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One Last Campaign With the Clone Army

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season 7, Episode 1 Review

It feels like only yesterday when we learned about the cancellation of Star Wars: the Clone Wars. So many stories were left unfinished, and to be honest, that “Lost Episodes” season didn’t cut it for me. Six years later, and Dave Filoni gets to give his masterpiece the final season it deserves. After watching the first episode of the final season, I can only say one thing. It’s like we never left the Clone Army behind.

While Star Wars is often about the Jedi and their Sith enemies, longtime fans will remember that some of the best episodes of The Clone Wars focused on the actual soldiers. The long-awaited seventh season chooses to start off working with the latter perspective. When the Clone Army begins taking heavy losses on Anaxes, Rex begins to suspect that they’re using his own tactics against them. So, his friend Cody decides to call in an elite squad: Clone Squad 99, better known as the “Bad Batch“.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge how this squad’s name pays tribute to CT-99, a deformed Clone Trooper that fans will remember died heroically protecting Kamino from a Separatist attack. It’s fitting, too, because the members of Bad Batch are all Clones with genetic defects. The difference here is that it’s for the better.

On the bottom from left to right, we have Tech, Crosshairs, Hunter, and Wrecker

The Cavalry is Here!

From the moment they appeared on screen, I fell in love with Bad Batch. This quartet of misfit Clones is like GI Joe and the Ninja Turtles rolled into one, and each member is a super-soldier in and of themselves. There’s Wrecker, the muscle with superhuman strength who can lift a gunship. Tech, who I think has super-intelligence like Donatello. Crosshair, who’s a master sniper and man of few words. Finally, we have Hunter, the leader who possesses superhuman senses. Did I mention Hunter looks just like Rambo, because he does!

Hunter from "Bad Batch" is rambo
Hunter is Rambo, change my mind!

By far, seeing the Bad Batch squad in action was the highlight of the episode. I almost squealed when I saw them take down an entire platoon of droids on their own. However, high amounts of testosterone have a tendency to lead to tension. Squad 99 seems to look slightly down on other Clones, calling them all “Regs”, leading to them clashing with Rex and Cody’s group. Fortunately, the bond of camarederie between the Clone Army is too strong to break, and once the initial tension passes, the two groups work like a well-oiled machine.

Band of Brothers

A lot of praise for The Clone Wars has gone to the way they’ve humanized the Clone Troopers. Before, they were more or less generic soldiers. The show gave them all names, distinct personalities and bonds. The Clone Wars made the Clone Army human. Which only made it harder when we saw a Clone we got attached to die.

That loss is even greater for men like Rex and Cody. They’ve watched friends die in front of them. Of all those losses, though, I don’t any were as hard as that of the members of Domino Squad. Introduced all the way back in Season One, we had the pleasure of seeing this squad go from rookies to elite soldiers. Which only made it harder when they all died; or so we thought.

Rex realizes that the tactics the Droids are using were only known to him, Echo, and Fives, the two surviving members of Domino Squad. We thought Echo had died back in Season Three, but this episode changed all that. Not only is Echo alive, but the Separatists are using him to counter the Republic strategies. It’s not only a huge surprise to fans who didn’t know about this, but to Rex as well. One of his closest friends is alive, and he’s determined to bring him home.

So, in short, this was an explosive start to the final season of one of the best things Star Wars has ever seen. I loved it, and I only wish that the next episode was out already. If you need one reason to get Disney+, then do it so you can watch the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

I Give “Bad Batch” a 5/5. It’s like we never left

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