Star Wars The Bad Batch: Entombed

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The Bad Batch crossover into the new National Treasure series and become treasure hunters.

My, my we are in a bad pattern of episodes with these last two, both of which have been the very definition of filler, and whilst last weeks’ at least gave Tech some nice hero moments this one is even worse and marches into tedious territory quickly.

I think my main issue with this episode is that it didn’t feel like Star Wars to me, treasure hunting is at the core of many great franchises but in my mind never Star Wars, I suppose that is why the sequel trilogy that was very MacGuffin searching heavy was so bad.

Also this was a very Omega heavy episode, and many of you who have read my other reviews know my thoughts on her, whenever she is the primary focus of an episode you know you are in for a bad time and or filler. Honestly, when you compare this episode to the Crosshair/Commander Cody one from a few weeks ago it is night and day.

I am also fairly bored already of the new pirate character, they will never replace Hondo and I question why they are even bothering to try.

Overall, an even worse episode than last week’s filler-fest.

1.5/5

Pros.

It is watchable

Hunter’s reactions were quite funny

Cons.

The new pirate character is deeply bland

Omega is as annoying as ever

It doesn’t feel like Star Wars

It is boring

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Star Wars The Bad Batch: Faster

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The Bad Batch get involved in riot racing.

This was a filler episode, no ifs ands or buts about it. Nothing even remotely interesting happened here, and even the tease of finding out more about Sid’s backstory fails to move me as she is already a pretty dull character and I would rather know more about Cody or Rex when it came to supporting characters.

The racing plot line was as dull as they come, but it was nice to see Ben Schwartz voice the cocky racing droid that then almost immediately gets smashed. Schwartz brought some fun to what was otherwise an incredibly dry episode.

The only thing I liked about this episode was that again it gave Tech a moment to shine, I am glad of this as other than once earlier in the second season he really hasn’t had many heroic moments and has been somewhat of a forgotten member of the gang, so it is nice to see him having these moments.

Overall, a dull episode that is probably best skipped.

2.5/5

Pros.

Schwartz

Tech having more moments to shine

It is very watchable

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Star Wars The Bad Batch: The Solitary Clone

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Crosshair continues on his journey as the Empire’s killing machine and Commander Cody makes a return.

I thought this was the best episode of The Bad Batch yet, there was something so mature and dark about this episode that I really enjoyed, it played with the idea of disillusionment and clinging on to belief simply for the sake of believing. I thought Commander Cody and Crosshair really played off each other well both on and off the battlefield, and I think bringing back Cody was a stroke of genius.  I think it is highly likely the show will bring him back in the future and that is a good thing, I think this second season is building towards Crosshair defecting from the Empire and re-joining his old team.

On top of all this the action in this episode is fantastic, far, far better than what the show has been putting out in the past and it also really highlights Crosshairs specific set of skills, the trick shot he does to take out the commander droid is a sight to behold and really gives him a moment to shine.

Overall, one of the best episodes of the show yet, only let down by its short length.

Pros.

The focus on Crosshair

Showing off Crosshair’s skills

Commander Cody

The thing this episode sets up for later in the season

The return of more Clone Wars characters

Cons.

It was too short

4.5/5

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Star Wars The Bad Batch: Ruins Of War

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Clone Force 99 battle to get off world.

I thought that this second part of the season opener really delivered on what the first set up, we got far more action which was nice to see and also a greater sense of goings on in the Galaxy at that time and off Imperial intrigue.

I liked that this episode gave Tech a heroic arc, as often he is the forgotten about or overlooked member of the group usually only appearing to offer a Deus Ex Machina escape when things seem dire. I thought seeing him try to fight off the clones whilst being wounded was a nice little bit of character progression for him.

The one thing I didn’t like about this episode which will be very familiar to those of you who read my first season reviews for this show is how Omega and Echo interact. The whole thing of Omega trying to prove her worth and then making things worse and needing to be rescued isn’t endearing it is irritating. In many senses the show would be a lot better off without Omega, but Star Wars just has to have that adult child bonding these days so she sticks around.

Overall, a good episode that really delivered on the action front.

4/5

Pros.

The action

The ending

The wider world tease and Imperial intrigue

Giving Tech his moment in the sun

Cons.

The forced in Echo/Omega plot line and the cheap forced emotion of it

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Star Wars The Bad Batch: Spoils Of War

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Clone Force 99 are back with a mission that sees them return to the base of the infamous Count Dooku.

I enjoyed this episode through a nostalgic lens as it showed us Dooku’s castle from Clone Wars in a way it had never really been presented to us before and we saw new depths and layers to it.

I also liked the fact the Clones are talking about doing more and joining in more formally with the Rebellions efforts, I think in many senses this is the show setting things up for later in the season, but it is an interesting tease as it could go in so many different ways and could end up in a return of some of our favourite characters.

My criticism of this episode would come from the fact that it was a little slow, the action side of things definitely favours the part two of this two parter, but that is not to say that this episode is boring as things do happen just not as many as you would like.

Overall, a solid start to the season that opens a number of interesting doors.

3/5

Pros.

Talking about being involved in the wider Rebellion and teasing things to come

The return to Dooku’s castle

It is good to see the characters back in action

Cons.

