The HoloFiles

REVIEW: Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Episode 6

by George Bate for @sw_holocron

Action, action, and more action. That was the focus of The Bad Batch’s sixth episode, an episode light on characterization, but rich in tension and intrigue. Decommissioned sees Clone Force 99 continue their work with Cid by traveling to Corellia to claim a soon-to-be destroyed tactical droid.

As The Bad Batch progresses, it seems to have settled into a comfortable structure moving into its sixth episode. The initial episodes highlighted how the Clones navigated the immediate aftermath of the rise of the Empire, including their frantic attempts to escape, rescue Omega, and hide. With the continued inclusion of Cid (voiced by the wonderful Rhea Perlman), The Bad Batch is slowly building out their array of side characters as its animated predecessors did beforehand. And, in doing so, as the crew settles down so do the audience.

With this structure, the adventure of the week is an interesting premise: go to Corellia and retrieve the Separatist tactical droid. This premise works on a number of levels. For starters, we get to see Corellia again. The planet beautifully came to life in Solo: A Star Wars Story and it’s always great to see interesting locations like this be revisited in other projects. The retrieval of the tactical droid is also a point of interest in that writer Amanda Rose Muñoz and director Nathaniel Villanueva find a way to intelligently explore the ins and outs of the galaxy in such a transitional and tumultuous time. This is something the entire series has excelled with so far and it adds a feeling that this galaxy is really lived in – the Empire’s takeover has consequences. In this case, we see how the Empire dealt with the remnants of the Clone Wars in melting battle droids to scrap. It’s little things like this that really make the universe feel alive.

For better or worse, Decommissioned leans heavily into action set-pieces. The vast majority of the episode consists of a sprawling action sequence between the Bad Batch, the Martez sisters, and the police droids. The factory is beautifully designed and obviously evokes scenes on Geonosis in Attack of the Clones. The return of the Martez sisters was a welcomed surprise after their run in the final season of The Clone Wars. And Omega’s practice with her new weapon offered another endearing way to showcase her growing role in the team. Eventually, however, the action does grow tiresome. So far, The Bad Batch has struck a delicate balance between intimate character moments, overarching plot, and exciting action. But it seems that this balance was somewhat off in Decommissioned.

While the episode doesn’t delve much into the father-daughter bond of Hunter and Omega, it did offer a few points of intrigue worth noting. Wrecker’s progressive deterioration continued, and the utterance of “good soldiers…” felt daunting of what’s to come. It would be heartbreaking to see him turn the same way Crosshair did. We are also still left wondering who hired Fennec Shand to hunt after Omega, although it’s likely the Kaminoans are up to something. And, finally, who are the Martez sisters communicating with at the end of the episode? Although Ahsoka seems like the logical choice, she seems a bit too obvious for this reveal. Could it be Bail Organa? Or another rebel? The person was referred to by “he” (I think?). Regardless, this offered an unexpected mystery heading into future episodes.

Verdict: 7/10

Star Wars: The Bad Batch continued in fine form with an exciting and intriguing sixth episode. Although action set-pieces take up too much of the episode, Decommissioned offers plenty of cool throwbacks, locations, character moments, and surprises to make us eagerly anticipate what Clone Force 99 will be up to next.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+

The HoloFiles

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