TV Review / Recap – “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” Two-Part Season 2 Premiere – “Spoils of War” / “Ruins of War”

It’s been nearly a year and a half in real-world time since we last saw Clone Force 99 in action on the small screen, and now that Lucasfilm’s animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch has finally returned for its second season on Disney+, it definitely feels good to have them back.

Since the end of season one and the destruction of the cloning facility on Kamino, it seems that the titular Bad Batch has strived to stay off the Empire’s radar, continuing to work jobs for the Trandoshan entrepreneur Cid (voiced by Rhea Perlman) and hiding out on the mid-rim planet of Ord Mantell.

In fact, the second-season premiere “Spoils of War” opens in medias res on one of these jobs, which proves to be especially dangerous as the members of the Bad Batch are attacked by enormous crab-like creatures while retrieving an Imperial stash for Cid on a tropical planet. When Clone Force 99 returns to Ord Mantell with their plunder, they find Cid meeting with a mysterious woman named Phee Genoa (comedian Wanda Sykes) who has provided the Trandoshan with some valuable information. It seems the Imperials are cleaning out the former palace of Count Dooku on the planet Serenno, and Cid wants the Bad Batch to travel there and recover part of Dooku’s “war chest” before the Empire gets its hands on all of it. Hunter (voice actor Dee Bradley Baker, who plays all the male clones of Jango Fett) is initially hesitant about the job, but Cid insists it’s the perfect way for Clone Force 99 to finally win their freedom. So they make their way to the Outer Rim aboard the Marauder, and en route Omega (Michelle Ang) overhears Echo saying that she is the reason the Bad Batch is constantly on the run from the Empire, which of course makes her feel pretty guilty.

Arriving on Serenno, the clones see Imperial forces loading up hundreds of crates from Dooku’s holding to take off-planet, and when they sneak onto a cargo container to claim some of the prize for themselves, they are discovered and the shipment takes off for space with Omega, Echo, and Tech aboard. On the surface, Hunter and Wrecker are bombarded by regular (or “reg,” as they call them) clone troopers, while the others scramble to find a way off the departing cargo ship– which proves especially difficult after its crew ejects all of the escape pods. After a cliffhanger ending, the second episode of this two-parter, entitled “Ruins of War,” begins with Tech, Echo, and Omega plummeting back toward Serenno in another cargo container, headed for a crash landing in the forest. After surviving the crash, they meet a Serennian named Romar Adell (guest star Hector Elizondo of Pretty Woman fame), who takes them in and opens their eyes to the reality behind Dooku’s war chest and the Imperial presence on the planet. Romar also observes that Omega has become fixated on recovering treasure to help the Bad Batch recover their freedom, instead of enjoying her life like a normal child would.

As Wrecker and Hunter battle their way out of the ruins of Serenno’s capital city Carannia, which has been destroyed via orbital attack much like Kamino, the group is reunited when Romar saves Omega and Echo from falling to their deaths when the younger clone returns to the cargo container– now dangling over a deep chasm– to recover some of its holdings. In a moment reminiscent of the climax of Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Echo manages to convince Omega to let the war chest go, and that the Bad Batch will find a way to survive without it. Then Clone Force 99 bids farewell to Romar, who says he will stay behind and defy the Empire on Serenno, and travel on their way. The episode ends with Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal) murdering clone Captain Wilco in cold blood in order to preserve the secret that the Bad Batch has survived. Overall it’s a pretty decent and fairly exciting way to kick off season two, though I found some of the writing to be overly simplistic, and I had trouble buying that Echo would say such potentially hurtful things within earshot of Omega on the Marauder. Otherwise I’d say this series has maintained the qualities of its first season, and I was especially impressed by the visuals of its animation and background illustrations, which are rather gorgeously rendered. With 16 total episodes in the season, we’ve got a few months of The Bad Batch ahead of us, and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how this cast of characters evolves over their further adventures in the Star Wars galaxy.

New episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch are released Wednesdays, exclusively via Disney+.

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