The Bad Batch Season 3 Review: Episodes 1-8

The Bad Batch is finally back for the long-anticipated third season on Disney +, wrapping up the sweeping, tragic story of the fate of all of the clones in the Star Wars universe after the rise of the Galactic Empire and the replacement of the clone troopers with notorously bad-at-aiming stormtroopers. Nonetheless, the initial half of season 3 appears to mainly concentrate on laying the groundwork for a grand finale without revealing too many details.

The problem, however, is that the first eight episodes of season 3 appear to be heavy on setup but light on payoff. The Bad Batch’s primary strength lies in its ability to add intricate layers to the existing Star Wars lore, which season 3 continues to do – sometimes at the expense of progressing the main storyline.

One thing Lucasfilm’s current day has excelled at is expanding our knowledge of major moments in the Star Wars canon. The treatment of Order 66 serves as an excellent example. Initially depicted solely in ‘Revenge of the Sith’, various projects, including The Bad Batch, have enriched our understanding of the Chancellor Palpatine’s sinister plan to eradicate the Jedi through flashbacks.

The true value of season 3 of The Bad Batch lies in the way Lucasfilm continues to fill in the gaps of vital Star Wars lore. The series elaborates on the infamous line “Somehow, Palpatine returned,” from ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, shedding light on the details of how the Dark Lord of the Sith resurrected and regained power for a second time. While sharing no spoilers, the series takes a closer look at the Empire’s clandestine activities that all contribute to Sheev Palpatine’s grand master plan of ruling the galaxy indefinitely.

Similar to season 2, The Bad Batch continues to elevate the animation style of Lucasfilm. The evolution of the animation from the premiere of The Clone Wars in 2008 to its current state is a testament to its growth and superior quality. As the series approaches its conclusion, the animation has never looked better.

The season’s extensive focus on setup yields a plethora of important details. While crucial for world-building and character development, it perhaps deviates from propelling the main story forward. The first eight episodes have stirred up numerous questions without providing concrete answers, leaving fans guessing about the fate of several characters and the direction of the series.

The series landscape also sets the stage for the return of pivotal characters and addresses divisive elements that challenge fans’ existing knowledge of the Star Wars universe. Despite the meticulous attention to canon details, the pace may leave some fans feeling that the episodes are dragging, as it does not directly contribute to the main narrative.

The squad’s separation and struggles to reunite marks the outset of season 3. This formulaic approach mirrors the structure of previous seasons, with smaller narrative arcs pushing the overall plot forward while a more substantial arc unfolds in the background. The season also highlights Omega’s significance and potential trajectory, drawing parallels to the character growth seen in Ahsoka Tano from The Clone Wars.

Omega seems like she’s on an Ahsoka Tano-like trajectory, in more ways than one.

Another prominent development in season 3 revolves around Crosshair’s internal conflict as he grapples with the repercussions of betraying his brothers to ally with the Empire. As the Empire’s oppressive regime becomes evident, Crosshair’s redemption story presents significant character growth. Moreover, the emotional dynamics between Crosshair and Omega inject depth into the narrative.