'Bad Batch' Season 2: Dee Bradley Baker & Michelle Ong Tease Growing Threat To The Empire
Season 2 will premiere on Disney+ on January 4.
With the return of the animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch, fans will have the chance to learn about everyone's favorite misfit clone family who were just trying to survive the early days of the Galactic Empire. But as Palpatine's power grows and the galaxy moves further and further from what was once the Republic, the titular Bad Batch must decide what role they want to play in things to come.
In an interview with Collider's own Maggie Lovitt, series star Michelle Ang plays the young unaltered clone Omega, and Dee Bradley Baker plays Bad Batch members Hunter, Wrecker, Echo, Tech and their former squad brother Crosshair (and Every other character) the adult male clone in the series) weighs what the growing influence of the Empire means for a group that never really had a fixed place in the system before.
For Baker, this growing threat has been key throughout the season. "The key thesis for me this season is that the empire is getting bigger and there's nowhere to run or hide," he said, before going on to say it affected the entire team, saying:
"And that plays out for Omega as it does for the Bad Batch, as it does for Crosshair. And so these are the larger realities of the Star Wars cannon that are locking into place and coming into play, and it's spectacularly great Star Wars as far as I'm concerned. I just love it."
Even for Ang, reflecting on what the Omega learned in season 2 is inextricably tied to the Empire, and how it sees the role of clones in the new power structure:
I think it was a little bit there in season one, and it gets developed more in season two, but this idea of free will and choice coupled with identity. I think season two is a lot about understanding who she is as an individual, but also she becomes very strongly focused on her people, her brothers, how others in the empire view clones. And I think she takes that and takes it on board quite strongly and wants to advocate for them as a race with rights.
Ang says it's precisely this perspective Radicalizes Omega and makes her - like many other young people before her - realize that the world and system they live in is unfair.
[s]he's got really strong ideas of what family should feel like and look like and how they should sort of be. And I think the realities of being in this particular world and this particular universe means that sometimes that can't play out as to how she as a young adolescent wants that to be. So, she has to deal with a more complicated ... I guess she's realizing that the way her idealism comes up against challenges and she has to really figure out how to work through that.
How the Bad Batch and Omega Learn in Different Ways
However, to Baker, the family dynamics of Bad Batch seem more introverted, with the Omega learning from other families and vice versa, as growth naturally informs them how to survive in this new imperial landscape.
A lot of what The Bad Batch has to learn, I think it's interesting because they're really sort of their own offshoot individual branch that run at things in a more improvisational manner, and now they're thrown into a situation that is exponentially more improvisational than ever before where they don't even know where their money's coming from, I mean, they're always on the move. They're not following anyone's orders, really. They're kind of gun for hire, free contractors running missions. And then they have Omega a child in their midst now who wants to have a family and sees them and their ship as home and family, and they have a lot to learn, it turns about, from her. From her improvisational open-hearted stance towards the universe and towards what is fair and what is just and isn't. And that she has a lot to teach them, as children often do. They have a lot to teach a grownup. And so they're both learning from each other under these increasingly challenging conditions. On the other side, you've got Crosshair now among the Empire and is doing what he thinks is the right thing and, well, he has his own education to play out.
Season 2 of The Bad Batch premieres January 4 on Disney+. You can check out the trailer below: