Star Wars: The Bad Batch S2, Ep. 4 Review
An interesting fact about myself is that I wasn’t interested in the plot, space battles, or the lightsabers when I first watched Star Wars. Instead, I was interested in one thing: pod racing. As a kid, I was enamored by racecar driving, and the pod racing part of The Phantom Menace was the most awesome thing my 6-year-old brain ever saw. I used to imagine myself as a pod racer whenever I got on a swing set; it was the coolest. So when I saw that this week’s episode of The Bad Batch revolved around racing, my eyes lit up. Best of all, we learn that resident brainiac Tech is a natural racer. However, we also get the seeds sewn to delve into Cid’s past and how that might come back to bite the Bad Batch.
Pod Racing+Mario Kart=Riot Racing
While Hunter and Echo are off on a mission, Cid drags the rest of the Bad Batch to her latest entrepreneurial pursuit: riot racing. Like pod racing, riot racing is fast, deadly, and takes place on a difficult track with varying obstacles. The difference is that, unlike pod racing, racers can openly use traps and weapons here. In other words, think pod racing meets Mario Kart, but more brutal.
Cid’s currently backing a racing droid named Tay-0, voiced by Ben Schwartz, AKA the guy who voices Sonic in the movies and Dewey Duck in the DuckTales! reboot. He channels a lot of both into his performance as Tay-0, combining Sonic’s need for speed, Dewey’s love of the spotlight, and both characters’ recklessness and high opinion of themselves. However, that doesn’t save Tay-0 when the reigning champion puts him out of commission. Then, he gets run over by another racer, and it’s lights out for good.
The worst part is that Cid’s now in debt to a local gangster, and he wants her to pay up one way or another. Omega manages to get them a chance by going double-or-nothing on the next race, but with Tay-0 offline, Tech is the only one left to race.
Needless to say, Tech proves more than a match for everyone else and clinches the win. Of course, considering how he’s the Donatello of the group, this comes as no surprise. However, it doesn’t make Tech’s ultimate triumph any less fun to watch. The racing itself is just as fast-paced and entertaining as the Boonta Eve Classic was all those years ago.
Can the Bad Batch Really Trust Cid?
While the episode serves as mainly a one-off adventure meant to entertain people, it’s the ending that viewers need to pay attention to going forward. After winning Cid out of her debt and leaving, Tech gets advice from her rival, Millegi: don’t trust her. Because if you do, then she’s going to end up throwing them under the bus.
Cid’s past isn’t something that’s really been explored throughout the series. We do know she worked as an informant for the Jedi before Order 66, so she’s capable of being trusted. However, beyond that, her past is up in the air. If push comes to shove, and when the Empire eventually finds the Bad Batch, will Cid sell them out to save herself?
Maybe, maybe not. While their partnership started as business, I think Cid does care about the Bad Batch, especially Omega. Omega brings out the best in other people, and as the Galaxy starts getting darker, good people need to stick together. For now, though, I don’t care if this episode is filler. I learned from watching Amphibia that so-called “filler” episodes can lay the groundwork for bigger things.
That, and I loved the racing and the colorful droids.