REVIEW: ‘The Bad Batch’ Series Finale

(L-R): Hunter and Omega in a scene from “STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH”, season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Throughout its 47-episode run, The Bad Batch spun a tale of a crew of wartime veterans searching for an identity in a galaxy that had chewed them up and spit them out. As the third and final season of the show launched in April, the remaining members of Clone Force 99 found themselves reeling from the loss of one of their own and the abduction of another. Though they had hoped their days of running missions were over, Season 3 gave the squad plenty of reason to stay in the fight, though this fight was one of their own choosing. In the final episode of the series, “The Cavalry Has Arrived”, every member of the team puts everything on the line to complete their most important mission yet: holding on to what they fought so hard to get.

“The Cavalry Has Arrived” works wonderfully as a season and series finale by wrapping up three seasons’ worth of plot and by keeping Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair and Omega at the center of the action. No heroes dropped in for a cameo appearance and to help save the day; Darth Vader didn’t show up at Tantiss Base and cut down Clone Force 99; no major reveals intended to set up a new Star Wars project stole the spotlight. Indeed short of a brief appearance from Tarkin and a reference to Project Stardust, no connections to the larger Star Wars universe were made. Instead, Omega found herself able to deftly apply all she’d learned from the crew, simultaneously helping the other children held at Tantiss Base to escape and providing a way for Hunter, Wrecker and Crosshair to find their way in. By the time it was over, the Batchers all did what they do best, the bad guys got what they had coming (it was somehow more satisfying to see Rampart meet his end than to see Hemlock meet his) and, somewhat surprisingly, they all made it out alive and returned to Pabu. The end.

(L-R): Omega and Hunter in a scene from “STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH”, season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Of course, it’s never truly the end. A nice epilogue set roughly 20 years or so later showed a grown Omega heading off to join the Rebellion as a pilot. A touching moment with an older, grayer Hunter served to inform fans that they should not expect to see him, Wrecker or Crosshair taking part in the Rebellion. There war is over. Omega’s, however, is just beginning. Given the care with which the character has been curated by Dave Filoni, Jennifer Corbett and the rest of the crew behind The Bad Batch and given Filoni’s penchant for finding ways to work his favorite creations into other projects, both animated and live-action, it seems incredibly likely that Omega’s story in only just beginning.

Taken as a complete body of work, The Bad Batch will rightfully take its place by the side of Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars as foundational pieces of the modern era of Star Wars stories. It established itself as an integral piece of the larger mythology of galaxy far, far away both in its ability to tackle to politics of the Empire and establish the importance of cloning in Palpatine’s ultimate plans. It’s examination of the treatment of war veterans probably doesn’t receive enough attention but the show boldly tackled the topic along with glimpses of post-traumatic stress disorders in soldiers. In a galaxy that’s always just moving from one war to another, those themes alone make The Bad Batch a worthwhile watch. It’s the end of an short-lived era for the best group of good soldiers. Clone Force 99, we thank you for your service.

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