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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4. CX clones

(Center): Sniper CloneX2 in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

The creators of The Bad Batch are in no way required or have to explain every element of a show. They don't owe us fans anything. They go in, make their art, release it, and move on. However, I can, as a viewer, respond with my thoughts, criticism, and emotions for a piece of media. This is how art works. And I never felt this point so strongly in The Bad Batch as I did with the introduction of the CX clones.

I felt like, as a viewer, I was purposely being led on to a story that never came to pass. When you use well-known story tropes in your media, there is an expectation of a certain kind of outcome. If you do not meet this outcome, then you better execute your show so that the alternate is just as satisfying as what was expected. And the CX clones failed at this.

The CX clones were presented as a really big deal starting in Season 2. When Rex and Riyo Chuchi discover that these soldiers are actually clones, it sets the precedence that any captured character could become a CX trooper. Any missing clone could be a CX trooper.

Then we add Tech's death to this. One well-known trope is the "No body, no death" element. The only person to confirm that Tech was dead was Doctor Royce Hemlock, the big bad villain in charge of the CX clones. Tech's not the only possible character that could be a CX clone, either. We know from Season 2 that Commander Cody went AWOL. The Season 3 midseason finale showed Commander Wolffe openly defying the Empire in front of Clone Commandos, who are deeply loyal to Hemlock. These are three very important characters within the narrative of The Bad Batch.

Then we get to Season 3, which focuses a lot on the CX clones. One CX trooper in particular was followed from his introduction midseason to the series finale. Even after fighting Crosshair, the creators make a point to show that this trooper survived falling over a waterfall. This type of visual storytelling is a non-verbal way to say, "Hey, this character is important. If he wasn't, then he would have died." This is how story tropes work to tell the audience what to pay attention to.

So much importance was put on the CX troopers that it made fans wonder who was behind the mask of this one particular man. Was it Tech since the only person to confirm his death was Hemlock? Was it Commander Cody, captured after defecting from the Empire? Was it Wolffe, a punishment for letting the Batch and Rex go?

Who knows! Because the show never tells us!

(L-R): Sniper CloneX2, Sniper CloneX3, Sniper CloneX4 and Sniper CloneX5 in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

We never find out who is behind the mask of the CX troopers. Honestly, it all led up to an anti-Bad Batch team to fight our heroes in the finale. That would have been cool... if that team were introduced as a unit earlier and were a pursuing threat throughout Season 3. Instead, they're on screen for like 10 minutes tops and then are all dead! They died along with all the hopes and dreams that these characters would have some sort of emotional impact on the story.

Again, I ask, what are we doing here? Yes, the creators of The Bad Batch do not owe me anything. They do not owe me an explanation of these characters. However, I am deeply unsatisfied by this style of storytelling. I do not like feeling like I was led on as a fan. I do not enjoy following tried and true methods of storytelling only for lackluster rugs to be yanked out from under me for nothing.

The CX clones were nothingburgers at the end of the day. They did nothing. They contributed nothing. They were a waste of time.

Oh wait, that's not true. One cut off Crosshair's hand. Not that the point ever mattered because no character can have an actual discussion or conversation in this show about how and why things impact them. Will Echo comfort Crosshair in the finale about his newfound disability? Nah, no time for that. Echo's gotta leave and go back to Rex again. That's the important thing, y'all.