Hyperspace Theories: Facing Ordeals in The Bad Batch

In the previous two recordings of Hyperspace Theories, we discussed the two story arc comprising the first six episodes of Season Two of The Bad Batch. In this recording, Tricia Barr and B.J. Priester analyze the next four episodes, which bring the story through episode 10 (of 16) in this season. Building on our previous consideration of the Hero’s Journey story structure in The Bad Batch, we examine how episodes 7 to 10 bring Clone Force 99 into an emotional abyss that typifies the conclusion of the second stage of the journey and the transition into the third stage.

In “The Clone Conspiracy” and “Truth and Consequences,” we witness the broader political ramifications of the end of the Clone Wars and the rise of a new Imperial military as Clone Force 99 is brought into a web of secrets and intrigue through Captain Rex, along with allies Senator Riyo Chuchi and Bail Organa. Yet the stakes are also personal, including a mysterious clone assassin with no identifying number, the fate of all of their clone brothers as the clone army will be decommissioned, and the final revelation that Emperor Palpatine has schemed all along to discredit the clones and replace them with Imperial stormtroopers. These events are sure to influence how Clone Force 99 views their place in the changing galaxy.

Despite the significance of that experience, in “The Crossing” and “Retrieval” the squad has reverted to their postwar baseline: another mundane assignment from Cid. Once again, the mission goes awry and endangers the squad far more than intended – and this time the Marauder is stolen in the process. Yet Cid is nonplussed by their distress call, showing no urgency to assist them. When Clone Force 99 tracks down the ship, they discover an ipsium mine run by a greedy and exploitative owner who manipulates and lies to his desperate employees. The squad reacquires the Marauder, but also makes a difference in improving the lives of the miners. The squad has made it past the worst of their ordeals, gaining more information and experience to prompt a recognition of the true nature of their relationship with Cid and how they can make a contribution in the galaxy. The Bad Batch are at their best when they’re helping people – they just need to see that for themselves at last.

This episodes concludes with a short discussion of storytelling analysis and speculation for Season Three of The Mandalorian, which premieres on March 1st.

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Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.