With over four decades of films, television specials, spin-off series and video games, the Star Wars franchise can be daunting to newcomers looking for a way into the universe. Where would one even start? Well, you can start at the very beginning; or with its latest instalment on Disney +, The Bad Batch, which in our opinion is an excellent entryway into the sci-fi world dreamed up by George Lucas.
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The Lucasfilm animated series follows the elite and experimental crew that makes up Clone Force 99 who were first introduced in the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Made up of a unique squad of clones who are genetically different from their counterparts in the Clone Army, every one of them has a singular exceptional skill that makes them gifted soldiers.
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“You’ve got Hunter, who’s kind of the leader of the pack,” explained Dee Bradley, the voice of The Bad Batch in an interview. “He’s got tracking skills and a heightened sense of smell which helps him gauge the terrain. Then you’ve got Tech, who’s very technically-oriented and always has a handheld device that he’s working on.”
“You’ve also got Wrecker, who, to no one’s surprise, is the muscle of the group as he’s got incredible strength. Then there’s Crosshair who is the sharpshooter of the group. Finally, there’s Echo, an android clone from the Clone Wars episodes brought on board the Batch. And together, they’re a force to be reckoned with”.
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Taking place after Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the series starts off action-packed with all the nuts and bolts that Star Wars productions are known for. But it slowly becomes a heartwarming story of underdogs (Clone Force 99) and Omega (a new character) banding together to find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy following the aftermath. Unlike the original trilogy where the Empire dominates, we now get to see it transition from the Republic.
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Furthermore, with the exception of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Bad Batch is stripped down and focused on a group of rag-tag soldiers, as opposed to big characters like Jedi and Sith. It’s an emotionally-charged show which adds depth and texture to an otherwise action-filled sci-fi drama.
So whether you’re just getting into the Star Wars universe or have been a longtime fan of the series, watching the profound transformation from Republic to Empire play out while seeing what happens to the clone troopers after the Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Bad Batch makes for an entertaining binge-watching experience.