After the heavy lifting of the previous episode, Star Wars: The Bad Batch shifted to a more adventurous romp with “Cornered”, the latest episode to drop for the first season. Focusing primarily on the Batch and Omega as they encounter a familiar bounty hunter (at least familiar to the fans), the episode’s main objective was to continue world-building, laying the foundations for what will potentially be more stories in the future of the group.
Spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you haven’t watched the episode.
Much like episode two “Cut and Run”, this episode focuses entirely on the Batch and Omega. There’s going to be a lot of criticism of Omega as a character from some of the fans. I normally watch The Bad Batch with a group of friends (which is why these posts are always the day after the episode drops rather than the day of). And one of my dear friends in the watch party can’t stand Omega. I understand where she’s coming from, though: Omega is a child character and those can be rather annoying, particularly since Omega has a penchant for getting into trouble. My hope is that Filoni doesn’t keep using that trope as a crutch during this first season.
The return of Fennic Shand (voiced by the incomparable Ming-Na Wen) was a delight, particularly since this is Fennic early in her career as a bounty hunter. Ming-Na’s voice work is impeccable here, giving Shand an easy-going personality until everything hits the fan. Shand isn’t like most of the bounty hunters we’ve seen in Star Wars. She’s not overly cruel or uncaring. Shand actually takes on a much more nurturing role with Omega than would be necessary, since Omega is her target. A more practical bounty hunter, like Boba Fett as an example, would have just stunned Omega and carted her off instead of stealing fruit so the kid could eat or advising her to tuck and roll before dropping her from a great height onto a passing freighter.
The majority of the episode is spent showing the increasing hold on the galaxy that the Empire is extending, though. Much like the second episode, we see the push from the Empire to sign up for Code Chains and switch out Republic Credits for Imperial Credits. The Empire’s fist is working its way around the galaxy and beginning to squeeze. Using a parade of Clone Troopers to rile up the populace in celebration over the end of the Clone Wars is a masterful stroke of genius on the Empire’s part. Nothing makes people more jubilant than to think they’ve won some great victory over another group. But as Hunter and Echo rightly state, winning the war is a good thing, depending on which side of the war you’re on.
I’m interested to see if the series visits any worlds that were strongly pro-Separatist during this season. I think it would be intriguing to see how the worlds who stood against the Republic are faring now that the Empire has risen from the ashes of the Old Republic. Four episodes in and I’m growing to love the members of Clone Force 99 even more. Tech is absolutely the Spock of the group, coldly logical but not completely unfeeling. Echo is the put-upon technician (the side plot of him being undersold as a “droid” to get the group money was priceless). Wrecker is the lovable lug who, while not as brilliant as the others, makes up for it by being the biggest sweetheart of the group. And there’s Hunter, the leader and the one who carries that burden with grim determination. Dee Bradley Baker’s voice work cannot be overstated. He makes each of these disparate characters unique and memorable, which is all you could ask from a voice actor. So far, I’m enjoying the series and I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.
My book series The Atalante Chronicles is now live on Amazon for Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover Print-On-Demand. Your support is greatly appreciated.
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