It is a little slow at times and the action is a thin

There is some pacing issues with the episode as the relatively short runtime turns into a slog

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Andor: Rix Road

3/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Things come to a head at the funeral of Maarva, played by Fiona Shaw.

In many senses this finale felt cathartic after all the build up of previous episodes as we do see some full scale signs of rebellion against the Empire, but I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed that more didn’t happen.

I think the main issue for me with this episode is that it lacked stakes, unlike other episodes that have perfectly encapsulated this idea of grit and that anyone can die at any time, this one felt very plot armour heavy as you knew none of the important characters were going to die and that is where the episode lost me.

I liked the ending of the episode wherein Cassian, played by Diego Luna, finally confronts Luthen, played by Stellan Skarsgard, and thought that it teased interesting things to come, but therein lies another issue with this show a lot of it is teasing things to come rather than delivering answers to big mysteries or giving us set pieces, which again is both a blessing and a curse.

Overall, a good season finale that would have been better if it had been bolder.

Pros.

The ending

The first signs of large scale rebellion

A good pace

It teases a lot of interesting directions for the next season

Cons.

There is a lot of plot armour going round and it effects the stakes of the show

It teases more than it delivers

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Andor: Daughter Of Ferrix

2/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Cassian, played by Diego Luna, experiences a loss and Mon Mothma, played by Genevieve O’Reilly, edges closer to marrying off her daughter in exchange for help moving her rebellion earmarked funds around.

This was probably the weakest episode of the show so far, nothing really happened and at best it was boring. The focus on Mon Mothma is really what hurt this episode as a lot of the early season promise the character had has been widely lost by now, and the character mainly exists to show awkward party scenes and scheming that never really seems to amount to anything.

The Luthen, played by Stellan Skarsgard, and Saw, played by Forest Whittaker storyline is slightly better and more interesting as we see the walls start to close in around Luthen to an extent and see him re-characterised in the context of shifting power dynamics.

Overall, a fairly boring episode wherein nothing of any note happens.

Pros.

Luthen is finally facing resistance from the Empire

It is watchable

Cons.

Nothing much happens

Mon Mothma is being wasted

It is boring

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Andor: One Way Out

4/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Cassian, played by Diego Luna, finally busts out of prison.

The three episode structure of this show is really becoming quite trite, it was pretty clear before this episode even started that Cassian would be getting out of prison this episode as it was time for this mini arc to end. The show really needs to start mixing things up.

However, that gripe aside this was an incredibly strong episode and probably one of the best segments of Star Wars media in a long time. I think the power of this episode came almost exclusively from Andy Serkis’ Kino as he becomes a rebel leader and gives one hell of a speech, it is a shame where the episode leaves him and hopefully he comes back at some point, but I think that in terms of looking at the early Rebellion his whole character and what he symbolises is incredibly important.

Moreover, the final sequence with Luthen, played by Stellan Skarsgard, is also incredibly interesting as it gives us the biggest peak behind the curtain yet, and also highlights the twisted morals with which he operates furthering the thesis of this show that nothing is morally black and white.

Overall, a very strong episode only let down by the repetitive three episode structure ruining any form of surprise.

Pros.

Skarsgard

Serkis

The ending

The moral ambiguity

Cons.

The three episode structure really ruins the surprise

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Andor: Nobody’s Listening

3/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Cassian, played by Diego Luna, continues to plan his escape from prison, meanwhile his friend Bix, played by Adria Arjona, is tortured by the Empire for information.

I am starting to find these three episode arcs to be quite tiring at this point. The Cassian prison storyline is for the most part dull and uninteresting, and to make matters worse it just feels like it keeps getting stretched out, the escape could have at least started in this episode but no they had to push it till next week.

I found the wider Empire stuff more interesting, I am enjoying seeing how they are dealing with this early form of the Rebellion and are starting to realise more and more that this is a serious threat that needs to be dealt with.

The Mon Mothma, played by Genevieve O’Reilly scenes are also quite dull, but I won’t spend too much time talking about this as I have covered it in previous reviews. We can only watch her chat to people secretly at dinner parties so many times before it gets dull, and we have already reached that point.

Overall, quite a dull episode.

Pros.

Vel’s back

Andy Serkis is having fun

It sets up the prison escape for next week

Cons.

It is too slow and the three episode arc structure is starting to harm the show

Mon Mothma needs to do something other than just be constantly chatting to people at dinner parties

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Tales Of The Jedi: Life And Death

1/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

We follow Ashoka’s baby years.

Star Wars really is starting to get desperate, the content mine is well and truly running dry. Who thought a show about a baby Ashoka was what was needed to get people into this universe, worse yet it is the flagship opening episode for a new animated Star Wars series and honestly after watching this it makes you want to turn off from the series.

Honestly this is just a bad twenty ish minutes of TV as nothing of note happens and then at the end of it all they say that Ashoka is a Jedi for taming an animal which just feels forced in to try and get a reaction from the audience. The animated side of Star Wars has long been obsessed with Ashoka as a character but this is really starting to take the biscuit.

Overall, who wanted this?

Pros.

It is short

Cons.

It is boring

It feels needless

It is a weak opener for the series

It is a slog to get through

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