The following review contains spoilers.
“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” gets resurrected for its seventh and final season after a seven-year hiatus following its 2013 cancellation. Unlike Emperor Palpatine’s resurrection in “The Rise of Skywalker,” the final season of “The Clone Wars” sets itself as an expected progression of the “Star Wars” saga — a fitting coda to the ending of a trilogy.
Fans of “The Clone Wars” animated series may remember that season six was truncated down to 13 episodes from the original episode count in the 20s. The episodes, unable to be released under its syndicated network Cartoon Network, were released through Netflix. Season six (also called “The Lost Missions”) began to lay the groundwork of the show’s grand finale with the potential uncovering of the Sith plot of Order 66, meandering toward the characterizations and adventures of multiple members of the Jedi Council such as Mace Windu or Yoda.
The premiere of season seven, called “The Bad Batch,” spends little time situating you into the final stages of the Clone War — a marked change of pace that sets you toward the denouement portrayed in “The Revenge of the Sith.” While you are drawn back into the setting and tone of the final season, you may find yourself enamored with the character focus of the premiere: the clone soldiers (Dee Bradley Baker, “Family Guy”).
Have you ever wondered what your inner monologue may sound and look like? Baker’s performance as clone hero favorites Rex and Cody alongside the titular Bad Batch commandos leaves very little to the imagination. Baker’s performance as the Bad Batch, clone troopers with “desirable” genetic mutations, is perhaps amongst the actor’s greatest vocal performances. While portraying each individual clone trooper with their own personality through different inflections of the pervasive “clone trooper voice,” Baker also perfectly encapsulates the bickering of the common foot soldier, dripping with the balance of tension and camaraderie. You wonder if Baker’s inner monologue is as eclectic — perhaps even as chaotic — as his masterful portrayal of at least eight different clones.
Baker’s performance of the clones proudly displayed in the premiere paints a somewhat different tone and picture of the denouement of the Clone War. In “Revenge of the Sith,” the focus of the film lies in Anakin Skywalker’s (Hayden Christensen, “The Last Man”) fall to the dark side. True to the series’ role as a complement to “Revenge of the Sith,” “The Bad Batch” is the harbinger of the denouement of auxiliary fighters and characters — chief among them the clones. While it may be disappointing that neither Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein, “Avengers Assemble”) nor any Jedi have major appearances in the premiere, you can take comfort in the expectation and inevitability that each character will also find their own conclusion. While the premiere of “The Clone Wars” may seem underwhelming at first glance, it ultimately succeeds in setting up the conclusion of many of your favorite, auxiliary characters.