REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch,’ Episode 2 – “Cut and Run”

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The Bad Batch Episode 2

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 2 continues to explore life after the Clone Wars, particularly in how its title characters struggle with a changing galaxy. “Cut and Run” finds the Bad Batch on the run after the events of “Aftermath,” as they weigh their options in the wake of the Empire’s rise. Hunter decides to travel to the planet of Salecuemi to find Cut Lawquane, a deserter from the Clone Wars, to figure out the Batch’s next move-as well as what to do with Omega. However, Salecuemi is growing a heavy Imperial presence, and Cut asks the Batch to help get him and his family off-world.

“Cut and Run” continues to explore The Bad Batch‘s connection to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as Cut first appeared in the Clone Wars episode “The Deserter.” Ironically, he was one of the first clones to develop a sense of free will, as he fell in love with a Twilek woman named Suu and had kids. Cut’s life as a family man offers the Batch a potential look at their own future. It also forces Hunter to grapple with the idea of being a father figure to Omega. All his life, Hunter has known war-so the thought of settling down and potentially raising a little girl is more frightening than facing a platoon of battle droids. Star Wars is built on the trope of found families, particularly in Star Wars Rebels and The Mandalorian; the fact that The Bad Batch is continuing that through-line makes me happy, as the found family is one of my favorite tropes.

What makes the ‘found family’ aspects stand out is the performances, especially from Dee Bradley Baker and Michelle Ang. While Baker continues to excel in giving each member of the Batch different personality tics, it’s Hunter who gets the most soul. Nowhere is this made more clear than in the interactions between Hunter and Omega, as he begins to form a fatherly bond with her. Ang, meanwhile, infuses Omega with a sense of wonder that serves to endear her to the audience. Having spent most of her life on Kamino, she takes in Salecuemi’s landscape with awe, even scooping up a handful of dirt. The idea of games, which Cut and Suu’s children introduce to her, also helps to establish character moments and leads to trouble down the line. It also helps to separate her from The Mandalorian‘s Grogu; while Grogu is an alien baby, Omega is more expressive and less impulsive-which leads to different interactions with her family unit.

While “Cut and Run” excels as building out its found family dynamic, its plot is rather derivative. The “hero travels to a small planet and ends up helping the locals” was done before in The Mandalorian‘s first season episode “Sanctuary,” and in the Clone Wars episode “Bounty Hunters.” While there are some solid action sequences-including a shootout in a shipyard-I feel like there should have been something to shake things up and make it different. Maybe Cut and Suu didn’t get off-world. Maybe the Batch should have stayed to liberate Salecuemi. I feel like more storytelling options could have been explored.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 2 explores the bonds of found family that have sustained the franchise while continuing to utilize its connection to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Though we are only two episodes in, I’m enjoying the bond forming between Omega and the Batch, and I hope that continues to be the center of the series.

New episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch will be available to stream Fridays on Disney+.

 

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 2 - "Cut and Run"
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 2 explores the bonds of found family that have sustained the franchise while continuing to utilize its connection to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Though we are only two episodes in, I’m enjoying the bond forming between Omega and the Batch, and I hope that continues to be the center of the series.