Remember the purrgil? Remember how everyone thought the “space whales” were trash until the series finale of Rebels said “watch this”? That should have taught the Star Wars fandom not to judge individual episodes of TV too soon. Yet here we are again.
Shows like The Bad Batch have been heavily criticized for what some fans call their “filler episodes.” Episodes in which the overarching plot does not appear to move forward and nothing particularly jaw-dropping occurs. Episodes some fans say could have been skipped or never happened at all.
Remember the purrgil.
Star Wars TV does not owe you a surprise guest appearance, a major plot twist, or a “this changes the entire Star Wars story” moment every episode. Expecting that is like expecting every single scene of a movie to wow you. It’s not practical, it’s not possible, and it’s most certainly not necessary.
Why do we expect shows like The Bad Batch and even The Mandalorian to “go big” every week? Perhaps if you’re one of those people, it’s simply what you expect from your TV. There’s nothing wrong with that. It just also means that when it comes to Star Wars, you’re not going to love every episode of every show that’s released. There’s nothing wrong with that either.
But just because every episode of Star Wars TV doesn’t satisfy you or meet your own personal expectations for what Star Wars TV “should be” doesn’t mean it’s bad or that it never should have been made. Those kinds of criticisms are narrow and highly unnecessary, especially when you haven’t seen the whole product said episode is only a small part of.
TV — especially animation — is expensive to make. Do you really think studios would waste that kind of money on making episodes of TV that didn’t contribute to the larger story the show is telling?
If the purrgil taught us anything, it’s that you never know what’s actually going to end up being most important to a show’s thesis until the very end of the race.
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