Serial Consumer celebrates and interrogates Evan’s relationship to franchised media and his addiction to purchasing its licensed products.

I was debating with my friend Patrick whether this week would be a direct continuation of last week’s Devil’s Deal and I’m glad my instincts that this would be a two-parter were correct. I can’t blame him for suspecting last week would be a one-and-done; thus far, The Bad Batch hasn’t done many two-parters. It should. I want more of what we got in this series of episodes — different planets and their peoples witnessing the shift from Republic to Empire, with the complex feelings that arise from changing allegiances.

Although I’m glad to see Hera and her psychotic droid Chopper again, the standout in this episode is obviously Clone Captain Howzer. His decision to turn against Rampart and the Empire to protect the Twi’Leks of Ryloth reveals that there are limits to the obedience chips that forced the Clones to enact Order 66. We don’t yet know what those limits are. Is Howzer able to rescue the Syndullas because his chip is degrading, or is it because the Jedi aren’t involved? Has time simply passed long enough for the Clones to differentiate the Republic and the Empire? I’m hoping this is all building to a Clone rebellion.

An army of seasoned Clones would be real trouble for the Empire. No wonder Rampart would rather use indoctrinated, normal humans. No wonder the First Order supposedly used indoctrinated cult soldiers. (Boy, J.J. Abrams, would’ve been nice to get a little more information on that).

I’m wondering, though: If we learn the chips are degrading, what does that say about Crosshair? Is he doing evil things because he believes in it? With only six or so episodes remaining in the season, we’re now entering the third act, with Crosshair actively hunting our heroes. I hope they announce Season 2 for next year soon. I don’t like the feeling that The Bad Batch might be a one-off. I like this world and these characters too much to say goodbye to them after one fun summer. This show scratches a very specific itch for a very specific generation of Star Wars fans, and it’s nice to see Disney let it exist so beautifully.

The only show I want more than The Bad Batch — even more than forthcoming live-action shows I’m excited about — would be a post-Return of the Jedi animated series about the New Republic, Luke’s Jedi Academy and the slow rise of the First Order. It would be a great way to fill the holes in the sequels’ setups while also giving us further adventures of characters like Hera as an adult and as a General. Maybe even the further adventures of Omega as an adult, supposing she survives this. Live-action content hits a wider audience, but animation is where the nitty-gritty Star Wars goodness happens.

I love this show and I greatly enjoy it.

What I’ve Purchased

Still waiting on those pre-orders! Aayla Secura, Tech, Lando (Return of the Jedi) and Koska Reeves should appear in the next few weeks, while my Obi-Wan (Revenge of the Sith) and 501st Trooper should show up in August. Hoping to find Wrecker, too, once he hits the stores. My Old Republic Omnibus is stuck in limbo, which is a little frustrating.

I don’t see anything I need in this episode that I didn’t know I wanted last week. I’m trying to buy less in general, but I will absolutely pre-order Howzer whenever he shows up.