X-Geeks

The Bad Batch (Season 1) – Episode 11: Devil’s Deal Review

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

Ryloth and Twi’leks and Death, oh my! Yes, this week’s episode of The Bad Batch was a little different, and I think it worked perfectly!

For starters, Clone Force 99 and Omega get less than several minutes of screen time, but in the context of the episode, it actually works rather well! This very much felt like an episode of The Clone Wars, where the main story and characters were off in the background and we switched our attention on to other struggles and stories! In this case, we followed the Syndulla family and the Empire’s occupation of the Twi’lek home world of Ryloth.

Now, if you are familiar with The Clone Wars or Rebels, the Syndulla family will be much known to you, or at least Cham and Hera Syndulla will. This episode actually gives us our first real look at the matriarch of the Syndulla clan, Eleni. It was very nice to see them interacting as a family in this way and really hammered home the emotional beats of the main story within the episode.

Ryloth has always had it bad, and despite ‘winning’ their freedom after the end of the Clone Wars, Ryloth is now under the boot of the Empire. But as tragic as their plight always is, there is so much beauty to Ryloth, and once again, in The Bad Batch, some of the establishing shots are simply breath-taking! The red and burned tones blended perfectly together. It’s safe to say that, so far, The Bad Batch has been one of the most aesthetically pleasing Star Wars animated shows to date!

A well-crafted, family-orientated storyline, a stunning setting and exciting action – I think this is one of my favourite episodes of The Bad Batch so far, and it didn’t really feature the main cast! This bodes well for future episodes should they feel the need to flesh out these early days of the galaxy under the rule of the first Galactic Empire!

The Bad Batch – Devil’s Deal was a fun and enjoyable outing and it didn’t really feature the titular characters! This surprising twist didn’t feel out of place and there was plenty of exciting action coupled with an engaging story. This feels like a part 1 and if it’s not next week, I am very eager to see the conclusion to this story – hopefully by including Clone Force 99 into the mix!

The Bad Batch Spoiler Chat:

Hera & Chopper – Hera Syndulla is one of my favourite Star Wars characters so I was very excited when I released we would be getting a backstory episode! While she hides it in Rebels, for the most part, her Twi’lek accent is very pronounced here and Vanessa Marshall did a great job in making Hera sound age appropriate. Her desire to become a pilot and her innocence made her very endearing in this episode. In terms of Droids, Chopper is another favourite of mine (in fact he might just pip R2!) so it was great to have him included here and he was everything that makes his character so unique.

Cham & Eleni Syndulla – Robin Atkin Downes reprises his role as Cham, Hera’s father, and he is one of the more fleshed out secondary characters in the Star Wars animated universe. The episodes involving the struggles on Ryloth have always been memorable, and that was no different here. Cham is ready to put down his blaster to allow peace, but after Hera was taken by the Empire, that acted as the catalyst that put him back on the freedom fighter path! One character who was new was Hera’s mother, Eleni. Now, we know she dies at some point during the resistance movements fight with the Empire, so if we are to return to this story, which could be something we get into and see the aftermath in terms of what impact this has on Hera.

Sanator Taa – Taa was never a fan of Cham and his freedom fighters, and that was once again emphasised here. Desperate to keep hold of his position, he was eager to turn the public perception of the Syndulla’s to solidify his powerbase on Ryloth. Ultimately this cost him his life, and he was assassinated by Crosshair as part of Rampart’s plan to take control of the planet and turn the people against the freedom fighter movement. A fitting end.
Gobi Glie – Corey Burton is back to voice Gobi, who we saw throughout The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Again, like Taa and Cham, it was nice to have some familiar faces back who are known to us from other shows.

Captain Howzer – I liked Howzer, which probably means should he return to our screens he’ll be killed! Unlike the other troopers, post-Order 66, he seems still have a conscience and doesn’t follow orders blindly. There is that hint of hesitation in addition to a clear sign of loyalty to Cham in particular. He also has great hair!

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