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Gwendoline Yeo on Her Return as Nala Se in ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’

Nala Se is the Chief Medical Scientist on the planet of Kamino, where she oversaw the production of thousands of clone troopers who served in the Clone Wars. In the aftermath of the fall of the Republic and the quick rise of the Galactic Empire, she seems to have an agenda of her own that she’s carrying on; one that involves protecting her former medical assistant, Omega, from harm.

Nala Se’s voice actor, Gwendoline Yeo. Photographed by Brian Bobila.

Gwendoline Yeo provides the voice of Nala Se in both Star Wars: The Bad Batch and its predecessor, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Upon learning that her character would be returning in the former, she was excited to be reunited with other Clone Wars voice actors like Dee Bradley Baker (Clone Force 99) and Bob Bergen (Lama Su), as well as meet newcomers like Michelle Ang (Omega).

“Playing this character, that was, you know, obviously, I created an army [that] would suddenly have the sort of special place in terms of creating Omega and have that attachment differ, and so I think this sort of spin in that direction was super exciting,” she said.

The strong spirit that Yeo has become used to portraying in Nala Se became a struggle to balance as she navigated her character’s vulnerable side, particularly regarding her desire to protect Omega. She explained how several takes were spent of trying to find the right vibe.

Star Wars is shot so much like a movie because it’s just so meticulously done,” she explained. “Does that mean we’re able to nail it? It was almost like shooting in an extreme close up. I think there’s very few cartoons that I can really say can be done that way, you know. But yeah, it’s a joy.”

Following a particularly big reveal in the ninth episode of the show, Yeo commented on how different it was for her to portray Nala Se being defiant, but in a very subtle manner. Those big reveals — both in the plot and character revelations — are what she refers to as “the internal art within The Bad Batch.”

Part of the recording process for the show took place prior to the pandemic, and getting to work with Bergen and Baker made for a nice reunion for Yeo.

Once the pandemic hit, recording continued on, but from everyone’s individual homes.

“We’re all in our studios, a.k.a. walking closets,” she recalled. “It was business as usual for Lucasfilm; we’ve got so much going on, they just jumped on it. And we were able to keep doing what we love which is which is incredible, right? To be able to to have such a high end show being done, sort of individually from from our homes. It was it was a little more lonely. I won’t lie, I did not interact with my team, but I think it was just business as usual. And I think I’m really blessed to be to have voice to be a voice actor, in addition to being an on camera actor as well.”

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is now streaming on Disney+.

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