After a 4-year hiatus, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” returns for its final season with as much action and excitement as fans have come to expect, establishing the series as a flagship program on Disney’s streaming service.
The much-anticipated seventh season opens with a story arc following clone captain Rex and clone commander Cody as they go behind enemy lines to attempt to discover how the villainous droid army has seemingly managed to predict their every move in recent battles.
The hallmark clones are not alone, however, as they are aided by a clone squad calling themselves the “Bad Batch” — a group of clones that received advantageous mutations at their births. This squad’s talents exceed all others, consisting of a brute strong enough to lift spaceships, a genius technician, a sniper who can kill from miles away, and a leader with senses so attuned he can tell exactly where the enemy is at all times.
One of the main draws of “The Clone Wars” was always its ability to add new and interesting facets of the Star Wars universe, and this premiere is no exception. It shows us new types of clones performing these amazing feats, and expands our idea of what exactly a clone is in the world of Star Wars. This is a minor addition, to be sure, but it manages to expand the lore that much more.
Something I do not see praised enough about “The Clone Wars” is the performance — or, should I say, performances — of voice actor Dee Bradley Baker. Baker voices all of the clones on this show, and manages to give each of them their own distinct personalities and feel as their own unique characters. The actor’s talent is on full display in this episode, as he manages to make each member of the Bad Batch squad feel like different and interesting characters. Baker is talented and deserves all of the credit you can give for what he manages to do on this show.
Beyond the interesting addition of this new squad — brilliantly voiced by Baker — the season opener also provides a relatively engaging story thread for audiences to follow. It offers more depth to what it means to be a clone, and at times leaves us questioning whether the clones even want to fight in this war.
In addition to this morally-interesting line of thought, the show also provides a juicy reveal for its audience members. Though I will not spoil exactly how it does so, the episode provides reason for viewers to believe a character long thought dead is still alive. This kind of reveal gives the audience good incentive to come back for the next episode, making the episode noteworthy for its ability to keep you engaged.
Though this premiere most certainly did a great deal right, I would not necessarily say it is the show’s best episode. It is definitely entertaining — and will satisfy long-time fans of the show — but it lacks that same allure that many of the show’s best episodes have. It does not feel like a story viewers necessarily need to know in the greater Star Wars story, whereas better episodes of the shows provided amazing stories that you find hard to believe were never covered previously. Though this is not a major issue, I feel this prevents the episode from being truly great.
With everything considered, the premiere of “Clone Wars” season seven is one that largely lives up to fans’ expectations. While it is not the greatest episode of the series, it leaves viewers wanting more, and is a worthy opening to the show’s final season.