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'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' Season two premiere review

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Adm. Tarkin in a scene from “Star Wars: The Bad Batch.” "The Bad Batch" Season 2 was released on January 4, 2023 with a two-episode premiere (Lucasfilm Ltd./Disney+/TNS)

Sometimes more of the same isn’t a bad thing. However, the formulaic nature of “Star Wars”’ new animated flagship may prove tiresome to certain viewers.

A pattern firmly established through Dave Filoni’s previous animated shows, “The Clone Wars,” and “Rebels,” is that they all have relatively disappointing starts that give way to exciting and engaging arcs later down the road. “The Clone Wars” in particular has a finale that stands among the best that “Star War” has to offer. 

"Star Wars" Bad Batch" was announced on August 5, 2021. It was released on January 4, 2023 with a two-episode premiere, and is set to conclude on March 29, 2023, also with a two-episode finale.

The show started off much more consistent and it sticks to darker and more action-packed storylines, even if it doesn’t fully dedicate itself to its dark theme. While this consistency makes the episode-to-episode viewing experience more fun, it hasn’t quite reached the heights of its predecessors. 

As always, the animation is stunning and incredibly well done with exciting action scenes and gorgeous set pieces. The first episode starting off on an island shore was an excellent way to show off some shiny new animation and smoother fight scenes. Besides these fun action scenes, these two opening episodes hardly offer anything else. The story is run-of-the-mill and feels a bit too similar to the formula from the previous season. While the characters are older, they’ve hardly changed. 

The third episode, which aired last week, is a much stronger start to the season. While it hammers in tired themes from “The Clone Wars,” the animation and framing of each scene are even more compelling, its focus on some of the more villainous characters from the Star Wars universe makes for a refreshing change of pace. 

This seems to be all there is to say about “The Bad Batch” so far. It simply is more of the same. 

While it’s still fun to watch, the potential for a darker and more thematically rich story permeates through each episode. There are plenty of exciting concepts to follow in this galaxy, and one can only hope this series picks up the slack and reaches its full potential. If the most recent episode is indicative of the quality of this season, it will surely be a welcome improvement. 

If you liked the first season of “The Bad Batch” then you’ll surely enjoy this one as well. However, with a relatively weak premier followed by a stronger third episode, it’s once again teetering on the edge of being truly great.