Warning: Spoilers will follow for The Bad Batch premiere episode “Aftermath.”
Between The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Star Wars Resistance, fans have been treated to a rich variety of animated Star Wars stories in recent years. The Clone Wars and Rebels are beloved by many fans, and Resistance has its fair share of loyal followers as well.
Now The Bad Batch looks to further enrich the animated storytelling in a galaxy far, far away. The 70-minute premiere episode released on May 4 was a stellar episode that proved to be even stronger than the premieres for The Clone Wars, Rebels, and Resistance.
While all three of the aforementioned shows ultimately told great stories, the premieres had to spend a lot of time introducing and developing new characters and new settings. Rebels had to take time to familiarize the audience with Ezra, the Ghost crew, and the primary setting of Lothal. Resistance had to do the same with Kaz and the Colossus, and even The Clone Wars’ first episode had to take time to acquaint audiences with various clone trooper characters.
Since most fans were already familiar with the Bad Batch — along with supporting characters like Tarkin and Saw Gerrera — the premiere didn’t need to spend introducing its titular characters. This is also true of the setting for much of the episode as fans are already well-acquainted with the planets Kamino and Onderon.
This allowed The Bad Batch to dive straight into the action and heart of the story. It was able to begin with Order 66, an event that never ceases to be heartbreaking and transformative. The story continued its momentum for the rest of the episode and wasted no time with Tarkin and the Empire challenging Clone Force 99 and making them question their place in the rapidly-changing galaxy.
From a character standpoint, it felt like visiting old friends, but with a new and deeper look at them. While the audience already knew the members of the Bad Batch, now there is an enriched understanding of their individual strengths, struggles, and group dynamics.
This approach also gave the premiere ample time to introduce and begin fleshing out Omega, who so far is the only major new character. As an adorable, compassionate, courageous, and mysterious individual, she got to shine in a way that new characters are rarely able to in a premiere episode, and she felt like a natural addition to the Bad Batch group. To top it all off, the show created a deeply personal and highly dangerous antagonist in the form of Crosshair.
The Bad Batch‘s premiere hit the ground running and didn’t hold back in terms of emotional stakes and thrusting its characters into the central conflict. Many of the other animated shows took time to find their footing and to become truly exceptional. The Bad Batch has already found its footing and had an exceptional premiere and will hopefully continue to excel as it continues.