The Bad Batch encounter some surprising challenges on the Disney Plus Show.
Lucasfilm; Screenshot by Sean Keane / CNET
kicked off on This Star Wars Day, May 4th, follows on and revenge of the Sith as the Galactic Empire takes control of the galaxy. The genetically enhanced title clone squad introduced last season of The Clone Wars must figure out where they belong after Order 66 sees their Jedi allies .
The CGI animated series was created by Dave Filoni, the Star Wars legend behind The Clone Wars and Rebels. However, author Jennifer Corbett and supervisor Brad Rau are responsible for setting the course of the adventure. It’s not their first trip to a galaxy far, far away, however – the couple have worked on it beforeand Rau directed several episodes of .
Corbett also served in the US Navy and recently stated in a virtual press conference that her experience helped her understand the dynamics within the team. Living with people in stressful situations creates a family bond, and she wanted the show to reflect that.
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Corbett and Rau spoke on Zoom about the number of episodes we’re getting ahead of the show’s 70-minute premiere, filling in the universe and the excellent new characters the show introduces. Here’s an edited transcript of our Zoom conversation – be careful SPOILER for the episode.
Question: Can you tell me how many episodes will this season run for? Will we get multiple seasons?
Rau: We have 16 episodes in season 1. We can’t confirm more, but we have high hopes. We love these characters. We’d like to keep telling stories.
Q. Caleb Dume Look (aka Kanan Jarrus) and Depa Billaba was a delightful surprise. Why did you choose to include them?
Corbett: We always knew we wanted to start with Order 66, from Bad Batch’s perspective. And we knew we would have a Jedi and a Padawan there. There was a lot of talk about who it would be and why.
Kanan Jarrus (featured in Star Wars Rebels) makes a cameo on the opening scene of The Bad Batch.
As we developed the pilot and talked about Jäger’s journey with Omega, we realized that it would be a really nice parallel if he interacted with the padawan in the beginning and couldn’t help – getting him to help Omega in the end .
Dave Filoni mentioned Caleb Dume when he was talking about who it could be (show artist) and everyone said, “Great, we can do that – this is great.” Fans know his backstory and how he reacts to seeing clones in Star Wars Rebels again.
Tarkin brings with him an imperial tyranny in the first episode of the series.
We see a number of mechanical elements of the transition from republic to empire, such as the shift from clones to conscripts and the chain codes that crop up in The Mandalorian. Why was the Bad Batch the ideal place to explore these elements?
Corbett: We didn’t really see the immediate aftermath of the breakup of the Republic and the early stages of the Empire on screen. It’s not just that the Republic is falling suddenly, it’s the Empire at the height of its dominance and galactic terror.
It’s post-war era so some planets are glad the Empire brought peace and others are starting to suspect that something strange is going on.
It felt like an opportunity to see it through the Bad Batch eyes as they react to seeing chain code posts and how they react to civilians as clones who are just numbers until they get nicknames volunteer to get a number. To them it just seems bananas.
Omega is in awe as she travels through hyperspace.
Lucasfilm; Screenshot by Sean Keane / CNET
What was the reason for introducing Omega, the mysterious girl who joins the Bad Batch adventure?
Corbett: We wanted to challenge these elite soldiers because they are so good at what they do. Interacting with this kid seemed like a natural way to toss them for a loop as they are not equipped to be guardians.
Who she is and why she matters is definitely something that we explore throughout the series. And we’re going somewhere with this little family unit.
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I was amazed at how she felt like a real kid without being annoying because a lot of kid characters on shows just get into silly stupidity – it’s a difficult balance to find. How did you do that?
Rau: Michelle Ang, who plays Omega, is as real as an outsider who’s never been before Kamino (the water planet where clones are made). Seeing this kid play with dirt for the first time and being amazed is the right kind of weirdness.
When you have a character who knows everything and doesn’t have a learning curve, they can feel wrong. This is something we wanted to be really careful about – seeing them fail at times and having to learn from them was key for us.
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Corbett: What Omega and Bad Batch have in common is that none of them were raised as children. If you grew up with just Kaminoans and a few clones, then there is no playground and the concept of being a kid is alien. It’s fun to see how it grows and the batch has that new sense of freedom.