After debuting in May, The Bad Batch has finally reached its end, at least for the first season. After Hunter’s capture, the number of possibilities for future plot points circled around in my head for quite a while. What the last two episodes, Return to Kamino and Kamino Lost, delivered to me was pretty satisfactory, full of great depictions of what happened between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and even had some cool emotional moments!
Return to Kamino has the Batch return to their homeworld to rescue Hunter from the clutches of Crosshair and the Empire. With the facilities going through major changes, the further we move closer to the times of the original trilogy, which is pretty nice. This episode isn’t as strong in the action department as a lot of the other episodes have been, but it’s certainly more of a character piece. And besides, when you’re approaching the finale of a season, that’s what you should be focusing on. The dialogue exchanges between Crosshair and Hunter are pretty good. We finally get to understand Crosshair’s motives, as well as how he views the Empire and his old relationship with the batch. Even after a reluctant team-up, the reveal of him just siding with the Empire, even without an inhibitor chip, was mind-blowing. He wasn’t controlled, he just was following what he believed. It hits the Batch hard, who had held onto the slightest chance of maybe getting him back. The actual ending also really hit hard, as the Kamino facilities were destroyed. This world and city had been a huge plot point of the whole saga, and to see the fall of it felt like the end of the prequel era and the ushering in of the feeling of the original films.
Kamino Lost picks up after this episode, having the Batch and a reluctant Crosshair make their way through the collapsing ruins of Kamino to safety. Tensions fly after the revelations we’ve witnessed, and while I’m not exactly sure it’s as impactful as the last episode, this is still pretty good work. Crosshair’s Imperial allegiance, for example, doesn’t prevent him from saving Omega from near-drowning. Omega tries to connect with Crosshair, and even Hunter tries to offer him another chance. He doesn’t accept, but the whole dynamic of this ensemble of characters (I say characters because Dee Bradley Baker voices all Batch members) is still great. I also enjoyed the openness of the ending. It felt fitting but allows season two to shake things up and take us on a new journey of surprising twists and turns. I also was very interested in the facility where Nala Se, a Kaminoan scientist, is brought to at the end. It’ll be neat to explore that plotline down the road and see how it connects to this saga we love so much.
So, how was The Bad Batch as an overall series? Well, I loved it! Not to say it didn’t have its ups and downs, odd story choices, and reliance on old characters, but on the whole, I enjoyed it. The Batch proved to be just interesting enough to carry this series and was able to contain enough emotion to make their stories meaningful, while also providing some of the best action in any Star Wars series. Season Two is in development, and I couldn’t be more excited!