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Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)
Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

Star Wars

‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’ season 2 episode 4 ‘Faster’ recap/review

Lots of great eye candy can’t make up for a predictable and lackluster story.

Last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch was a real barn burner. It concluded with cracks forming in Crosshair’s sociopathic resolve while our old friend Commander Cody went AWOL from the Empire.

This week, the series changes gears to give us a racing-based bottle episode.

Listen to the latest episode of the AIPT Television podcast!

As always, the recap portion of this review will contain plenty of spoilers along with some brief explorations of Star Wars lore.

Making Moves

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

The episode opens on Ord Mantell, where Tech, Wrecker, and Omega are enjoying some downtime while Hunter and Echo carry out a transport mission.

*Side Note: The game Omega and Wrecker are playing is called Dejarik. As most of you likely remember, this is the same game Chewbacca was playing against C-3PO on the Millenium Falcon in ‘Episode IV: A New Hope.’

Cid walks in and informs the trio that they have a new job: Acting as her security for a trip to a galactic racetrack on the planet Safa Toma. Upon their arrival, we see that the sport is a bit like podracing on Adderall.

A mix of droids and aliens compete in modified landspeeders on a viciously designed track that’s a cross between Mario Kart and Excitebike. There also doesn’t seem to be any rules, allowing the competitors to engage in whatever shady tactics they deem necessary to win.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

As you might imagine, the track draws a large amount of gambling business, which is the reason for Cid’s visit. After her racer (an extremely charismatic droid named TAY-0) wins a race, the group goes to see him in the pit. Tech is shocked to discover that a droid can make split-second decisions in such an environment (and can be so mouthy/disrespectful).

The group is then visited by a gangster named Grini Millegi and his entourage of goons. After referring to Cid by her full name (Ciddarin Scaleback), Millegi engages in some standard “stay off my turf” intimidation tactics. Cid is unmoved, vowing to stick around while also making it clear that the two have a history of bad blood. Millegi then suggests that they engage in a side wager on the next race, which Cid accepts.

Predictably, Tay-0 loses in spectacular fashion thanks to some dirty shenanigans by Millegi, allowing one of his racers (Jet Venim) to win while also destroying the droid and his landspeeder. When Millegi comes to collect, Cid explains that she doesn’t have the money, but will be good for it. Millegi insists on immediate payment, which results in Cid calling on Tech and Wrecker to start cracking heads.

Just as the situation is about to boil over, Omega proposes a double-or-nothing bet for the next race along with Cid’s safety if they win. Millegi accepts, but takes Cid prisoner as collateral.

Accidents Happen

'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' season 2 episode 4 'Faster' recap/review

While Tech works on getting Tay-0 repaired, Wrecker suggests that they simply rescue Cid by force and return home. Tech responds that they can’t do that since it would result in Millegi sending people after them.

*Side Note: This is some pretty thin reasoning, especially when you consider how many folks the Bad Batch have likely ticked off across the galaxy while wearing their highly recognizable armor. You could make the argument that Millegi possibly knows where Cid’s parlor/hideout is, but that still doesn’t pass the smell test.

As Tech gets back to work on Tay-0, he remarks how this isn’t the first time Cid’s shady dealings have required them to help her. Elsewhere, Millegi tells his captive rival that her new crew will eventually see who she really is. Cid says that she’s changed, but Millegi remains unconvinced.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

Later, Tech is able to get Tay-0 fully repaired and ready to go. As the next race approaches, the two argue about race tactics, with Tech wanting to take an analytical approach while Tay-0 insists on being aggressive. While making his point, the droid steps onto the track and gets “accidentally” plowed over by another racer (Boscoe Brix) who works for Millegi.

When Millegi shows up to gloat (and suggest they forfeit), Tech responds that he will pilot the repaired landspeeder in Tay-0’s place.

Blue Shell Time

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

Once the race begins, Tech almost immediately falls to last place. He assures the others that he knows what he’s doing and uses strategy (along with some sweet Mario Kart-esque moves) to claw his way back into first. Despite a late push from Jet Venim, Tech crosses the finish line as the winner, prompting a subtly proud reaction from the normally stoic clone.

Later, Millegi honors their agreement and allows Cid to leave with the team. Jet Vermin nearly picks up a blaster to settle the score, but the gangster stops him from doing so. Once Cid is out of earshot, Millegi commends the clones on their loyalty before warning them to also watch their backs around his old rival.

The Verdict

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

It’s hard to follow up a great episode like last week’s with a fun bottle story. “Faster” isn’t likely to be anyone’s favorite installment of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have some cool moments.

The music and sound design were wonderful — especially during the final race, which was filled with all sorts of thrilling visuals. It was also great seeing such a neat variety of rogues, racers, and vehicles. It made me long for the days when Hasbro would’ve had a multi-pack featuring all the pilots and Millegi on store shelves within months or even weeks of the episode airing.

But I digress…

The characters were also a strong point in this one, particularly the juxtaposition between Tech’s mechanical personality and Tay-0’s brash demeanor. Millegi was appropriately menacing without crossing into camp territory, thanks in large part to some great vocal work by Ernie Hudson. I should also point out that as someone who typically can’t stand Ben Schwartz’s characters, I enjoyed what he did with Tay-0 quite a bit.

Unfortunately, the story beats in “Faster” were about as predictable as it gets. No matter how thrilling the final race was, we all knew how it was going to end. That wouldn’t have been too bad on its own, but every shady move and double cross by Millegi was telegraphed from miles away. About the only surprising thing he did was honor the agreement to let Cid go if they won the race.

And then you have the part about Wrecker and Tech not taking on Millegi’s goons. After all the challenges and battles they’ve won, it’s hard to accept them backing down from a fight they’d so obviously win. Even if you take Tech’s reasoning at face value, it still feels like a lame way to ensure the narrative played out as it did.

The episode went to great lengths to foreshadow a future conflict between Cid and the Bad Batch. Let’s hope whatever episode that happens in keeps this one’s thrills while providing a more engrossing story.

 

Next Episode: ‘Entombed’

Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)
'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' season 2 episode 4 'Faster'
Lots of great eye candy can't make up for a predictable and lackluster story.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
The music, sound design, and visuals were great.
Lots of great character work, particularly the juxtaposition between Tech and Tay-0.
The episode's story beats were painfully predictable.
Tech's reasoning for not fighting to rescue Cid was pretty lame.
5
Average

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