Star Wars: The Bad Batch debuted on May 4th to wonderful praise from Star Wars fans around the globe. This spinoff of the wildly popular animated series, The Clone Wars, follows the exploits of Clone Force 99 who we first encountered during its final season. This band of misfit clones each has a slight altercation to their genetic makeup which gives them enhanced abilities. What stood out to me was how any fan of the series could just jump right into this series and never miss a beat. Also, the attention to detail will bring a smile to any fan. We were lucky enough to attend the virtual press day for Star Wars: The Bad Batch and we were able to get clarity of a few fronts.
Brad Rau the supervising director, and Jennifer Corbett the head writer were asked why there’s such a visual continuity between The Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Rau stated, “That’s very intentional. The Bad Batch is a spiritual successor to Clone Wars. So we wanted to honor the style and the legacy of that. That being said, the whole team At Lucasfilm and-and our partners at CGCG, we’ve just tightened everything up. So the fidelity is tighter. The style is tighter. The rigs are tighter. The way that it’s designed is still the legacy of The Clone Wars, but a-um, a little more detail. Little bit more focus. And the work we’re-you know, we’re doing, you know, for me, having worked on a lot of these shows, with a lot of the same people internally. It’s just the best team and I think we’re doing our best work ever right now. It’s really fun.”
As someone who has seen a few episodes of The Clone Wars, it was noticeable how briskly paced everything seemed about this spiritual spinoff. The villain during season one appears to be a former member of Clone Force 99, Crosshair. Just how much trouble is the rest of the team in this season? The voice of The Bad Batch, Dee Bradley Baker, was asked and said, “Crosshair is an exciting lynchpin member of the team because his practical usefulness in the team is that of a sniper. That’s someone that stands further back from the rest of the group and takes ’em out, one by one. And that’s very much to his character. He’s not someone who’s running around with the team; he’s assisting the team in a very strategic and laser-focused kind of way. And so his nature is kind of set to be apart from the team that he is a part of. That very definitely plays out as the larger, kind of political story plays out of this instantaneous mega transformation from Republic to Empire. Which is a profound, as anyone who’s watched Star Wars, it’s a very profound moment in the entire story of Star Wars. That’s part of what’s so interesting, is that you have the personal dynamics of these few characters who are a lot of fun to hang out with. They’re really competent. Really fun. And interesting. And this whole larger process is playing out among their dynamic as well. There’s a lot there to unpack.”
What’s striking about the process the team underwent is how they manage to take something so familiar, Star Wars, tweak it in such a way that will excite fans, and when that’s run its course, they’ve done it again. Watching the show made me feel like I was back in my living room playing with my figures and making up stories of galactic conquest. Those memories bring me such joy, and so did this show.