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The Bad Batch

Kamino Lost (The Bad Batch - S01E16) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: Kamino Lost

Season: One

Episode: 16

Original Air Date: August 13th, 2021

Runtime: 25 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"This is what happens when you let a kid call the shots!" SPOILERS.

Front and center

In the final episode of season 1 the Bad Batch with Crosshair in tow make it to the marauder despite giant sea monsters and collapsing structures. Crosshair stays behind because he really likes the Empire and waits for Imperial scouts to pick him up. Nala Se meets her new employers, she arrives at some rather pretty looking Imperial facility and that's it. Nothing of real consequence happens in this episode.

Pretty planet no. 12 or so

"Kamino Lost" was heavy on the action, very light on actual plot. Sure, there is bickering between Crosshair and the other clones, which is kind of funny and Crosshair gets all the best lines. Then there are dramatic rescues, first Crosshair is saved from drowining by Omega and AZ, then Crosshair gets even when he rescues AZ from drowning because his batteries have run low, but in terms of actual plot almost nothing happens. In fact, for all we know the episode hits the reset button. There was certainly a chance to reunite Crosshair with his brothers, but the showrunners apparently want Crosshair to be the bad guy who is with the Empire. In my opinion an eternally grumpy Crosshair would have made for a welcome addition to the team, as someone who tells his brothers how silly it is to let a kid call all the shots and won't have any of that. I so would have liked to hear Crosshair's comment when he finds out the Bad Batch run errands for some lizard lady... but we won't get that in season 2, as it seems.

Nale Se meets her new employers

And that is it, 16 episodes of The Bad Batch are behind us. In my opinion the show had almost no "bad" episodes, but too many completely irrelevant episodes that did neither flesh out the characters nor further the actual story. In fact, The Bad Batch feels like three shows in one. There's the actual Bad Batch series about the clones and the rise of the Empire. Then there's the completely unrelated series about the Bad Batch emulating the A-Team in a manner and doing jobs for Cid. And then there's the mid season backdoor pilot for a show that ended years ago when the showrunners decided to make a detour into Rebels territory and gave us a Rebels prequel.

Season 2 was "greenlit" a few days ago, but in fact it's almost certain that season 2 was produced alongside/after season 1, before even a single episode of season 1 had aired. Animation takes a lot of time to produce and dialogue is recorded years before an episode airs, usually two years. Which in turn means that season 2 will not and cannot take viewer feedback into consideration, since the scripts were finalized in 2020 or even before that.

In my opinion the series needs a few serious tweaks. First, the show needs a clear focus, it should focus entirely on the rise of the Empire, how they seize power throughout the galaxy and it should have the Bad Batch as the actual main characters. Season 2 should get rid of Ord Mantell and Cid pretty quickly. The Cid episodes do nothing for the show overall, these episodes, while entertaining at times, are irrelevant filler and a complete waste of time. And lastly, and most importantly, the show needs some actual stakes. And that is maybe the biggest issue so far. The only stakes we have is whether or not the Bad Batch survive and will find their way. That makes for a pretty uninteresting conflict. Chances are high that the Bad Batch will eventually be instrumental in getting the rebellion up on its legs, but even then we already know how that ends. The issue is that clones, the rebellion and anything to do with that have been sucked dry by both by Clone Wars and Rebels and I would also throw Rogue One into the mix here. That's the problem you have when your show is a prequel to yet another prequel. Nothing that will surprise anyone can or will happen.

Then there's Omega. As far as kid characters go she is ok, but she takes center stage much too often, saves the day too often and Crosshair points it out in this episode that it's really kind of dumb that she calls the shots so many times or implores Hunter to save this and that person. Of course the show is geared towards a younger audience, but the big question is - and we don't have the answer to that - how many kids vs long time Star Wars fans actually watch the show.

The series started out quite promising for Disney, it was the most watched original series on Disney+ for a week. But then it dropped off the radar and no one but Disney really knows how many people watch the show. But if we look at the number of IMDB user reviews we may get an idea how much people are interested in the show. The Mandalorian has 344,000 user reviews. Recent Marvel shows like Loki and Falcon and The Winter Soldier have 164,000 and 146,000 user reviews respectively, WandaVision has 216,000. And while it may not be entirely fair to compare an animated series to live action (live action will usually have more viewers), I believe it still gives us a good idea about how many people watch something or are interested in something. And this is it: The Bad Batch has 14,600 user reviews on IMDB, less than 1/10th of the Marvel shows and just 4% of Mandalorian reviews. To add some perspective: the failed Resistance series has less than 5,000 user reviews (average rating is an 8.0 for the series which illustrates that a high average user score based on a low number of ratings is rather meaningless) on IMDB, Rebels has 35,000 and The Clone Wars 72,600.

So the real question is if The Bad Batch gets enough views and will even convince people to subscribe to Disney+. While we don't know what Disney will consider a success chances are high that viewer numbers and number of new subscriptions attributed to a show are the most important metrics. I wonder if The Bad Batch will get a season 3. We do know the ratings for Clone Wars, Rebels and Resistance since these shows aired (mostly) on tv. In later seasons Rebels had about 500,000 viewers per episode in the US (less than The Clone Wars). Resistance had something like 100,000-200,000 viewers. Rumors that The Bad Batch only has about 300,000 viewers each week, while completely unconfirmed, could be quite accurate if the number of IMDB user reviews is correlated to tv/streaming ratings. I really hope that either The Bad Batch will get a season 3 or that season 2 will not end on a cliffhanger and that the season 2 finale will wrap things up well enough.

In the end The Bad Batch will almost never completely bore you, but season 1 had too many episodes that were not really exciting either. Let's see what season 2 will bring us in 2022. I REALLY hope it will be a lot better than what Resistance season 2 gave us. Many fans had hoped for a more relevant season 2 here as well, with fewer filler episodes and a focus on the central conflict. Instead Resistance season 2 included even more irrelevant filler and even removed the only interesting thing about season 1: Poe Dameron and BB-8 and season 2 of Resistance turned out to be a total dud that had very little going for it. I hope The Bad Batch season 2 won't repeat those mistakes. And to end this review: I believe an 8 episode season 1 would have been enough, since there are only about 8 episodes that actually matter. 16 episodes may simply be too much for a show that has so little actual story to tell. So I hope they come up with some good and meaningful arcs for season 2. Multi episode arcs could be the solution, similar to the season finale. And to end on a positive note: the animation is outstanding, the production design and art direction is also phenomenal. The Bad Batch looks extremely polished and pretty. We get to see various planets, not just your typical desert, city or jungle worlds. Now the series only needs an engaging plot. And that's it. We will meet again when I will (most likely) review Kenobi in 2022. If and how I review The Bad Batch season 2 is yet undecided, I may decide only to review episodes that actually matter.

Added: August 13, 2021
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
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