May The Fourth Be With You All? May fourth is the unofficial, or perhaps it is official, day we all call Star Wars day. This is the day we dedicate ourselves to one of the biggest franchises of all time. In 2021 in particular, Disney spoiled the Star Wars fanbase, delivering some exciting new Star Wars content on their streaming service, Disney+. We got plenty of Star Wars on the way through Disney+ and it seems the service is finally living up the excitement people had for it when it was released in 2019.
How did you spend your Star Wars day this year? Me? I was very curious about "Star Wars: The Bad Batch." The new animated series on Disney+, its first 75 minute episode premiered on the service, a nice gesture from Disney after they definitely dropped the ball when they didn't release "Solo" on this day. "The Bad Batch" works as a sequel and spin-off of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," a very popular animated series that was canon with the movies. "The Bad Batch" are a small group of clone troopers that had special mutated DNA that gave them each a slight ability, even though they aren't really technically "superheroes." I actually never watched "The Clone Wars" cartoon. There was a separate animated series that came out in 2003 that lead up to "Revenge of the Sith" that I think has gone deeply unappreciated. I really love the 2003 series made by Genndy Tartakovsky, but after seeing "The Bad Batch," I may dig into the series made in 2008.
The Bad Batch consists of Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair and Echo (all of whom are voiced by Dee Bradley Baker). Given those nicknames, you can probably guess everyone's special expertise. Hunter is the team leader and most badass looking character, Wrecker is the muscle, Tech is good with tech, Crosshair is the sniper, and Echo is a cyborg. At the beginning of the episode, they are helping a Jedi-lead group of clone troopers take out some enemy battle droids. As the battle is wrapping up, we see Emperor Palpatine executes Order 66. The Jedi is immediately shot down with her Padawon on the run. Because The Bad Batch have that special DNA, they can actually think for themselves. So they are a bit wreary about killing Jedi's and don't necessarily believe they are doing anything treasonous. Hunter chases the Padawon, but lets him go, which will come back to haunt the group later.
What will be cool is that we will see how the end of the Clone Wars will start to affect the status quo of the galaxy, especially as the Empire begins to rise. It seems the series will touch on how Kamino will be affected by the end of the war, the planet that provided the clone troopers for the former republic. As the need for clone troopers is put in question. The end of the war will also test the loyalty of the Bad Batch and where their loyalties will lie. Admiral Tarkin shows up and it seems like he will be a prominent character in this series. Saw Gerrera (voiced by Andrew Kishino, played by Forest Whitaker in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story") also shows up and we learn why he decided to become a rebel! Even though she doesn't show up in this first episode, but Fennec Shand, who was prominent on "The Mandalorian" will appear on the show. Ming-Na Wen who played the character on "The Mandalorian" will also provide her voice on "The Bad Batch."
"The Bad Batch" will have sixteen episodes in all for its first season, and I will probably review the rest of the season as a whole once it concludes. But I did enjoy what I've seen so far!
I also watched "The Force Awakens From It's Nap" a three minute "Star Wars" themed adventure featuring Maggie Simpson from "The Simpsons.'' It was appropriately silly.
Hope you all had a nice Star Wars day. I got tons of reviews on the way this week. I've seen "The Mitchells vs. The Machines" and "Stowaway" on Netflix. "Without Remorse" on Amazon Prime and I got plenty to say about those. So keep an eye out for that!