“The Bad Batch” wraps up its inaugural season in “Kamino Lost,” not so much with a bang as a lot of whispers. The struggle to escape a watery grave doesn’t pack in the excitement that you might expect from the finale, nor does it answer any of the season’s lingering questions. We do get a better glimpse into the differences that split Crosshair off from the team. That’s going to have to be enough to carry us into season two.
It would be an overstatement to say this first season was a disappointment. We got a deepening of the “Star Wars” universe and a better understanding of the final days of the Republic with the rise of the Empire. The door is open on what happened to the Clone Army as well. Omega also presents a mystery that is just interesting enough to bring us back for more.
Still, it’s not as if the season doesn’t come with its fair share of disenchantments as well. As I’ve stated in most of the show’s reviews, its main characters never get brought to the fore of any story. They often serve as background players to characters from other shows with more history. That’s fine on occasion but leaves season one of “The Bad Batch” feeling empty.
The series of “Return to Kamino” and “Kamino Lost” does give us a neat coda to the “Clone Wars.” We have entered the era of the Empire now. The show does convey the growing sense of hopelessness about the Empire, the beginnings of the spark of new hope. What’s missing is connecting any of this larger story to any of the main characters. We get a little bit of it in the directional choice of the team, with Hunter and crew starting down the road of rebellion and Crosshair following orders to the Empire, but not so much that it laces everything together. The season often feels more like follow-up vignettes to the other “Star Wars” shows than its own narrative. That is a shame because the characters are all likable; we need something more to go on with them, though.
Omega is probably the most developed character so far. Still, something is missing with her as well. It’s not entirely clear why she seems uncomfortable in Lama Su’s lab and what happened there. We know why the Lama Su tried to get her back, but just wanting the genetic material isn’t enough of a reason. Why not hunt Boba Fett as well? If you are planning a multi-season story, you don’t give away all of the details right away. We know so frustratingly little about Omega, though. The hints out there are tantalizing but not quite enough.
This first run of “The Bad Batch” isn’t bad by any means. “Star Wars” has suffered worse moments. The characters we have are interesting enough to want to tune into the next season. I hope that there is less focus on characters from other corners of the “Star Wars” universe and more on the principles of this show. We know enough about Hunter, Omega, Echo, Tech, and Wrecker to like them; it would be nice to get to know them better, though.