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The Bad Batch

Tribe (The Bad Batch - S02E06) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: Tribe

Season: Two

Episode: 6

Original Air Date: February 1st, 2023

Runtime: 25 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"They're both just kids. But they don't get to be!" SPOILERS.

Space FedEx has a delivery for the droids

"Tribe" is a somewhat better episode after several adventures that felt quite pointless. But even so, "Tribe" mostly squanders its potential and instead opts for action when plot would have been the better choice and the little plot there is is in very familiar territory.

Yet another Order 66 survivor: Gungi

The Bad Batch are still playing space FedEx for Cid and are delivering forged chaincodes to a space station run by droids. Omega and Echo stay behind at the ship but Omega sneaks off, because why not, and Omega happens to find two droids that are assaulting a young Wookiee with electrostaffs. Of course Omega protests, a fight breaks out and it's revealed that the young Wookie is a Jedi padawan when he force pulls his lightsaber from one of the droids and ignites it.

Take me home country roads, to the place I belong, but not West Virginia in this case

The Bad Batch find themselves in yet another fine mess, but they manage to escape the space station with the Wookiee and here it's revealed that the Wookiee is someone we have met several times before in The Clone Wars. It's Gungi, the Jedi padawan. He obviously survived Order 66 and tried to make it on his own in a hostile galaxy. However the droids managed to capture him and apparently had plans for him, however, it's never revealed what those plans are. Maybe they were trying to sell Gungi to the Empire, maybe they were meant to deliver him to someone else, we don't know. Instead it's almost immediately decided to return Gungi to Kashyyyk. But there's a hitch, since Gungi was removed from his home planet when he was still very young he doesn't remember where he's from and who his family is. However, it doesn't take long for the Bad Batch to find some tribe at least and they are more than willing to adopt young Gungi.

The "spiders" catch the head Trandoshan as their meal in a surprisingly cruel ending

However, trouble is brewing. The Empire is on Kashyyyk, the troopers are assisting Trandoshan headhunters who are after Wookiees. Of course they need to be dealt with and after some action scenes the Trandoshans are defeated. Their leader becomes a meal for the resident space spiders, he will probably be eaten alive. Gungi can stay with his new tribe and perhaps enjoy a life in peace, at least for now.

"Tribe" touches on a few interesting topics, but never really elaborates on any of them. First there are the droids who captured Gungi for some reason. Were they trying to sell him to the Empire? Did they have other plans for him? The episode could have explored this, but instead decided to use the same plotline as so many other Star Wars series: returning a child back home. This is the entire premise of the first two seasons of The Mandalorian of course and you could say that Obi-Wan Kenobi more or less did the same with little Leia. How many more times do we have to see how a young child is rescued from captivity and subsequently returned to family / their home? Maybe it would have been more interesting to explore the ploy by the droids and to introduce a third party who also wants Jedi.

Next we have Gungi's initial mistrust of the Bad Batch, because they are all clones. But this is resolved almost immediately. What could have been used to explore what it means to basically share the look and many characteristics of clones who committed mass murder across the galaxy when they wiped out the Jedi Order was dismissed almost immediately. Gungi could have been much more relucatant to trust the Bad Batch to provide some conflict.

Instead we get some light mysticism on Kashyyyk when the Wookies commune with trees, the usual bad guys who hunt Wookiees for sports, supported by some stormtroopers.

Then there's the whole messed up practice by the Jedi Order to basically snatch young kids away from their home and parents, never even telling them who their parents are and preventing all contact. The episode could have explored this in greater detail, maybe by finding Gungi's actual family and further elaborating what it means for Gungi to finally meet his actual family and how he, in hindsight, feels about the Jedi taking him away from everyone who loved him. Of course this would have been pretty difficult to pull off since there is nothing more tedious than endless Wookiee dialogue, so this plot would work better with someone who can speak Basic. Obi-Wan Kenobi also very briefly brought up this topic, when Kenobi talks about his family and what little he remembers, but this series never went anywhere with it either. This is a huge missed opportunity. They could have examined the tradition of the Jedi Order and question their philosophy. Something that ultimately contributed to the eventual downfall, who knows how Anakin might have turned out if his mother had been saved from slavery and if kids were allowed to still see their parents.

Finally the episode could have tried to explore what Hunter is talking about close to the end, that in this galaxy the kids like Gungi and Omega don't get to be kids. Maybe do something with that concept and explore it. But the episode - the series - doesn't really do anything with that.

And ultimately there's the fact that we have now met yet another Order 66 survivor, the galaxy must still be teeming with Jedi, apparently. Which is a problem when you think of the entire premise of the original movies, that Luke was basically the last Jedi. Only he isn't. Unless all Order 66 survivors were killed in the meantime. Well, we know Ahsoka survived, which raises the question why none of these Jedi ever decided to help the rebellion.

In the end "Tribe" is a perfectly average episode. It will entertain you. But do little less. There are some potentially interesting elements in this episode, but nothing is made of them and it's all just pretty standard action and standard plot, seen countless times in Star Wars previously. And the trope of the kid who runs off, even though they were told to stay where they are, needs to be retired now. It's getting more than old. There surely would have been any number of ways for the Bad Batch to find out about the captured Wookiee padawan other than Omega sneaking off.

To sum it up: this is still non-essential viewing in my opinion. If you have the time and want some light entertainment then "Tribe" is ok. If you want a little bit more from your Star Wars, then you won't find it here. It's a slight improvement over the previous few episodes, and on the plus side there is no Cid and especially no Phee Genoa here. But The Bad Batch really needs to find its groove sooner than later and offer something else but stand-alone adventures that mostly go nowhere. My biggest complaint here is the utter predictability of the series. Nothing at all in "Tribe" surprised me in the least. I am waiting for something surprising and unforeseen to happen in season 2.

Added: February 4, 2023
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
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