By Kieran Burt.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch has received another trailer and confirms the release date of the show will indeed be January 4, clearing the confusion that has lingered ever since Star Wars Celebrations. The trailer itself is mostly underwhelming, but does have some standout moments, including Commander Cody and Crosshair.
The opening few seconds start on an island beach that looks like it could be part of Kashyyyk, the trees look similar, but show the more humorous side of the Batch, with Echo chastising Wrecker for ballsing up their plan and being chased by crabs. This show will be a return to the pulpy side of Star Wars people are used to, and honestly that’s not a bad thing.
The next shot shows Hunter and Wrecker hiding from Imperial gunships, the more serious side of the show again. The Empire are seen to be cracking down a lot more on the galaxy than last season, with TK troopers being rolled out alongside clone troopers. It will certainly be interesting to see how the clones feel working with their replacements, and we get our first taste of that relationship from Commander Cody.
But I’m jumping ahead. The Bad Batch meets a shady looking character called Phee Genoa, and she’s looking to hire the squad of rogue clone deserters to do a job, and she does come off rather sinister. Though she is a mercenary, and they’re not to be trusted. Later in the trailer, Hunter and the crew are contracted to pull off a heist that will bring them into contact with the Empire as they need to steal something off a Star Destroyer.
Echo argues that the Bad Batch should be doing more to combat the Empire. Hopefully the trailer’s focus on him here means the show as a whole will focus on him, season one was lacking in that area. He is the voice pushing the Bad Batch to do more, and this is likely to manifest itself in a bigger way this season.
Star Wars is always about when to fight, to not sleep like Hunter wants to do. Hunter just wants to get enough money to put the Empire behind him, similar to Andor in that respect, before he wakes up. Hunter and the rest of the group need their awakening too.
Battle droids and their tanks are featured, teasing a showdown with Separatist remnants and how the Empire dealt with them. Other projects have explained that the Empire didn’t treat any Separatists with fairness, and that they heavily crushed any resistance. Indeed, these groups would be the very first rebels, though not knowing it at the time.
Another link back to the prequels is the probable return of Kashyyyk. Trandoshans are seen burning a forest and using AAT tanks in a dense wood, and given they hate Wookiees, it makes sense to showcase this in the show. The Bad Batch going to Kashyyyk would also allow them to witness the Empire’s harsh treatment of the Wookiees.
We knew Commander Cody would be appearing in the show, but it’s amazing to see him again. He reveals more and more clones are questioning the Empire, which might be building up to a clone rebellion, a concept that has its origins in Star Wars Legends continuity.
Whether Cody himself will have a role is uncertain. Right now, he is heavily pro-Empire, stating at the end of the trailer “The Empire seeks to establish peace and order throughout the galaxy.” In Legends, he also stayed loyal to the Empire until his death. Hopefully The Bad Batch won’t change this.
Palpatine’s return is immensely intriguing, it looks like he will be making some speeches citing the need for more power from the Imperial Senate. Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Andor taught audiences that bureaucratic politics can be interesting, showing the more political elements of the Empire.
Overall, the trailer itself lacked any new huge moments, or any surprises, and so fell flat as a result. Learning more about how the Empire put the galaxy in a chokehold is extremely fascinating, and hopefully the series leans into that aspect more. Cody and the potential Kashyyyk tease are the main reasons to be excited for the show, helping to fill in some of the gaps in their lives.