Yesterday during the final day of Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023 in London, England, fans gathered at the Celebration Stage for Monday morning’s biggest presentation– the panel for Lucasfilm Animation’s hit Disney+ series Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which recently wrapped up its second season on the streaming service.
But before the panel began, a group of Clone Force 99 cosplayers gathered near the stage and started drawing a crowd for photos. This prompted warm-up persona DJ Elliot to bring them up on the stage, where the cosplayers were promptly surprised by voice actor Dee Bradley Baker, who plays all the male clones of Jango Fett in the series.
The presentation itself opened with a highlight reel from season two of The Bad Batch, followed by host Amy Ratcliffe (author of The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) bringing out the panelists: the series’ supervising director Brad Rau, head writer Jennifer Corbett, executive producer Athena Portillo, the aforementioned Baker, and Michelle Ang, who voices Omega. And speaking of Omega, Ratcliffe began the discussion by asking Ang about the character’s evolution throughout the first two seasons, and how differently the other members of the team treat her now than they did in the beginning. Then Rau talked about how they made design changes for all the show’s characters at the beginning of the second season to show the passage of time since the end of season one. “It’s interesting to see them start to realize what the stakes are and that they need to make some big choices as things start to change in this very dangerous universe,” commented Baker as the chat continued.
They continued exploring that topic by covering how the Bad Batch sometimes makes an effort to allow Omega to be a kid, though that doesn’t always turn out for the best. “Omega’s becoming a soldier, but she needs other skills, and she needs to explore what it’s like to be a kid,” noted Corbett. Ang added to that by commenting about how Omega’s perception of the galaxy has changed through her witnessing how the clones are treated by others: “Not everything is right and just, but couldn’t it be?” She also loves how Omega can sometimes push the buttons of the other team members, and occasionally even manipulates them to get what she wants. Then the conversation turns to the character of Crosshair and his arc during the second season. “We all need to learn to have empathy. We all have room to grow, and Crosshair is a cauldron of that,” said Baker about the character’s shift from hero to villain and potentially back again.
From there, they talked about the level of detail that went into the island of Pabu, Cid’s betrayal of the Bad Batch, the introduction of Mount Tantiss and Dr, Hemlock, and how they knew fans would be thrilled when they chose to follow up on the dangling thread of the Zillo Beast left over from Star Wars: The Clone Wars (by the way, the beginning of that episode was definitely inspired by Ridley Scott’s Alien, confirmed the creative team). Then at long last they got around to the topic of Tech’s sacrifice in the second-season finale, with Ang talking about how shocked she was when she read the script for that episode: “I feel like Omega really absorbed a lot of knowledge from Tech. They had grown close. It was really emotional.” “His sacrifice was heroic. It was intentional. It really knocked me out,” added Baker. “He did his job, and he was satisfied with that. That’s a good thing. And I’ll never forget the guy.” Corbett said the writers tried to talk themselves out of that choice several times, but ultimately decided that it wouldn’t have felt genuine for that mission to have a “happily ever after” ending.
Lastly, after going through each panelist’s favorite moments from season two (and Baker half-joking that Disney Parks should build a “Bad Batch Land”), Corbett revealed that “the story’s not over” and announced the third and final season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which is evidently already in production. At that point the crowd was treated to a teaser trailer for season three, in which Ian McDiarmid will guest star as Emperor Palpatine and Ming-Na Wen will return as Fennec Shand. We didn’t get an exact release date, but at the very least it’s good to know that the powers that be at Lucasfilm Animation will have the opportunity to finish this story in the way they want to.
The first two seasons of Star Wars: The Bad Batch are available to stream in their entirety on Disney+.