WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2 episode 1 review “Spoils of War.”
After waiting more than a year for another look into the lives of Clone Force 99 the series premiered with a solid two-episode release setting up what we can expect from the rest of the season. The first episode, “Spoils of War” sets up a few of the development that happened to the Bad Batch during the interim time, the progression of the Empire, the growing desperation of the Bad Batch, and their getting into more than a bit of trouble on Count Dooku’s former home that was introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
At the beginning of the episode, all seems normal with the squad and it looks like the Bad Batch is simply completing their missions like usual. This presentation of normalcy is undercut by the physical changes we see in the squad. None of them retain their symbols from their time during the Clone Wars, and their armor now seems much more worn. In addition to that, we see that Omega has progressed significantly and has become a full member of the team. Omega’s progress is highlighted by her early competence in fighting off the crabs and the fact that the team didn’t try to unnecessarily shield her from harm.
The weathering of the team makes sense, as they would have to continue working missions for Cid to stay finically afloat. It is the consistent missions and increasing Imperial presence that seems to push Hunter into agreeing to the highly risky mission to raid Serenno in the hope of reclaiming enough money to keep everyone escape. Even as the team contemplates their long-term prospects Echo is becoming more and more vocal in his decrying of the Empire. One might think that given Echo’s long-term imprisonment that he would be the most fearful of tyranny but it simply seems to have hardened Echo’s resolve. These are some essential character elements that indicate that the Squad is on a collision course with the Empire.
Either way, the team decides to travel to Serenno to encounter a large number of Clones (including the new Clone Captain Wilco) escorting the spoils. The empire has destroyed a large chunk of the civilian areas but Serenno still bears the scars from its time as the Separatist stronghold. One of the last times we saw the planet was during the Nightsister’s attempted assassination of Dooku and the damage is still present. While some may see this as a bit of Clone Wars fan service, it is a natural question to ask what happened to the Separatist resources. “Spoils of War” inclusion of Serenno is both organic and helpful to the overall Star Wars canon.
Overall the first episode is nothing surprising, and while it could have used a bit more long-term implications “Spoils of War” is a solid returning episode that sets up the second season of The Bad Batch. The animation quality has once again increased in quality with a litany of minor details present (such as the wind-caped waves) and the cast unsurprisingly performed their roles well. While some characters, such as Echo and Omega, show evidence of solid character development season one comment about the stagnation of Tech may still be relevant. While it is lovely overall, this writer hopes that The Bad Batch will ensure to keep us all at the edge of our seats as the series progresses.