“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is back and off to a great start for its final season on Disney+

The Star Wars prequels are nothing if not problematic and divisive. They set up a good amount of lore for the Skywalker Saga as it’s now known, but most fans agree they are not good and generally terrible. But one shining beacon of goodness to come from the prequel-era was a little animated series that could, Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Premiering on Cartoon Network in 2008 and running for five seasons, then getting picked up for a sixth by Netflix in 2014, fans never truly saw a completion of that story that bridged the years between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. With the launch of Disney+ last fall and the breakout success of The Mandalorian, fans were ecstatic to learn there would be a new and final season of The Clone Wars coming to the streaming service in February. With the first two episodes available to stream, this Star Wars fan is enjoying their return tremendously. 

Without any spoilers, here’s what’s been happening in season seven. Episode one, “The Bad Batch” introduces viewers to a new group of clone troopers of Clone Force 99, characterized by their “flaws” against the perfected clone design. They’re brought in to help the embattled Republic campaign to find out why they keep losing ground in every battle because the Separatist Droid Army seem to know their playbook. Commander Cody and Captain Rex recount how the droids are able to analyse tactics and find patterns to exploit and believe they have somehow learned Rex’s own strategy. Rex later confides in Cody that he believes one of their fallen brethren, Echo, thought to have died in battle, may have something to do with this as he and Rex formulated the very strategy being exploited. 

Enter Clone Force 99, a defective batch of troopers who underwent mutations to have a specific set of skills. We meet Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Tech. The newly assembled team head for the Separtist Cyber Center. The discovery they make there (no spoilers) sets things in motion for what will be a four episode arc to start the season. 

Episode two, “A Distant Echo”, is a rescue mission to the planet Skako Minor led by Anakin Skywalker, Captain Rex and Hunter. Before they can depart, Anakin calls his wife Padma Amidala in secret as Jedi are not allowed to marry. She tells him he should support Rex’s instincts before Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives to deliver the bad news that the Jedi Council have denied permission for the mission. Anakin decides to go anyway, like he’s known to do. 

Once on Skako Minor, things go south quickly for the Republic strike force and many things are not what they seem. Tech eventually is able to follow the signal to its origin and they make a startling discovery. 

Suffice it to say, this new season is very exciting and the Bad Batch are basically the Wild Bunch of the film of the same name. They’re brash, brave, and tough as nails. We’ve seen some very cool clone troopers over the past six seasons, but none quite like these guys. I’m eager to see what unfolds over the next two episodes of this arc as well as the remaining 10 episodes in the season. The voice cast is stellar as ever, with Dee Bradley Baker voicing every single clone trooper in the series – sometimes talking to half a dozen versions of himself in a single scene. While the prequels aren’t my favorite, Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues to be one of my favorite Star Wars properties to date. 

New episodes drop on Fridays on Disney+.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Snack Packs

Lincoln L. Hayes is an actor and writer in NYC. He’s currently developing a sci-fi television pilot and a short comedy film with his wife and producing partner. 

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