The Mandalorian vs. The Bad Batch

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If one is itching for the next season of The Mandalorian and does not mind animated series, The Bad Batch may very well be a good choice.

Both shows have a lot in common, and it is largely due to that the same people have participated in the making of both. There is a similar atmosphere, similar themes, similar problems and similar characters (in some cases, even the very same characters).

The Rough Outskirts

The first thing the two shows have in common is the setting and the overall feel. Both are mostly situated on the outskirts of the Galaxy. Both also happen in the aftermath of a galactic war when lawlessness thrives and the Empire is attempting to use new trump cards to establish its dominion.

In The Mandalorian, the main hero and his adoptive kid are on the run from the Imperials who want to capture the gifted Child for his special qualities. In The Bad Batch, the clones are on the run from the Empire that has branded them traitors and are protecting the clone child who is also wanted for her special qualities.

The clones from Clone Force 99 and the mysterious child Omega.

Dads In Space

Both The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch deal with the issue of parenthood a lot. Even The Bad Batch initially ask themselves the question “is a squad of ex-clone commandos really a place for a kid? Shouldn’t we just ditch her?” – And just like the main hero in The Mandalorian, they first attempt to dump her on some peaceful farmers; spoilers – unsuccessfully.

Just like in the case of the Mando and the Child, a strong relationship develops between the Bad Batch clones and the young clone Omega. Especially her relationship with the big but jovial Wrecker is a delight to watch. We can perceive the same trajectory as in The Mandalorian, from “uh… I only know how to blow up stuff, how do you talk to a child again?” to buying sweets and sharing some quality time with the child.

Fennec Shand in The Bad Batch.

The Cameos

In the first half of Season One of The Bad Batch, there has been one specific cameo of a character who appears also in The Mandalorian. It was the bounty hunter Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), here some thirty years younger than in The Mandalorian. Even though she is very much the same, you can see the difference in her behaviour: she is a little bit cockier, a little more daring. One can see the overconfidence of a young rising star in her. This was a really nice, very subtle touch from the creators.

Other cameos may perhaps still come, even though the selection is limited. Given that The Bad Batch has on average more than one cameo per episode of a character from elsewhere (mostly The Clone Wars, but also The Mandalorian or the original films), it would not be surprising. In any case, you could also say that as the clones are all sort of the same person as Jango and Boba Fett, it is also their cameo of sorts (and young Boba may be high on the list of possible future appearances anyway).

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Rostislav Kurka
Rostislav is a Protestant theologian and a self-trained Sith, counting Jan Hus, Dorothee Sölle, Darth Revan and Darth Traya among his main influences. He hails from the hundred-towered city of Prague, where he had spent a large part of his life creating worlds and inspiring young generations to roleplay. His involvement in organising children's camps led him to accidentally writing a Lord of the Rings musical, which made him temporarily famous, and a Three Musketeer-Jedi fanfilm, which didn't. He has recently moved to the frozen waste of Finland, because that's it, the Rebels are there.