The Bad Batch Season 3 Episode 9 review

‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’ has always drawn connections and characters from its predecessor series ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ and episode nine of season three is no different, with Asajj Ventress playing an integral role in setting up what’s to come and offering a new perspective. There are some answers to lingering questions, but they aren’t satisfying for audiences.

Darth Trailer

The episode is titled “The Harbinger” which is an apt name considering the inclusion of Ventress. She acts as a warning for the Bad Batch, not only telling them that they aren’t as safe on Pabu as they think they are (a trailer moment hints at the Empire finding Pabu), and she warns the Batch that one-day Omega might have to leave them to pursue her further. It would be a bittersweet ending if Omega chose to leave her adoptive family, though one that carries risks.

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Not only this, Ventress exposes how driven the group still are by their own prejudices. They might have learned to accept the regular clones through interacting with Rex and Echo, but it’s clear they still hold onto the negative about former Separatists. It’s unsurprising as this hatred and distrust would have been drilled into them from birth on Kamino. It exposes how, in a galaxy of change, some wounds are still raw. It’s something ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ explores too.

Overcoming prejudice is a key theme for the characters of ‘The Bad Batch.’ Another area this has manifested itself is Crosshair, not only through his rhetoric as a soldier, but through him witnessing the Empire judging all clones as useless, despite this not being true. In this episode, he’s also key, as he’s particularly resistant to the idea of Ventress changing. He only overcomes it in a wonderful moment when Omega reminds him that she believed in him throughout, and he needs to believe in others.

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Ventress has changed considerably, moving past the Dark Side that Dooku and the Nightsisters had instilled in her. While her turn to the lightside might baffle those who haven’t read ‘Star Wars: Dark Disciple’ there are still shades of her old characterisation, giving in to fighting the Bad Batch quicker than a purer character.

Omega believes in what Ventress has to offer, and that’s the answers to why the Empire is hunting her. The episode reveals some answers, but mostly the characters are just catching up to what the audience already knows, and there isn’t more to offer. This would have been the perfect moment to eek out just a little bit more lore around the clones and their potential for Force sensitivity, but it’s a missed opportunity.

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The pair spend the episode bonding over some training, showing how Ventress has changed to become more Jedi-like. She employs several tests to assess Omega’s force sensitivity. The final trial shows how Ventress no longer seeks to dominate nature, but she seeks to connect with it.

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It’s unclear what the Empire is up to for the past few weeks, and that’s one aspect that’s particularly felt here. With Ventress’ warning that Pabu isn’t safe, this again might have been the time to threaten the beachfront planet’s serenity, but its occupation isn’t teased beyond that. Hopefully, next week’s episode shows what Hemlock and his dastardly scientists have been up to to try and find Omega.

Overall, this episode features more setup for the future, but drives home the theme of prejudice within ‘The Bad Batch.’ Ventress’ appearance is purposeful and helps hint at a possible ending for the show as a whole. The episode doesn’t satisfy fully with its answers but teases a future where the Bad Batch is further tested.

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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