X-Geeks

The Bad Batch (Season 1) – Episode 3: Replacements Review

By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

Having been thrown out of hyperspace, thanks to their damaged ship, The Bad Batch are temporarily marooned on a dark and foreboding planet. As you can imagine, the focus of the episode was based around fixing the ship but with some external threat, in this case an Ordo Moon Dragon, a creature that feeds on energy. We’ve seen this type of story previously on The Clone Wars, and while a lot of the beats are the same, the uniqueness of the location and local wildlife made for interesting viewing all the same.

Omega and Hunter pair up to track down a missing powercell and we see more glimpses of their faux father-daughter relationship. Between this and the crash landing stuff, it was nice to see Omega becoming more hands on in the group and not just someone who needs to be protected. She showed a lot of independence and the final scene in the episode was incredibly touching.

On Kamino, we focus on Crosshair and his new team of non-clone elites. The tension between the Prime Minister and Tarkin continues to grow, with the debate over clones versus conscripts taking centre stage. This new team is sent to finish off the job that Clone Force 99 refused to do, take out Saw’s camp. What followed was truly shocking! Now, we are used to seeing death in The Clone Wars, but this is usually alien on alien or droid on human and vice versa. So it takes a lot of the brutality away. You can decapitate a droid and it be fine, because previously they’ve made it comical. But what takes place enters war crimes territory without a single joke or wink! I was genuinely shocked to see how far this episode went in terms of how it handled life and death.

I think this episode achieved a lot more of its goal’s, in terms of the direction the story and certain characters are heading. There was plenty of setup for future pathways and they teased a few things, without really saying it. So it will be interesting to see what happens next.

The Bad Batch – Replacements was another solid episode and the show continues to trickle out information and setup for the upcoming episodes. This felt like the most ‘adult’ Star Wars animation has been and while I don’t expect it every episode, it does indicate that they are not afraid to pull their punches when necessary!

The Bad Batch Spoiler Chat:

Crashing Landing/Wrecker – Wrecker – “Get ready for your first crash landing!” – I can’t help but feel this is a meta joke for the fans… if you don’t know, “crashing” was an almost weekly occurrence in The Clone Wars. Speaking of Wrecker, despite his lovely gesture of creating Omega’s bedroom, is anyone else a little concerned in regards to his head? Ok, he could have banged it as a result of the crash, but is his chip in fact on the verge of kicking in? There were more than few warning signs.

Crosshair’s Redemption – When Omega pulled out Crosshair’s equipment case, this scene triggered to conversation about how it was the chip’s fault, rather than Crosshair’s, for turning on his teammates. Now, I’m not saying I want him back on their side, as he makes for a compelling villain, but the seeds have been planted in this episode that we could see Crosshair re-join The Bad Batch if they can manage to remove or deactivate his control chip.

Project War Mantle – A reference from Rogue One! These top recruits are to be placed under the command of Crosshair. We are introduced to .Their assault on the camp was pretty strong, especially when you consider this is still kid’s show! There is straight up murder. It was quite shocking to be honest. In the past, The Clone Wars got around some dark moments by cutaway shots and not really showing things. But here? It was a full on massacre and I was very shocked to see how far they pushed the chaos and death.

Admiral Rampart – With Tarkin seemingly heading off-world, it would appear that Rampart will be the new weekly on-screen ‘head villain’. He’s pushing hard for his new elite squad and it is obvious that he is no fan of Clones. With Tarkin removed, you don’t have that plot armour around anymore, here we have a new character, of which anything can happen to. So it just makes for more interest overall.

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