Star Wars: The Clone Wars is back... and with a vengeance. Indeed, settling in for the ever-so-short 30 minute sojourn back to that “galaxy far, far away”, I was surprised at how much I missed it. The Mandalorian be damned… SW:TCW is arguably the best Star Wars television product in the history of the franchise.
As a reminder, the series had “officially” ended in 2014. During that final Season 6, we saw a number of important developments in Star Wars Universe such as: (1) fan favorite Ashoka Tan’s decision to leave the Jedi Order, to the dismay of her master Anakin Skywalker; (2) Yoda’s confrontation with Darth Bane, Darth Sidious and Count Dooku on the ancient Sith home planet of Moriband, and (3) the outbreak of a mysterious disease affecting the clones, that foretold their later acquiescence of "Order 66". Having expectations of more significant reveals in the traditional 20+ episode season, I was utterly shocked to find the season truncated at 13 episodes with news that no further episodes were coming. In hindsight, understanding that the season was only slated for another 12 episodes, the SW:TCW mastermind Dave Filoni must have decided to cram all he could into those last 13 in order to answer, or suggest answers to, developments that happened in the movies that followed. Still, it left me, and I suspect most fans, wanting more and feeling a bit cheated. Accordingly, I was delighted to hear that at some point in the future, Filoni would return to SW:CW, and finish the story as he had originally planned to do. Thankfully, that long waited ended last Thursday night. As far as the first episode is concerned, the wait has been well worth it.
One of the best aspects of the series was its intermittent step away from the main story arc to allow viewers to, in essence, follow one of the ancillary, but nevertheless important story lines. For instance, there was a story arc told from the perspective of droids. However, one of the most interesting set of sub-stories were those that concerned the clones. Season 7 goes right back to that well of glorious content by focusing on a special clone mission.
This episode follows on that element by starting out with a focus on the clones in general, and a special unit of clones known as the "Bad Batch". The Bad Batch were a groups of clones that experienced a defect in their engineering. However, rather than just throw them out, their defects were allowed to develop and made useful to the cause As a result, they look, act, and operate much different than regular clones or "Regs". That fits perfectly with this episode's story line which finds the droid army using data analysis to predict clone trooper actions. Since the Bad Batch operate asymmetrically, they pose an unknown element that droid army commanders do not know how to anticipate. The clones are sent behind enemy lines to tap into the droid army communications, and learn more about their strategy. Bad Batch is teamed with a group of Regs who, as clones are know, to do, are following orders. While the actual story line is not very captivating, watching the group dynamic is awesome. Indeed, like mixing oil and water... the two teams don't mix well, that is until confronted by the common enemy of droids. Once the action starts, it's a thrilling episode through-and-through. In other words, despite a break of nearly 6 years, the series has not missed a beat. Makes me wonder at how great the Star Wars Universe could have been had Darth Disney not usurped power.
What did you think of the first episode? Will you be back for more?
Written by lao.san on Feb 23, 2020