The Jedi are gone, the Empire is on the rise, and The Bad Batch chronicles it all, having dropped on Disney+ just in time for "May the Fourth."
But even if The Bad Batch is the new Star Wars show of the moment, is it the best piece of new Star Wars content? Perhaps — but it's certainly not the one you need to watch right now if you're looking to turn off your brain and take a vacation in that galaxy far, far away.
The most relaxing piece of Star Wars content ever is currently on Disney+ in the form of Star Wars Biomes. An 18-minute special created for the streaming service, Biomes is described as "a virtual vacation to some of the Star Wars films’ most iconic and beloved locations like Hoth, Tatooine, and Sorgan." It's an apt description, too, even if Sorgan and "iconic" go together like Anakin Skywalker and sand — as in, they don't.
Otherwise, “a virtual vacation” is exactly what you're getting when you fire up the newest Star Wars TV special. It begins in Hoth, clearly set during the time of the original trilogy. We're in the perspective of a drone slowly crawling over the ice planet, soaking in the surroundings. Rebel and Imperial vessels abound, local wildlife hop along snow-dunes, sounds of laser-fire fill the air and mingle with musical notes straight out of a Star Wars score.
So it goes again as we travel to other scenic Star Wars locales, with some friendly faces along the way for good measure, such as C-3PO and R2-D2 making their way through Tatooine, or the Jawas making a deal with someone who may or may not be Uncle Owen just a little ways away. It's comforting, checking in on old haunts in this intimate way.
Seriously, there's even a relaxing quality to Mustafar, Darth Vader's veritable birthplace. Sinister as it is, it's a joy to behold Mustafar in Biomes, realistically conveyed in a way Revenge of the Sith could only ever dream. It looks like a lived-in planet, real and raw, with an energy that leaves the viewer contemplating Vader's plight.
The shortest-hand version of describing Star Wars: Biomes is a Planet Earth-style documentary, but set in the Star Wars universe. It's not quite accurate, though.
Sure, the imagery is stunning; you feel like you're in the Star Wars world in an immersive way never before captured on camera, save for maybe the in-park experience at Disney's Galaxy's Edge. But there's no narration, no voiceover at all, in Biomes. It's actually better this way; you're left to fill the void, interpreting the flyovers however best works for you and your relationship with Star Wars. The more time spent soaking in the sights and sounds of Star Wars, and internalizing those feelings, the more relaxed you'll feel.
The Bad Batch premiere is 70 minutes long, and is going to require your undivided attention to pick up on all of the Easter eggs littered throughout its runtime. If you're looking for a faster and more soothing way to celebrate "Star Wars Day," then there's no better way than taking the Biomes tour. Suddenly, a certainly galaxy doesn’t feel so far, far away anymore.
Star Wars Biomes is streaming now on Disney+.