with the cameo is that it doesn’t advance the plot and leaves the audience with questions about her future. The cameo of notorious bounty hunter Cad Bane (Corey Burton) is handled slightly better, with actions that directly contribute to the plot.

Only the most dedicated and eagle-eyed fans will see the cameo from Scorch (Dee Bradley Baker) from the 2005 video game “Star Wars: Republic Commando.” The character makes an appearance as an assistant to Doctor Hemlock. These cameos help tie the events of “The Bad Batch” into the Star Wars universe and act as a welcome fan service.

The climactic finale wraps up all major plot points in a satisfying way and cements the Bad Batch’s place in the Star Wars universe. This final season is bolstered by a top-notch villain, a well-paced story and fun cameos while it is only occasionally tripped up by minor plot holes. This is some of the best Star Wars animated television ever made and it manages to match the high-quality mark set by “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” while also respecting its legacy.

Email: [email protected]
X: @DannyMOGrady04

Related Stories:
Reel Thoughts: ‘The Bad Batch’ season 2 stumbles at first, but recovers for a memorable finish
Reel Thoughts: ‘Ahsoka’ is a good show held back by unforgivable flaws
Reel Thoughts: ‘Andor’ is a fantastic expansion to the galaxy far, far away

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