Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 11 Review
Ever since Disney took over the Star Wars franchise, they’ve been trying to run a tight ship. It’s not just axing most of the Expanded Universe. They’re trying to make sure that all Star Wars content is connected to each other in some way. As someone who was a fan of the EU, this strategy seems like a double-edged sword. Yes, it means less contradictions, but it also makes Star Wars not as big as it once was. Case in point, this week’s episode of The Bad Batch barely features them. Instead, it focuses on the origins of a future rebel leader, Hera Syndulla.
Hera and The Clone Wars-Rebels Connection
Those who watched The Clone Wars and Rebels will be very familiar with the characters Hera and Cham Syndulla. Cham Syndulla was introduced back in season one of The Clone Wars as the leader of the resistance against the Separatists on Ryloth, and later against the Empire. And his daughter, Hera, continued in her father’s footsteps as one of the leaders of the Rebel Alliance. As for how Cham and Hera got to the point where we saw them in Rebels, though, that was a mystery. Until now.
With the Clone Wars now over, the Empire’s trying to do everything it can to win over the people of Ryloth. Senator Taa tries his best, but he predictably fails. It’s only when Cham voices his support for peace that the Twilek’s hesitantly decide to accept the Empire. This is in stark contrast to the Cham Syndulla we saw in The Clone Wars and Rebels, who was determined for Ryloth to be free on its own terms. Yet here, he’s ready to lay down his blasters? It’s clear why: he’s see enough fighting in his lifetime, and he wants to rest. In addition, he wants Hera to grow up not knowing of the sacrifices that war brings.
In contrast, young Hera (who already has Chopper) is at crossroads in life. On the one hand, she wants to follow her parent’s example and do what’s right. On the other hand, she desperately wants to become a pilot and leave Ryloth behind. Sooner or later, she’ll have to choose. Unfortunately, forces outside her control decide for her.
The Straw That Breaks the Camel’s Back
Despite her parents wanting to keep Hera out of their fight, canon pushes her towards her role as a rebel leader. Cham’s lieutenant talks her into going on a “supply run” with him with the promise of learning how to fly. This supply run is getting weapons delivered by the Bad Batch. Besides giving us a chance to see Omega and Hera interact with each other, this moment only solidifies the latter’s desire to see the Galaxy.
Unfortunately, the Empire and Taa knew about this from the start, and arrest the whole group, forcing her parents to break her out. Then, just to make things worse, Cham and his wife get framed for attempting to kill Senator Taa, who gets shot through the lekku by Crosshair. As a result, all the adults are arrested while Hera escapes by herself.
Drive Towards the Future
I think that we all know what’s going to happen next. Hera is going to turn to the Bad Batch and Omega to rescue her family, the Bad Batch is going to fight Crosshair again, and this moment will set Cham and Hera Syndulla on their paths as full-on rebels. And Hera’s mom, Eleni, may or may not die in the process, leading to a wedge between father and daughter.
It’s a very predictable outcome to this story on Ryloth, one that I saw from a mile away. In addition, it also seems to take away focus from the Bad Batch, who are supposed to be the focus of the show. However, The Bad Batch is a part of a much larger narrative, and this episode reminds us of that. The Bad Batch may just be trying to survive and raise Omega, but someday, the Rebellion will rise. We’re already seeing the first stages of it rise on The Bad Batch.
I wasn’t that big a fan of Rebels, so while I did enjoy seeing Hera and Chopper, I didn’t let it cloud my judgement. As far as episodes go, this wasn’t the strongest one that The Bad Batch has given us. However, I’m hoping that it’s setting us up for a much cooler episode next week.
I Give “Devil’s Deal” a 3/5
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