It’s not Star Wars without its animated shows, and The Bad Batch is the latest entry to expanding the galaxy far, far away through that medium. Set immediately after Order 66, Clone Force 99 — a squad of clone troopers with genetic mutations — along with young clone, Omega, navigate the galaxy, where the need for clones in the era of the Empire is slowly but surely becoming obsolete.
The cast and creative team gathered on Celebration stage Sunday morning at Star Wars Celebration with host David Collins, reflecting on how the show originally came to be. Much like the final season of The Clone Wars, the idea of having a genetically mutated squad of clones was an idea that George Lucas himself had a hand in conceptualizing, but for the longest time, never thought would be fully realized. Once it became apparent that the Bad Batch arch was one of the more popular arches from the former’s final season, creator Dave Filoni and head writer Jennifer Corbett developed the concept of exploring this new era through their eyes.
Dee Bradley Baker, who voiced all the clone troopers in The Clone Wars, brought that skill set again to voicing all the members of the Bad Batch. With such distinct personalities and voices, one would think that he would record each one separately. However, as he demonstrated throughout the panel, including during a reading of a scene from the first season, he can switch between the five characters in one go. He commended the great writing for the show, as it makes it easy for him to enjoy, and remarked on the parallels between the transition period portrayed in the show, in comparison to the transition period happening in the real world.
Of course, there would be no Bad Batch without Omega, who originally started off as a medical assistant at the clone facility on Kamino before joining the squad. The cast and creative team have numerous favorite moments of her from throughout the first season. For Corbett, she liked seeing her interactions with a young Hera Syndulla. Story editor Matt Michnovetz finds it a moving moment when Omega experiences dirt for the first time. Michelle Ang, the voice actor for Omega, loves her interactions with so many different animals. From an acting standpoint though, she loves it when she gets to do big, emotional moments. The reassurance she gives to Crosshair before his inhibitor chip gets enhanced sticks out to her.
Crosshair, once a part of the squad, has spent the first season away from them, feeling compelled to be a “good soldier” and serve the new Empire, even if that means turning against his brothers. Asked whether there is the possibility of redemption for him for the forthcoming season, supervising director Brad Rau considers the question an interesting one, before leaving it as just that.
Speaking of the second season, the audience was treated to a first look at what’s to come for the Bad Batch, including new looks for them, poster art, an exclusive clip, before finally revealing the trailer. A lot happens throughout it, and much like the first season, some familiar faces will be returning for this one too; including Commander Cody, Wookiee Jedi youngling Gungi, and… Emperor Palpatine?!
There will be a lot to look forward to when The Bad Batch returns for its second season this fall on Disney+.