Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3 Finale Review

‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’ season 3 has wrapped up with the final episode, which also closes out the final season. And it’s a fitting send-off for not just the characters and in this show but for the entire Clone Wars era as a whole, a tough thing to do. While some gripes will be leveled at the episode, they’re very minor on the whole. There’s plenty to love about this ending. 

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There are several arcs that this episode has to conclude, Crosshair, Emerie, Rampart, and more. And, in 99% of cases, the episode delivers on its characters, giving them all highs and lows not just in this episode but arcs from across the season. Crosshair becomes one of the rare ‘Star Wars’ characters to atone for his mistakes and instead go on a flashy self-sacrifice, learning that he is indeed worthy of love and a family despite his past. 

Another highlight is Rampart, someone who intentionally doesn’t learn anything, and so his character arc is a flatline. But this shows the consequences of not bettering oneself, instead sticking to the same selfish morality that he started the show with and ending it with that selfish morality crippling him. The fact that Nala Se is the one to deal the final blow to Rampart’s ambitions is also sweet, after all, Rampart destroyed her home.  

Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney

One character who doesn’t get the love he deserves is Scorch. He and the rest of the Clone Commandos are severely underutilised throughout the finale, so while they get token moments there’s no development. There’s the lingering question of why the Commandos stay loyal to Hemlock when they know what he’s doing to clones, and why they serve the Empire at all. On a smaller level, Scorch lacks a moment to shine, pushed to the side by the shiny new CX troopers. 

Hemlock’s defense of Mount Tantiss is admirable, and not one lacking in creativity, making him a compelling antagonist throughout. He’s been a new type of villain for ‘Star Wars’, exuberating quiet confidence within an organisation that demands pompous and loud arrogance. His interaction with Tarkin is hilarious. The introduction of the CX trooper squad (the Anti-Bad Batch?) was particularly intriguing, offering a vision of what the Bad Batch might be under the Empire. They were stripped of their identity, and emotionless. Their unique fighting styles were great. 

There’s no indication of who’s under those helmets, which makes previous teases of their identity frustrating. These CX troopers also pay homage to the Legends Phase 0 Dark Troopers and those found in ‘The Mandalorian’ through a musical note by the Kiners a fitting touch. Their music throughout is fantastic, continued proof that they’re wonderful composers. ‘Star Wars’ doesn’t just lead in its animation; it does in its music too. 

Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney

This leads to a discussion about animation, and it’s once again glorious. Audiences finally see what an Imperial Star Destroyer looks like ‘The Clone Wars’ style animation in an absolutely stunning sequence. It’s a full-on look too, not just a brief passing shot. This is the benefit of opting for a longer episode, that moments like this are given time to breathe. 

Omega is a delight throughout the episode, showing off every skill that the Bad Batch have taught her to end the Empire’s abuse of science. She helps save everything she loves – her brothers – and isn’t looking to destroy anything, a perfect illustration of the infamous quote from ‘The Last Jedi’ “That’s how we’re gonna win. Not by fighting what we hate. But saving what we love.” It’s an apt point to make, however.  

Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney

The ending of the episode is very fitting. It’s a surprisingly happy ending, the ‘Return of the Jedi’ like compared to the ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ nature of season two. But it’s what’s right for the show. After years of fighting wars they never understood, the clones are free. They can pursue whatever they like. While several nameless clones perish in the episode, all heroes make it out, though that never felt assured. The suspense was maintained throughout the episode, which helped to keep it compelling. 

Overall, ‘The Bad Batch’ gave a satisfying conclusion, not just to the season or the show, but to the legacy of the clones across multiple shows. That’s no easy feat either, given the high regard the fanbase holds for these characters. But with the character arcs, action, animation, and music, Lucasfilm delivers a strong finale with only a few minor gripes. 

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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