Star Wars: The Unhealthy Batch is the sequel The Clone Wars deserves

The Unhealthy Batch — Crosshair, Echo, Wrecker, Hunter and Tech — are a superb staff to spend time with.


It was exhausting to know what to anticipate from Star Wars: The Unhealthy Batch. After The Clone Wars’ unbelievable remaining season, it appeared unlikely the followup CGI animated sequence might attain those self same dizzying heights because it shifted focus from beloved Jedi heroes to a squad of enhanced clones.

Followers needn’t have nervous although: The 70-minute first episode of The Unhealthy Batch, on Disney Plus Could 4, hits as exhausting as peak Clone Wars. Kicking off through the occasions of Revenge of the Sith, it affords one other perspective on Order 66 as Darth Sidious seizes management of the galaxy and clone troopers activate their Jedi allies.

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Final time we noticed the titular squad, they labored collectively seamlessly — giving loads of participating motion with little sense of hazard. The brand new present correctly ratchets up the stress by having the Unhealthy Batch react to Order 66 in conflicting methods, making a scrumptious sense of distrust among the many staff.

Their various personalities add loads of coloration too — Rambo-like Hunter is the relatable all-rounder; nerdy Tech delivers data to drive the plot ahead; burly Wrecker is the humor; sniper Crosshair is the icy logic; and cybernetically enhanced new recruit Echo is the droid.

The motion kicks off early within the present’s first episode.

Lucasfilm/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Versatile voice actor Dee Bradley Baker returns from The Clone Wars to play all of the clones and appears like he is having a blast leaping between all of them, infusing enjoyable into each minute we spend with them. The Unhealthy Batch really feel like a bunch of fellows who’ve survived some severe scrapes due to the belief they’ve constructed up, and it is easy to get emotionally invested within the new problem they encounter on this episode.

This is not a one-squad present, although, as a go to to the cloning heart on watery planet Kamino reveals how the Unhealthy Batch’s clone brothers gained a contemporary ruthlessness beneath the Empire. It is a stark distinction to the likeable clones of the previous present, and provides one other layer of peril to this journey

Omega is a superb addition to the Star Wars universe.

Lucasfilm/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

We’re additionally launched to this present’s Child Yoda equal — the mysterious Omega. The precocious teen varieties a bond with the Unhealthy Batch as Kamino will get extra Imperial, and actor Michelle Ang brings a way of marvel to the character. It is to Ang and the writing staff’s credit score that Omega seems like a plausible youngster with out ever slipping into any annoying child tropes.

The visuals are as spectacular as we have come to count on from Lucasfilm Animation, hitting the identical heights as The Clone Wars’ remaining season. The character design is hanging and so they discover a number of magnificent places within the first episode alone — an icy world, the watery Kamino and a thick jungle planet supply loads of selection. Returning composer Kevin Kiner additionally provides every place a way of grandiosity by way of his rating.

Followers will likely be delighted on the present’s exploration of the universe’s lore and altering mechanics because the decaying Republic transitions into the grindingly oppressive Empire — it wastes little time diving into why the clones had been changed by Stormtroopers and giving us some connective tissue to Rebels (the subsequent present within the chronological timeline), amongst different nuggets.

The premiere episode of Star Wars: The Unhealthy Batch serves as a killer introduction to this 16-episode journey, paying tribute to The Clone Wars with out being a carbon copy. Let’s hope it retains turning up the depth and exploring contemporary areas of the galaxy as new 20-minute episodes hit Disney Plus each Friday.

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