The Clone Wars IS BACK! Season 7 begins with an elite squad known as The Suicide Squad err The Bad Batch trying to recover the Republic’s strategy algorithm from Admiral Trench. Here is a FULL SPOILER review of the season 7 debut episode of The Clone Wars.

“Embrace others for their differences, for that makes you whole”

What a quote! The Star Wars universe has been quite divisive over the last few years. The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker are two films that have received a ton of criticism. Personally I loved Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi and it’s fresh take and boldness. The Rise of Skywalker was a fun ride albeit highly disappointing finale to the Skywalker saga.

But the quote is a reminder that, despite the struggles with its overall creative direction, Dave Filoni is here to save the day for all Star Wars fans. Star Wars on the small screen has been doing laps around the films since The Clone Wars began in 2008. Much of that has to do with the Legendary Dave Filoni.

Come together, we must…

Dave Filoni has left the blue print for the future of Star Wars on the big screen. We saw the beginnings of this when Moff Gideon revealed the darksaber in season one of The Mandalorian which forever connected the two mediums. Dave Filoni is a master of character development, which is something Kevin Feige will clearly need to fix for the Star Wars franchise moving forward.

Now back to Episode 1 titled “The Bad Batch,” which was directed by Dave Filoni and written by George Lucas. First things first, the animation is gorgeous. I was late coming to The Clone Wars and had recently finished binging the entire series just a month ago. But WOW. The animation in this show has come a long way since season one.

Is this it? We’re some kind of Suicide Squad?

I loved the nods to The Suicide Squad in this episode. Clone Force 99, aka The Bad Batch, is led by Sergeant Hunter. In hilarious fashion, Sergeant Hunter looks like a younger version of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo. The Bad Batch features Wrecker, the blunt instrument of the team who obviously does the dirty work. Wrecker had some of the best lines in the episode and was the biggest standout. Tech is the brains of the squad while Crosshair (strikingly similar to Deadshot) provides the team with long range cover.   

A retrieval mission to go behind enemy lines and obtain an algorithm of the Droid Army’s tactics quickly turns awry when their ship is shot down by patrolling droids. Wrecker saves Commander Cody just in time before the ship explodes and it’s not long before an army of droids moves in on their position. The visuals of episode 1 were really noticeable during a scene with The Bad Batch taking down hundreds of droids by tossing strategically placed electromagnetic grenades over the droids’ battle formations.

The animation and tone was perfect…

The dark and light tones during this fight scene was a reminder of just how far this show as come since its debut. A lot of work has been put into the animation of The Clone Wars, which continues to be the benchmark for animation in the Star Wars universe.

Cody, Rex and The Bad Batch continue to make quick work of the surrounding droids as they gain closer and closer proximity to obtaining the algorithm. However, plans continue to change when the algorithm turns out to be a live signal from planet Skako Minor. Who was sending the signal? CT-1409, a clone trooper known as Echo. Why is this a surprise? Who is Echo?

Echo was a strict rule follower and a member of Domino Squad. He was consistently teased by his peers for repeating orders and following clone regulations. Most importantly, Echo was presumed dead during a mission to rescue a number of Republic officers in season two of The Clone Wars. Echo was a loyal trooper, died fighting for what he believed in and a close friend of Commander Cody.

Commander Cody is shocked by the reveal that Echo is the one behind the signal and currently being held in custody by the Separatists. “Sometimes in war it’s hard to be the one who survives,” says Cody at the beginning of the episode. This was a stark reminder of all the troopers Cody has lost and a foreshadowing of what is to come. To the shock of Admiral Trench, the mission is an overall success as the crew leaves the planet and sails off into the sunset.

The Mandalorian Tie Ins

  • Not an exact match, but the gun ship for The Bad Batch was semi-close to Din Djarin’s ship Razor Crest.
  • Watching Commander Cody and Captain Rex interact with The Bad Batch was eerily similar to how Mando dealt with the crew of mercenaries in “The Prisoner.” The giant horned Devaronian named Burg in “The Prisoner” is played by Clancy Brown, who also did voice-work in Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars.

The final season of The Clone Wars starts off with some of the best action scenes in the series. Episode one ends on an excellent cliffhanger and was a clear reminder to fans that Star Wars on the small screen continues to raise the bar for the franchise. Watching Rex and Cody return alongside the fantastic and diverse group of warriors known as The Bad Batch was a blast. If this is the tone for the rest of season 7, then all of us Star Wars nerds are in for one heck of a ride in 2020.  

My Grade: 8.2/10

The Clone Wars will release on Fridays on Disney+ for the next several weeks. Lock it down to Suit Up (@SuitUpTPL on Twitter) for everything Star Wars and The Clone Wars. We will be podcasting our reaction to the show this afternoon on our YouTube Channel and providing weekly reviews.