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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2. Echo

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3, episode 14, "Flash Strike." Echo meets Emerie Karr. Image Credit: StarWars.com /

Did the writers ever know what to do with Echo? I'm asking honestly because his story confuses me as a viewer. Back before Season 2, I called Echo the dark horse character of the series. Am I just wrong here? Have I always been wrong? Or did the writers get handed Echo from George Lucas and just have no clue how to handle this character?

Going back to The Clone Wars Season 7, Echo left with the Batch because he did not feel like he fit in with Rex and the regular clones anymore. Flash forward to The Bad Batch, Echo spends pretty much the entire series trying to find and help Rex. He wants to go fight with Rex! Forget about the Batch's problems because let's go help all the regular clones that he walked away from in Season 7 of The Clone Wars. Rex, Rex, Rex, Rex, Rex, Rex, Rex! Then Echo leaves mid-season 2 and only pops up here and there a handful of times in the rest of the show. Why even have him here other than to be an Echo version of a Deus ex machina when it's convenient?

Maybe it's because Echo is the most well-rounded and capable member of the team. The final episodes of Season 3 showcased exactly how and why Echo is a force of nature all on his own. Maybe he was so overpowered that the creators had to remove him from the story.

However, removing Echo from the narrative missed the mark on several powerful stories that could have been told with him.

Star Wars is a fantasy that plays in those realms of storytelling. When writing disabled characters, the franchise often takes a more quick fix by giving a character prosthetics. This is fine because, as fantasy-esque storytelling, magic and/or technology are normal in these styles of stories to aid characters who might need some extra assistance. It gives an ideal version of what could be with the occasional moment of a reminder of the character's disability (like whenever Anakin Skywalker's metal hand got stuck to magnetic ceilings in The Clone Wars). I do love that Echo is incredibly capable. He can clearly hold his own and chooses not to get a new hand until he has to blend in during the Season 3 finale.

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

However, it would have been nice if it was recognized more that he does have a disability. And I do not mean the disgusting Season 1 episode where Hunter forced Echo to pretend he was a droid during a mission, which Echo vocally stated made him uncomfortable. The Wheelchair Teen has a great article about how and why situations like this are gross for characters like Echo, using the example of Cyborg from Teen Titans. This wouldn't have to be a Saturday morning Public Service Announcement-style cartoon either. Just fold those moments into the narrative organically. Again, have the right people behind the scenes on this front to help tell these stories.

There is also the point that Echo is a reg. He is not an altered clone like the rest of the Batch. This point should have been brought up way more. It is a motivation for why he wants to help Rex. It should have been Hunter turning to Echo for his thoughts on reg matters. It is still stunning to me that in the Season 1 two-part finale, Crosshair is waxing fascist rhetoric about how the Batch is superior to all the regs and they should join him while Echo is standing in the room. Crosshair is telling Echo to his face that he is lesser. And Echo says nothing? What a massive series of missed opportunities.

If Echo being a reg had been addressed more openly in the early show, it would have set the stage more for his absence. Because at least it would be onscreen why he wanted to leave instead of me having to do the mental backbends to justify this writing.

In Season 1, when the Batch are emotionally stunted soldiers (minus Echo, who is the most well-adjusted), it makes sense if they don't always talk about emotions or their thoughts. However, one point of Omega's characters is to force change that allows the Batch to learn new paths of communication. That's why "The Crossing" works so much as an episode when she and Tech have an actual conversation. Echo is such a missed opportunity of a character throughout the entire show, and it feels like they just never knew what do with him.

Speaking of lack of communication, let's talk about Tech.