The Bad Batch Is Star Wars' Version Of A 'Family Road Trip'

"Star Wars: The Bad Batch" started out with a very cool idea — what if the A-Team but with clones? That sounds awesome! And indeed, their first introduction in the final season of "The Clone Wars" ruled and made a pretty good case for them getting their own spin-off. Then we actually got the first season of "The Bad Batch" and ... it didn't fully justify its existence. Between the whitewashing, the softening of hard questions, or the show's total avoidance of them made this feel like an undercooked cartoon.

Things are much better in this second season. Even if the first few episodes have had a lot of side missions, they each offer something new to the "Star Wars" canon, like a racing episode or a very cool treasure-hunting mission. But the season is also more focused, more willing to present harder-hitting questions and interrogate its own format, with the characters wondering if they should be doing more.

According to the creators of "The Bad Batch," this is the aim of the season, which they described as a cross-country "family road trip" we're in the middle of, with a long way to go.

Asking the hard questions

Speaking to, "The Bad Batch" head writer Jennifer Corbett explained that the goal for this season was allowing the Batch relative freedom from the Empire, which would permit them to go on different missions and stay under the radar. And yet, the goal is to quickly get the Batch back on a grand mission, more directly involved. As Corbett said, "We wanted to very quickly pull them back in as they keep getting sucked into the bigger Galactic conflict, and things get a bit more complicated for them."

And that's what has made this season fascinating to watch. From the very first episode, we've seen a rift grow between the members of the Batch, with Echo (who was once a "regular" clone) pleasing his teammates to do more, to help their brothers and fight the Empire. Meanwhile, the group's leader, Hunter, would rather keep a low profile and stay away from Imperial attention.

One of the bad things about the first season of "The Bad Batch," and one of its earlier criticisms, was how the show treated the Batch as different from the other clones as if their problems didn't affect them all. This season is exploring that subject head-on, and it seems the plan is to eventually have them join the main conflict in a big way. We saw in the most recent episode that the Batch felt at least some sympathy toward Jedi survivor Gungi, so it's also possible they'll try to save some of them to make up for Order 66.