Warning: This article contains slight spoilers for “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” Episode 2 “Cut and Run.”
The latest episode of “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” hit all the emotional notes that we became accustomed to in the first episode. In a lot of ways, the first episode, “Aftermath,” and the second episode, “Cut and Run,” are really two parts of one story. The Bad Batch soldiers escaped Camino with a new friend, named Omega, and looked to find their way through the galaxy.
But something that “Cut and Run” did differently was focus on how much the Empire has changed society for the people and not just the soldiers.
Since “Star Wars” began, we’ve heard about the Empire’s cruelty on society. We’ve seen glimpses of it in “Star Wars: Rebels,” another animated show from the franchise. But it’s this episode in “Bad Batch” where we see how a society switches from one style of government to another.
I’ve always be curious about what it would be like to go from being a citizen of a Republic to one of an Empire. What would it like to see your own government crumble and become something different? What would it be like for democracy — one of peace and freedom — destroyed for the sake of tyranny and power?
We see it in this episode in a simple moment when the Bad Batch soldiers run into some locals, who are trying to fly away from their planet. When they go to board the ship, they’re asked to give a new “chain code.” The Bad Batch soldiers soon learn that people are now being given numbers and codes by the Empire. Everyone in the galaxy now has a number attached to them — their names don’t matter anymore.
And then there’s a hologram of an admiral or military leader telling the citizens of the town that they can trade in their credits for Imperial ones. Just like that, the Empire is taking over everyone’s way of life.
In the “Star Wars” timeline, the Rebellion defeats the Empire after about 22 years of power. But we’re starting to see the beginning of how that power can lead to Rebellion. Sure, the Empire is saying the Clone Wars are over and society is peaceful again. But it’s clear peace won’t last much longer, and the Rebellion will grow from there.
“The Bad Batch” had a bit of action in this latest episode. I don’t feel as though the story progressed too much. Instead, we were treated to a new glimpse at how the Empire will impact this galaxy. And this is brilliant. “The Bad Batch” is a spinoff show that many wouldn’t have picked to be the first new “Star Wars” show we got. But it is telling a larger story about the Empire and its impact on the galaxy. And that can be something that will shift the way we see the “Star Wars” franchise forever.