Kicking off with a three-episode premiere on February 21, The Bad Batch's third and final season finds Clone Force 99 attempting to rescue their youngest member Omega (and sister of Boba Fett) from an Imperial cloning facility.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3 Reviews & Reactions
Now that Star Wars critics have seen the first eight episodes of The Bad Batch Season 3, the first round of reactions and reviews have been shared on X (formerly Twitter).
Tessa Smith from Mama's Geeky described the visuals as "stunning," the action as "intense," and that she "cannot wait for more!":
"'The Bad Batch' Season 3 has already given me literal chills multiple times. I've seen the first 8 episodes & if they continue this way, I will be a happy camper. Stakes are high, visuals are stunning, action is intense, & treachery is abound! cannot wait for more!"
Critic Ashley Saunders also praised the "incredible animation," but went on to tease "Easter eggs, cameos, & other surprises:"
"'The Bad Batch' is back & our favorite defective (and effective) Clones are delivering a spectacle fans are going to love. Higher stakes & incredible animation + Easter eggs, cameos, & other surprises. It's an epic ride so far & I’m so not ready 2 say goodbye"
Collider's Maggie Lovitt appeared to agree with the consensus of Season 3 being the best yet but also pointed out the show's "darker turn" and described "HUGE" ties to Star Wars lore:
"I've seen the first eight episodes of 'The Bad Batch' and it's truly a case of 'they saved the best for last.' Season 3 is the best yet for the series, and a much darker turn. Lots of twists, lots of heart, fun returns, and some HUGE Star Wars lore connections."
Jordan Maison from Cinelinx warned, "This season ain't messing around" and even named The Bad Batch as "[his] favorite Star Wars animated series:"
"Was able to watch the first 8 episodes of 'The Bad Batch' season 3 and folks….this season ain’t messing around. It’s firing on all cylinders and pretty cemented this as my favorite Star Wars animated series. It whips a whole lot of ass."
In an additional post, Maison admitted, "I was about as disinterested in The Bad Batch as one could get" when the show was first debuted and is curious whether "the back half of the season sticks the landing:"
"Truly wild, as I was about as disinterested in 'The Bad Batch' as one could get when it was announced. Clone-centric stories never worked for me in 'The Clone Wars'. Now, if the back half of the season sticks the landing, it’ll EASILY be my favorite Star Wars animated series."
"Having seen the 1st 8 episodes of 'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' Season 3, I'm pleased to say the show's final hurrah is off to a great start! Fans of Omega and Crosshair especially have a lot to look forward to, and as per usual, the action and emotional beats are balanced wonderfully."
Meanwhile, Aubree Dreamed of Magic confirmed Season 3 "picks up where we left off" in Season 2 "with gusto:"
"Buckle up for 'The Bad Batch' Season 3! In a dark twist and some action-packed storytelling, this heart-filled show picks up where we left off with gusto, featuring some notable lore & fun cameos. Fantastic in visuals and sound (shoutout to Kevin Kiner), I can’t wait to see more!"
"The first half of the finale season of The Bad Batch, eps 1-8, were very solid… great character arc for Crosshair in particular. And I don’t care, I’m always down to hear Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine, for as long as he’s alive and willing."
For Star Wars fans familiar with The Bad Batch's "adventure of the week" format, Adam Blevins from Agents of Fandom shared that Season 3 "strikes the perfect balance" between that style and "the overarching story," all while "building towards something HUGE:"
"'The Bad Batch' Season 3 is some of the best animated Star Wars ever. It strikes the perfect balance between 'adventure of the week' and the overarching story. It’s really grounded in its characters but also very clearly building towards something HUGE. First 8 eps are fantastic!"
Gizmodo's James Whitbrook also commented on the new season's "balance," acknowledging how "even 'inconsequential' stuff" is woven into "its wider climax:"
"I've seen the first 8 episodes of 'The Bad Batch' season 3, and it's definitely a very strong start. Show's finally struck a balance of weaving each episode, even 'inconsequential' stuff, into its wider climax and these characters. Intrigued to see more—review to come next week."
Critic Michael Lee also had nothing but praise for The Bad Batch's final season and made mention of Easter eggs that tease "an exciting future for Star Wars:"
"So 'TheBadBatch' season 3 is marching towards an epic finale! The first eight episodes are a great exploration of their fractured dynamics and a test of their trust as a squad. It’s got some great action sequences and some Easter eggs that teases an exciting future for Star Wars."
The Force Is Strong With The Bad Batch Season 3
By the sound of these wildly positive reviews, Lucasfilm Animation brought its A-game for the final season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
In the past, seasons of The Bad Batch would start strong before transitioning to an 'adventure of the week' format and then conclude with action-packed finales, like Season 1's dramatic destruction of Kamino.
The fact that critics have teased a darker tone, stakes, connections, and even treachery within the first eight episodes is not just a welcome change but indicates Star Wars fans have a lot to look forward to throughout the entire season.
The Bad Batch's Season 3 trailer did offer general audiences a preview of the show's elevated action and visuals, as well as a surprising (if not confusing) cameo.
The question fans should be asking now is what other surprises did critics see that they can't share, and what does Lucasfilm have in store for Season 3's remaining seven episodes, including its series finale?
The first three episodes of Season 3 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere Wednesday, February 21, on Disney+.