Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Star Wars: The Bad Batch - Season 3

The adventures of Clone Force 99 are over, but are the gang going out with a bang or a whimper?

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The Bad Batch had a very tough task to complete. This animated Star Wars show was expected to follow up and be the next great Star Wars animated effort following on from the frankly fantastic and conclusive sixth season of The Clone Wars. You would have to be a frustratingly optimistic person to assume that Disney would be able to pull two rabbits out of the hat and make two lengthy back-to-back animated knockouts, because while The Bad Batch has always been entertaining, it has never risen to the heights of The Clone Wars.

We know Disney can create Star Wars animation as good as The Clone Wars however, as it did so in the much more concise second season of Visions and in the brilliant Tales of the Jedi, begging the question as to whether The Bad Batch could go out in a bang and conclude its run with a peaking third season. While we've had some truly entertaining television set in a galaxy far, far away with this final collection of episodes, The Bad Batch remains as a simply good Star Wars animated project.


The final season as a whole faces all the typical issues and problems that held back the first two seasons too. The story struggles to get going, albeit before delivering a strong ending, the characters lack a bit of charisma and quality, and there are whole episodes that feel meaningless and too lengthy. While the character of the young Omega is far more entertaining this time around, the show is still at its weakest when it makes Omega the primary focus of episodes, which for the state of Season 3, are the majority of its episodes. Plus, while you can see that effort has been made to make the narrative have a more overall weight and significance to it, it struggles to pull you, with repeated elements (like the prison break on Tantiss), and tends to only excel when cameos and returning characters like Captain Rex, the Emperor, and even Asajj Ventress make themselves known.

Effectively, the frustrations and general issues that many of us tend to have with Star Wars are the main things that also hold The Bad Batch back. There's this incessant need to continue to conform to a formula, with Season 3 swapping the usual droid companion for a domesticated Lurca hound called Batcher that makes you sigh audibly because you've seen this story and the ways it's told several times before. Then there's the constant overwhelming foreshadowing of future stories that we know and have already experienced in other projects that mean the events here lose a bit of their importance. Star Wars' greatest enemy isn't the Empire or the Sith, it's complacency and the inability to take risks, which is something The Bad Batch falls hook, line, and sinker for once again.

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Star Wars: The Bad Batch

But here's the thing, the parts of Star Wars that we love and can't get enough off still hold up here too. The environments and the world design is just so wonderful and lively that you want to become immersed in the world. The animation is excellent, the constant nods and references to other parts and stories in a galaxy far, far away keep even doting fans excited, and the action is thrilling and effortlessly entertaining. The Bad Batch is a prime example that Star Wars doesn't always need Jedi, Sith, or lightsabers to engage, as good old blaster warfare and lightspeed jumps are more than enough to plaster a grin across my face.

Season 3 does manage to constantly ramp up the anticipation and thrill as the series progresses, leading to a conclusive and epic finale that sends off Clone Force 99's own series in a fitting way. I've enjoyed this journey over the past few years, but it's also clear that three seasons is more than enough to learn about these characters and to follow them on their adventure. The Bad Batch won't go down as one of Star Wars' best, but if you love this universe and can't get enough of the tales that take place within it, this is a harmless and easy-to-digest animated adventure that never disappoints, nor really surprises, during its entire run. It's perfectly good entertainment, nothing more, nothing less.

07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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