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The Bad Batch

Rescue on Ryloth (The Bad Batch - S01E12) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: Rescue on Ryloth

Season: One

Episode: 12

Original Air Date: July 16th, 2021

Runtime: 25 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"I will not be a part of it any longer!" SPOILERS.

Hera contacts the Bad Batch

This week''s episode brings few surprises. Hera's parents were arrested by the Empire in the last episode, so in this episode Hera contacts the Bad Batch and asks them for help. And even though Hunter is reluctant the Bad Batch eventually come to the rescue. There are a few obstacles but in the end the Bad Batch manage to free Hera's family and the Syndullas escape the clutches of the Empire. The only really important bits in this week's episode involve Captain Howzers refusal to follow Imperial orders and Crosshair's new mission to hunt down the Bad Batch after they have proven to be a thorn in the side of Empire one time too many now.

A clone with a conscience or a faulty chip? Howzer won't follow Imperial command anymore!

All in all "Rescue on Ryloth" was a solid Bad Batch episode, as usual it's entertaining, but overall I feel this detour to Hera's home planet would have made for a much better Rebels 2-parter. The only things that really matter, Howzer's refusal to follow orders and the fact that several of his fellow clones follow his example and refuse to go along with how the Empire runs things (oppressing the very people the clones swore to protect and defend during the Clone Wars) and Crosshair's new mission to hunt down the Bad Batch could have been included as subplots in "Common Ground" in my opinion.

Crosshair really wants to hunt down his former friends

After 12 episodes of The Bad Batch I feel that while the show is really solid, extremely well animated with beautiful art direction and good action, it's still somewhat unexciting. I thought about why I feel this way... and the issue I see is that The Bad Batch, maybe Star Wars as a whole, is in danger of becoming too much of the same thing. What do I mean? While The Bad Batch is absolutely solid, it's neither new nor groundbreaking or all that exciting as a whole. One factor is that The Bad Batch is just Mandalorian in disguise in many ways. I have discussed this before. Another thing that I feel can and maybe will become an issue for Star Wars in general is something Star Trek suffered greatly from towards the end of its most successful phase it ever had from 1987-2005: overreliance on the same plot devices, basic structures and character archetypes again and again. It didn't feel fresh and new anymore. And I feel The Bad Batch already shows signs of this. The show doesn't feel like it has its own identity, the pendulum swings between Clone Wars sequel and Rebels prequel week to week. I feel what Star Wars needs is something new, something fresh, something that doesn't require prior knowledge, that doesn't rely on past movies or series and starts from scratch. So the viewer doesn't know what will happen. But with Book of Boba Fett, Kenobi and Cassian Andor the next three shows to be released will do just that: it'll be more of the same and it will all be very familiar. Which doesn't mean it will be bad, it's not always a bad thing to revisit fan favorite characters, but if you limit yourself to mostly one time period, reusing the same characters or archetypes all the time, chances are it'll eventually become somewhat stale and predictable with a sense of deja vu that haunts all of your productions.

I feel Star Wars should leave the entire prequel era, OT period or sequels behind, I include The High Republic here, since it's not really new, it even features some prequel characters and it's just the same basic formula all over again. I believe it would be wise to make something that is either in the distant past or far future (which is preferred, because anything set in the past is somewhat of a prequel), so far removed from the time periods and characters we know that they are at best mythic legends, if at all.

The issue I have with The Bad Batch is that it's just too familiar. That we have too many characters from other shows who appear on the show all the time. And then the show doesn't even focus on its actual plot most of the time, but either gives us planets of the week or in the past two weeks even an outright detour with a full blown Rebels prequel.

That leaves the one thing which will have probably lasting repercussions: Howzer's refusal to obey Imperial orders and the fact that quite a few of his troopers followed him. I believe this will greatly contribute to the phasing out of clone soldiers. It seems the inhibitor chip, which should prevent such a thing, malfunctions in more clones than previously believed. And the issue with that is that clones are highly skilled soldiers who could pose a real threat to Imperial military rule. So we come back to something the show talked about before: how honest loyalty is preferable over programmed loyalty. Because, as you can see with Howzer and many of his troopers, if that programming fails loyalty is no longer guaranteed.

Still, wouldn't it be nice to get some new Star Wars that is completely unpredictable, where you cannot guess in advance what is going to happen, where you cannot recognize the same Star Wars character archetypes after 10 seconds of screentime?

So The Bad Batch will certainly continue to be solid, it'll offer some good entertainment, but all the while it will be entirely predictable, safe and follow the same well-trodden paths. It's just disappointing when you can entirely predict the plot of "Rescue on Ryloth" after watching last week's "Devil's Deal". You should never know what is going to happen. When is the last time anyone was really surprised by Star Wars? In a good way? And I don't mean Baby Yoda's reveal in The Mandalorian here or Luke's return, which was a surprise, sort of, but The Mandalorian, no matter how well made the show is and how much fun it is (and I like the show a lot), is just more of the same. It reminds me of Star Trek Enterprise, which had some excellent episodes, especially in later seasons that were a lot of fun. But no matter how great the episodes were... they were basically just more of the same. Star Wars should avoid that trap.

The 2-parter was a decent Rebels prequel. But as Bad Batch episodes the two episodes were very redundant and unnecessary. The one relevant subplot could have been used previously, on any of the other planets of the week. And as Star Wars entertainment it was unimaginative and too familiar overall. I feel Star Wars should not be solid and "ok", it should break new ground. What Lucas originally envisioned Star Wars to be. Like or hate the prequels, they were in many ways completely new, ever since the Disney takover what we mostly get is nostalgia and more of the same.

Added: July 19, 2021
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
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