5 ways Star Wars: The Bad Batch fell short as a series

Somehow one of the best series to ever come out of Lucasfilm Animation was also the worst in many ways.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3 Poster. Image Credit: Star Wars.com
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3 Poster. Image Credit: Star Wars.com /
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I am going to say this right at the top before people on the internet get mad at me:

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is a great show. It's some of the best storytelling that Lucasfilm Animation has ever done. It has become a vital piece of media connecting the prequels to the sequel trilogy. It's a wonderful series capping off the legacy that George Lucas started with The Clone Wars.

However, there is no such thing as a perfect piece of media. As wonderful as The Bad Batch is, that does not mean that it doesn't have its flaws. In fact, from day one, the series has been full of controversies. Yes, the creators tried to address many of these points, which is good for them to do. Still, there were many ways The Bad Batch became one of the most regressive shows to ever come out of Star Wars. When media impacts real-world fans in detrimental ways, it should be discussed.

So, let's dive into 5 ways The Bad Batch came up short as a series.

1. Representation

(L-R): Wrecker, Batcher, Omega, Hunter, and Crosshair in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

It absolutely boggles my mind how this is mostly the same team as Star Wars Resistance. That show had by far the most diverse cast on screen and behind the scenes, the first on-screen queer couple of the franchise, and broke the mold for all Star Wars TV from Andor to Obi-Wan Kenobi. As I've discussed before, it set the stage for The Bad Batch's finale.

How do you go from one of the most progressive shows ever to come out of Lucasfilm to regress so horrifically? From day one, The Bad Batch was riddled with controversy with claims about whitewashing and disgusting eugenic storylines. That only the BEST clones, being the Batch, who had light skin, were superior to the regular clones, who shared the darker skin tone of Temuera Morrison, a person of color. The crew did rightfully address this after fan uproar starting in Season 2, but choices like that start in the design phase and never should have happened to begin with.

Then there is Omega. Episode 1 very clearly states that she is an unaltered clone of Jango Fett. But she's a girl. So how does that happen? Many fans latched onto the idea of Omega being transgender, which would have been historic for the franchise. It could have been a powerful, beautiful story doing something new and innovative for Star Wars. Trans girls are girls, and they could tell the exact same story with Omega. She means so much to queer fans.

Then Emerie Karr shows up. Don't get me wrong; I love Emerie. I think she's an excellent character despite her story being incredibly rushed in the final season. However, regarding Omega, it felt like the writers did not know what to do with fans calling Omega trans. They panicked and doubled down by creating another girl clone, going against the actual text laid down in the first episode of the series. Instead of embracing something new, they dug in their heels and ripped something beautiful from the fans who loved this inspiring idea.

Emerie Karr in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

A very organic, powerful story was being told with Omega, which was naturally developing if she was trans and if the writers embraced it. Instead, we got what felt like a very forced last-minute character in Emerie Karr so the creators could cover themselves and say, "No, there are girl clones!" Yes, creators, there are also trans clones, too. Ever heard of Sister? Sister is just as much of a woman as Omega and Emerie. Only one of these three is groundbreaking, while the other two felt like the creators were slapping LGBTQIA+ fans in the face.

The Bad Batch is a mess regarding representation (we'll get to disability and neurodivergent representation with Echo and Tech in a moment). When series and movies like Amphibia, The Owl House, Steven Universe, Nimona, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts, Dead End Paranormal Park, The Dragon Prince, and so many more all-ages media are breaking barriers, smashing glass ceilings, and changing the landscape of animation, it makes Star Wars look bad. It is leaving Star Wars behind. It makes Star Wars feel dated. Why can these other shows fold BIPOC, disabled, neurodivergent, LGBTQIA+, and sometimes all of them at the same time into their series, and Star Wars can't?

Young Jedi Adventures is somehow the exception to this. This preschool series has plenty of BIPOC, queer, diverse characters on screen. It makes me lose my mind a bit that this show can so effortlessly do it with their team and yet somehow The Bad Batch can't. How is the preschool series blowing you out of the water on this front? That show has won 2 Emmys! I don't see you with any Emmy wins, The Bad Batch. Heck, you haven't even gotten a nomination yet. Maybe the preschool show is doing something right?

It is an active choice not to do progressive storytelling. It is an active choice not to have BIPOC, queer, and trans writers on your team and behind the scenes to tell you, "Hey, these skin tones are off and maybe throw a gay person into the mix." It is an active choice not to push these boundaries and do something new.

It is 2024. There is no excuse for this anymore, especially when a preschool show is doing it better.