Star Wars: The Bad Batch just proved that Darth Vader would be a worse podracer than Anakin Skywalker through season 2, episode 3. In the episode, Hunter and Echo are away on a mission for Cid, with Omega, Tech, and Wrecker accompanying their employer to the planet of Safa Toma. On the planet, Cid reveals she has stock in a racer who engages in race circuits similar to those of podraces from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
Over the course of the episode, Cid gets roped into a bet by a former acquaintance-turned-business rival of hers. Cid’s driver loses the race, meaning Millegi takes Cid under his custody. The Bad Batch’s newest recruit Omega then offers a double or nothing – another race in return for Cid’s freedom. With Cid’s driver unable to race, Tech wins the race through his intelligent, non-aggressive driving, helping to further the idea that Darth Vader would not be able to race as his former self did.
In Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Tech wins the race based solely on the focus of winning. Rather than use aggressive, weapon-based tactics, Tech removes all weapons from his pod in a bid to increase speed, maneuverability, and shield protection. In doing so, Tech wins the race using his brains, racing defensively and smartly, rather than aggressively removing other racers from his path like his adversaries. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace also showcases this through Anakin.
In The Phantom Menace’s podrace, Anakin is shown to be much less aggressive than racers such as Sebulba, his main rival. As a consequence of this, Anakin’s skill, tactics, and pure racing abilities shine through. These allow Anakin to win the race, with more aggressive racers like Sebulba crashing out much like those in The Bad Batch. This goes to show that the best racers in the Star Wars galaxy as labeled as so because they aren’t aggressive and are more focused on winning the race fairly.
This also highlights that the person Anakin becomes, Darth Vader, would have been a much worse racer. Through the dark side of the Force and the secrets of the Sith, Darth Vader is a much more aggressive, volatile person. This anger is proven to blind him to other ways of winning, as showcased in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 5. The episode highlighted that Anakin’s anger and need to prove himself blinds him, meaning he misses important means of winning the sparring session. This, alongside every other instance showcasing Vader’s intense anger and Star Wars: The Bad Batch, proves that he would not be the great podracer that Anakin was.
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