There is a magic to Saturday mornings. Even as I sit behind a desk at a real man-meets-post point in life, I am buoyed by the fantasy of stretching out, swaddling my inner child, and enjoying some inspiring tales of heroes and villains in a distant and ancient galaxy full of strange life, soul-magic, and all too human falls. Especially as an adult, this vision brings me great comfort and joy.
Even as I write this, I am shocked by the purity and potency of this pleasure. It remains innocent of further longing or resentment that it is not the present. It feels near enough to my reality that I feel little loss.
Perhaps the answer is that I don’t need to watch Star Wars today because we all got some new Star Wars this week in a 2-episode premiere of Bad Batch season 3. Of course, I had to watch it while I could, and I am glad I did. I don’t want to over analyze this content right now, but for what it’s worth, I liked what I saw and especially like what I believe this season is setting up for later on.
Ok, I lied. I LOVED this start to this season. I already like this show and I don’t see that changing. I like the setting, characters, and themes. All of the foundations laid in the previous seasons get some nice payoffs here without feeling rushed, which is really nice. When I think of how other shows have started seasons recently, I’ve noticed many suffer from a lack of this kind of teaser payoff.
At first, that seems like it should be expected. On the other hand, it’s natural and probably right to want episodes of any show, anywhere in the run, to have enough internal structure and importance to stand on their own. Some content in the Binge era forgets this in favor of using the lack of immediate gratification to increase the tension the audience feels and that can be fine for me, but Star Wars will always want and need to very accessible to younger and less commited audiences.
Not every narrative must be suitable for minors, but that level of maturity should probably be more exception than rule Star Wars. That said, a lot of Star Wars can be better understood in terms of when you can imagine most people watching it in an idyllic kind of way. Some Star Wars films and shows are best for after dinner, a couple are best saved for after the kids’ bedtime, and some are perfect for Saturday mornings.
I’m happy that Bad Batch sticks a solid landing in my book for that Saturday morning slot. It’s a sign that competent and responsible hands remain fully involved in producing this great work. On Saturday mornings, we don’t need to worry about pirates and market forces. That’s what the rest of the week is for!