REVIEW: ‘The Bad Batch’ Brings Back the Bad Bitch

Asajj Ventress in a scene from “STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH”, season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Star Wars hasn’t always provided room to explore the grey areas of morality. Good is good. Bad is bad. Of course, that’s almost entirely driven by the binary nature of the Force. The Light is good; the Dark is bad. Jedi or Sith. While there’s room for redemption within George Lucas‘ original trilogy, “classic Star Wars” storytelling left no room for Force wielders who were neither Jedi nor Sith. Modern Star Wars storytelling, on the other hand, has found plenty of narrative space for characters who find no use for either Sith or Jedi. Following the collapse of the Republic, Ahsoka Tano and Baylan Skoll no longer consider themselves Jedi and Ahsoka’s good friend Ezra Bridger dabbled in the Dark Side without becoming permanently corrupted. Their journeys through the Force are a natural consequence of new stories being built on the foundation of Lucas’ stories. Modern Star Wars has expanded the scope of Force users beyond Jedi and Sith, including the exploration of other aspects of it and how it’s perceived and wielded by those outside of the binary constraints, such as the Nightsisters. Interestingly enough, there’s one character who has traveled all the paths described above, and in Episode 9 of Season 3 of The Bad Batch, her return antecedes the next round of chaos headed the way of Clone Force 99.

As many fans presumed to be the case, Asajj Ventress is indeed the friend Fennec Shand turned to for information about M-count and, as the episode’s title, “Harbinger”, indicates, her arrival portends dark days for the Batchers. For fans who know Ventress only from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Dathomirian Nightsister who was once both a Jedi Padawan and a Sith apprentice seems like the last person anyone would turn to for help; however, after having been a pawn for others, Ventress walks a different path now: her own. And make no mistake, her meeting with Uhmeeguh falls under the category of one of Star Wars most thoroughly explored themes: destiny.

Remember… you always have a choice to be better. You always have a choice to… to pick the right path. Even if that choice comes a little late.

-Asajj Ventress, Dark Disciple
Asajj Ventress in a scene from “STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH”, season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Explored in the canon novel Dark Disciple, Ventress began her ascent from darkness after teaming with Jedi Quinlan Vos to attempt to assassinate Count Dooku. Though it was believed she died while sacrificing herself to save Vos, the trailer for The Bad Batch made it clear that Lucasfilm saw further storytelling currency in Ventress and in “The Harbinger”, head writer Jennifer Corbett seemed to hint at just what that might be. After revealing the meaning of M-count to Clone Force 99 and realizing what danger lurks for Uhmeeguh and her presumably high Midi-chlorian count, Ventress agrees to test the clone’s abilities with the Force. While Uhmeeguh’s potential to wield the Force isn’t made clear to viewers, what is made clear is that Ventress can sense both her latent potential to use the Force and the danger in which it puts her. Though she skitters off at the end of the episode, it seems highly unlikely this is the last time Ventress and Omega meet. In fact, it might just be the start of one of the most unlikely relationships ever to unfold in the galaxy far, far away.

Ventress has seen and done it all. She’s walked the path of light and descended into darkness but now, by her own omission, she walks her own path and it almost certainly is shaded grey. Given the totality of her own experiences, it’s almost impossible for it not to be. And what she sees in Omega is someone who, like her, whose life is being controlled by everyone but her…and it’s at least worth wondering if Ventress means to stop that and give Omega agency moving forward. Ventress mentions training Uhmeeguh during the episode and it would seem that might at least one possible option for what happens to the young clone (she’s somewhere between 12 and 14 years old during Season 3). While it’s known that Project Necromancer is ultimately at least sort of successful (Sleepy Sheev does inhabit a clone body in The Rise of Skywalker but it’s certainly no masterpiece) it doesn’t mean Omega has to die. The Bad Batch producer Brad Rau has teased the potential for more adventures with Ventress down the road and given Dave Filoni’s fascination for bringing animated characters into live-action, any number of possibilities exist including Ventress and Omega still being alive and well during the New Republic era. The producers once explored the possibility of using Ventress in Star Wars Resistance which is set long after The Mandalorian and, as the Nighsister said, she has a few lives left. Star Wars loves destiny; Star Wars loves to tell master and apprentice stories; and it’s starting to show some love to those who live in the grey which gives plenty of room for the continuing story of Asajj Ventress…and maybe Uhmeeguh.

Previous Post

Marvel and Sony Moving Fast(ly) and Furious(ly) in the Search for the Director of ‘Spider-Man 4’

Next Post

Mon Dieu! ‘Deadpool and Wolverine’ Rumored to Have Another Ace Up Its Sleeve

Related Posts