Lessons The Bad Batch can learn from Andor

Star Wars: The Bad Batch - "Rampage" - Omega
Star Wars: The Bad Batch - "Rampage" - Omega /

The new year is fast approaching. For Star Wars fans this means a host of shows, new and returning, are well on their way. First up in January, we welcome back the members of Clone Force 99 with season two of The Bad Batch which fans have been anticipating for well over a year.

The last episode of Andor will air on the 23rd of November meaning viewers are only in for a short six week break in between Star Wars shows this time around.

Going from a toned, mature, and cinematic spy thriller to an animated series aimed at a younger audience may be a bit jarring for some, but it need not be so. We now have concrete proof that a more nuanced story is possible for Star Wars animation.

Last month, as Andor was still airing, we were graced with the limited animated series Tales of the Jedi featuring stories that expanded upon the lives of Count Dooku, Ahsoka Tano and those close to them. Simply put, it was a beautiful show. Short and sweet. The six episodes were each emotionally impactful, gorgeously animated and completed with the talents of composer Kevin Kiner who also scores The Bad Batch.

Animation has long been a source of mature and well-defined stories that younger audiences can still enjoy. Tales of the Jedi stands out as a paramount modern example of this and for those of us who grew up watching The Clone Wars, to witness the show’s legacy endure and pave the way for more poignant stories is hugely gratifying to witness.

The final season of The Clone Wars also fits the bill for this formula, particularly the heartbreaking final episodes. All of this means that expectations for the new season of The Bad Batch are exceptionally high, particularly given the rapturous response towards Andor and Tales of the Jedi.

Understandably, Tales of the Jedi benefited from having a very short run time. The Bad Batch had a sixteen-episode season last year and is getting the same treatment in January, meaning that the story beats will need to be stretched out a bit more than usual.

The Clone Wars benefited from a kind of anthology story format in which character arcs would proceed for three or four episodes and then abruptly depart to focus on some other corner of the galaxy. A formula that was refined as the show progressed over seven seasons and 133 episodes in total.

This means that The Bad Batch has stepped into new territory for the ever-growing animation department of the franchise. With a singular cast of characters and no side plot to cut away to, all the show’s efforts rest upon the shoulders of Clone Force 99. Similarly, Andor has a much lengthier season than any of the previous live action shows. This, however, has proved to be no challenge for the creators who have so far avoided diluting the quality of the show for a longer run-time. Indeed, Andor is being called some of the best live action Star Wars to date and rightly so.

Season two of The Bad Batch has the opportunity to learn from all of these sources and more to create, what has the potential to be, some of the best Star Wars media to date. The franchise has been on quite the hot streak recently and it would be a shame to see it stop now.

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What are you looking forward to most from the new season of The Bad Batch? Let us know in the comments below! For all things Star Wars, keep up with Dork Side of the Force!