Serial Consumer celebrates and interrogates Evan’s relationship to franchised media and his addiction to purchasing its licensed products.
I didn’t buy any Star Wars shit this week, but I did wake up early and go to Target several times hoping to find their exclusive Clone Wars 6″ figures of Obi-Wan, Anakin and ARC Trooper Echo. Their shelf date is May 23, but Targets across the United States have started shelving them … apparently in every state but Indiana. Thus far my search is in vain. Hopefully, an early-morning Sunday trip will be successful. If not, at least I’ll pick up some Starbucks.
“Cornered,” episode four of The Bad Batch, is structured similarly to the previous two entries and sort of solidifies what this show is going to look like moving forward. The Clone Wars had a broad scope, each season featuring multiple miniature story arcs with an array of main characters and genres. Rebels was more focused on the journey of Ezra Bridger, with occasional stories about his crewmates. The Mandalorian is about, well, Mando meeting whatever cameo character Disney inserts to launch a spinoff. The Bad Batch is proving to be an ensemble show that puts our main characters into different Star Wars scenarios each week while the Empire slowly takes hold just off-screen — big monsters, disguised infiltrations, etc. This week introduces the Star Wars staple of a bounty hunter on the chase. I love the show so far but hope future episodes structurally surprise viewers in some way. Maybe they could focus on other characters or split characters off from the group for solo stories?
Still, I loved this episode’s tight plotting and good action beats. Plus, the bounty hunter chasing the Bad Batch is Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), who was first introduced in The Mandalorian and now seems to be Boba Fett’s partner after Return of the Jedi. She’s a character with a lot of potential and what seems to be a widening footprint on the Disney+ side of the Galaxy, so I’m glad we’ll see bits of her younger days here. Given her later relationship to Boba Fett and seeming success as a bounty hunter, perhaps she’ll bring Fett himself into The Bad Batch down the line. It would be cool to see him interact with fellow Clones.
A side note: I would love to see the infamous bounty hunter arc cut from The Clone Wars adapted to this show, including the duel between Boba Fett and Cad Bane.
“Cornered” also gives Echo a chance to show off what makes him special. The five clones who make up the Bad Batch fall into general squad types: the leader generalist, the sniper, the muscle, the brain and … the other brain? Echo’s role compared to Tech has not always been clear in practice, given that either of them can solve the complications that require tech support. Here, Echo’s special connection to Droids allows him to uniquely solve their problem. Droids have always been a major part of Star Wars — in many ways at the heart of it — and having a character who bridges the gap between humans and Droids opens a lot of interesting new story possibilities.
Now if only they’d announce his Black Series 6” Bad Batch figure …
What I’d Buy:
- 6” Fennec Shand (rumored)
- 6” Bad Batch Echo (rumored)
Frankly, not much else. It’s been a light week! Really, a light show so far aside from the first episode. We’ll see how things develop.