Vital Thrills recently got a chance to attend a virtual Star Wars: The Bad Batch press conference, which you can watch using our player below! Participating were Dee Bradley Baker, the voice of the Bad Batch, producer and head writer Jennifer Corbett, and producer Brad Rau.
An original animated series launching exclusively on Disney+, Star Wars: The Bad Batch makes its debut on Tuesday, May 4, with a special 70-minute premiere, followed by new episodes every Friday starting on May 7.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in The Clone Wars) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War.
Members of Bad Batch — a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill that makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew.
Baker gave us an introduction to the clones we’re going to meet in The Bad Batch. He said, “Of the team, you’ve got Hunter, who’s kind of the leader of the pack. He’s got tracking skills and smell and kind of this heightened sense that helps him gauge the terrain.
“Then you’ve got Tech, who is very technically oriented. [He] always has like a handheld device that he’s working on,” he laughed. “And is super cool, super calm, and competent with all things technical.
“Then you got Wrecker, who, to no surprise is the muscles of the group – who’s got incredible strength. Then you’ve got… Crosshair. Crosshair is the sharpshooter of the group who is kind of a contrary character and quite interesting in the dynamic. And then you’ve also got Echo, who is a modified clone – an android clone from the Clone Wars episodes, who was brought on board with the Batch.”
Bradley said it’s the most fun to voice Wrecker, “…because he’s so honest and so clear and funny. But I have a great affection for all of them. They’re all very interesting fellows, but Wrecker – he’s probably the furthest away from me of all of them, and he’s great fun.”
Corbett spoke about collaborating with Dave Filoni, who is overseeing the production. “I got to work with Dave on Star Wars Resistance, which was such a great experience. And getting the chance to develop the series with him, it’s kinda like a master class in writing Star Wars.
“And with this being a sequel series of sorts to The Clone Wars, it was kind of crucial that he be involved in this process very much. Because these are characters that he’s created and it’s the world that he knows, but every day, every script is a learning experience.”
Rau agreed, saying, “He’s awesome. I’ve known Dave for a long time. When he was starting Clone Wars, I first met him up at the ranch – Skywalker Ranch, and I happened to just be starting my own animation studio at that time. So I was unable to join the force of the Clone Wars.
“It was one of my regrets that I rectified later on in Rebels, to join as an episodic director. And then on Resistance. And he’s an awesome guy, a good friend. Really good, you know, I couldn’t think of a better mentor. Especially for Star Wars. The stuff he tells us every day, is fantastic. And amazing. And yeah, just collaborating with him and being able to work with you, Jen, so closely on this show’s been awesome. It’s been a dream come true.”
In the show, we’re taking a look at a time right around when Order 66 happens, and Corbett spoke about what’s happening in the galaxy when we join the group. “This time period is one of the reasons I got so excited about this show, other than this, you know, oddball group of characters.
“But I just found it intriguing and engaging to watch a series where you know, we’ve seen The Clone Wars where it’s the height of the Clone Troopers doing what they’re meant to do, and what they were created for. And, you know, the question became, ‘What happens after the war is over? What happens to clones who all they know is being soldiers?’ Especially for the Bad Batch who do things differently as it is with the Republic and how do the fin in once it becomes the Empire.”
Baker pointed out that this time period in the Star Wars universe is a strange place for a group of people who aren’t “so much of a rule-based unit.” He said, “They’re very much a team, but they’re not – they are not like the Clones are, where it’s more of a top down command structure. It’s very interesting to place them in the middle of this transformational moment and see how it plays out.”
There is a new character in the series called Omega. We got a chance to watch the first two episodes (with the first one being a double episode and the second a single), so we got to meet her. She’s likely going to be a fan favorite. Omega his a young girl who has a great dynamic with Hunter.
Baker spoke about their friendship. “It’s a fascinating relationship that unfolds. Because, at first, of course, the team is not – they’re kind of their own sealed unit. And they’re not – they’re certainly not used to having anybody else along or working with anybody else…it’s interesting in terms of the story and the writing, to have this personal relationship with the younger character.”
And to see how that changes and how they accommodate that and how that works. Because it’s more of like an uncle/niece, or a father/child dynamic, but not entirely. Because Omega is her own interesting potential of powers… and so it’s interesting to see all of that unfold. But I think it connects you to the story in a personal way. So it’s not just an action story… Star Wars never is. There’s a personal story that’s also playing out as well, that connects you to the entire story.”
Star Wars: The Bad Batch is executive produced by Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Athena Portillo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), Brad Rau (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance) and Jennifer Corbett (Star Wars Resistance, NCIS).
Carrie Beck (The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rebels) serves as co-executive producer and Josh Rimes as producer (Star Wars Resistance). Rau is also serving as supervising director with Corbett as head writer.