Hyperspace Theories

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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Direct download: HT_The_Ordeal_of_The_Bad_Batch_Season_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17am EDT

On the latest episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia Barr and B.J. Priester consider the second set of three episodes in Season Two of The Bad Batch. These episodes – “Faster,” “Entombed,” and “Tribe” – present a trio of independent, self-contained missions for Omega and her brothers: accompanying Cid for an ill-fated gambling excursion involving riot racing, a dangerous adventure to seek an artifact in an ancient tomb with Phee, and an unexpected encounter with Gungi, a young Wookiee Jedi survivor of Order 66, that leads Clone Force 99 to conflict-scarred Kashyyyk.

Although some fans have expressed confusion about the purpose of these episodes in The Bad Batch Season Two, we discuss how classic elements of Star Wars story structure help to explain the character development goals underlying these episodes – and why our protagonists seem to meet less than successful outcomes for their endeavors. As Clone Force 99 struggles to find a new identity and purpose in the galaxy, these episodes provide them with important information and experiences that can influence their thinking and decisions going forward. Along the way, we also describe why these episodes of The Bad Batch are not “filler episodes” or “bottle episodes” as those terms are used in serial television storytelling, drawing on Tricia’s post about “Faster” and filler and an insightful post by Kathryn VanArendonk at Vulture. Finally, we use B.J.’s post about “Tribe” to briefly step back into the storytelling origins of The Clone Wars with George Lucas and examine how The Bad Batch pulls forward some decade-old unused ideas.

This episodes concludes with our reactions to the recently released trailer for Season Three of The Mandalorian, which premieres on March 1st.

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Direct download: HT_The_Trials_of_Bad_Batch_Season_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EDT

The new year kicked off with the return of The Bad Batch for Season Two of the animated series. Although some time has passed since the destruction of Kamino at the end of Season One, Clone Force 99 and the galaxy as a whole are still very much living in the aftermath of the end of the Clone Wars and amid the early days of the Galactic Empire. In this context, it makes sense that the Separatists, although defeated militarily in the war, continue to have a lingering impact on the story.

In this episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia Barr and B.J. Priester examine the role of the Separatists in the world-building and character development of The Bad Batch in the first three episodes of Season Two. The premise of “Spoils of War” and “Ruins of War” involves Clone Force 99 trying to steal a small portion of Dooku’s “war chest” from his home base of Serreno. Along the way, Omega and her brothers learn important new information about the Separatist leaders, the Empire, and the impact of the war on everyday people on Separatist worlds.

The third episode, “The Solitary Clone,” unfolds a similar eye-opening scenario for Crosshair. Reunited with fan-favorite Commander Cody, Crosshair can fall back into the familiar routine of blasting “clankers” and following orders to complete the mission. But he also learns first-hand that the new Empire is not interested in peace, only power, and ends the episode weighing Cody’s words about choices and consequences.

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Direct download: HT_Face-Off_The_Bad_Batch_and_Separatists.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm EDT