The Bad Batch Season 3 Cast and Crew Tease Dark Themes and Exciting Guest Stars

The Bad Batch Season 3 Cast and Crew Tease Dark Themes and Exciting Guest Stars

While Star Wars movies may flip flop between being loved and hated by fans, Star Wars animation has managed to frequently excel. The latest example of that is Star Wars: The Bad Batch, a successor to Dave Filoni’s pivotal The Clone Wars animated series, that has consistently scored well with critics.

The Bad Batch is now entering its final season on Disney+ and, ahead of its debut, Lifehacker Australia spoke to the executive producers and voice talent behind the Star Wars show to find out what to expect from Season 3.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

the bad batch season 3
Image: Disney+Lucasfilm

One of the unique and heartwarming things about Star Wars as a franchise is that everyone has their unique origin story of how they came to be invested in the saga.

The franchise is now at a point of having stayed relevant for so many years that it has generations of fans, many of whom, like executive producers Brad Rau and Jennifer Corbett, now have the chance to work on Star Wars projects of their own.

“I was five years old. My mum took my brother and I to see The Empire Strikes back. Then everything was Star Wars in my life after that,” Rau recalled. “It’s been a dream come true to be able to work on Star Wars.”

“I didn’t get fully into Star Wars until later, when I binge-watched The Clone Wars, and then I went back and watched every everything and that’s really how I got into it and became a fan,” Corbett added.

For Michelle Ang, who voices The Bad Batch’s young female clone Omega, her Star Wars was a case of life imitating art.

“My journey has very much been in step with Omega’s,” Ang said. “Which I have to say I felt a little bit nervous and shy about because of how much knowledge everyone holds. But I think it has served me quite well because I was never ahead of Omega. Everything that I learned about the world was as Omega learned about it, and I feel like it gave me an ability to be more truthful in my performance.”

A dark time for The Bad Batch

the bad batch season 3
Image: Disney+/Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Bad Batch follows the titular group of specially-skilled clones in the aftermath of Order 66, when the Empire is at the height of its power. Thanks to their unique mutations, the squad of brothers avoided the impact of their inhibitor chips that turned their other clones against the Jedi, and thus they became fugitives. Joining them on their adventures is Omega, a genetic successor to Jango Fett, who provides the empathetic heart of the group.

Coming in to Season 3, the Bad Batch are dealing with some difficult days, and those more mature themes were something the animated series wasn’t afraid to dive into.

“I feel like Season 3 is really dark; the stakes are so much higher,” Ang said. “All of the consequences of missions don’t just involve credits and the Bad Batch. There’s like reverberations of who else is affected.”

The actor added that for Omega, specifically, she is driven by a sense of guilt that has been growing throughout the past two seasons.

“[There’s] this idea of Omega potentially feeling like she has caused a lot of the harm, and there’s sort of a weird target on her due to things like M-count. I think that sense of responsibility for putting people in peril is really confronting for her and that’s sort of what drives her to need to find answers so she can hopefully alleviate her guilt.”

“We always try to have a family and hope be an overall topic that we’re talking about. But for season three, there’s a lot of learning about acceptance and letting go,” Corbett said.

Tech issues

the bad batch season 3
Image: Disney+/Lucasfilm

Many of the themes discussed here tie directly into the fallout of the Season 2 finale of The Bad Batch, which (spoiler alert) saw the gang lose one of their own when Tech sacrificed himself to save his squad on Eriadu. Coming into Season 3, this loss has clear repercussions on the squad.

“[There’s] a shade of sadness and loss that permeates everything,” Ang said.

“We definitely delve into the emotional fallout of the loss of their brother throughout the season, in a variety of ways,” Rau explained. “Everybody reacts a little bit differently.”

“It felt pivotal for us to show Omega process the end of season two throughout season three because it is her first experience dealing with loss. Compare that to Crosshair who wasn’t there and is carrying the guilt of the fact that that he has missed out on things and maybe what he’s been a part of is a reason why Tech had to make that sacrifice,” Corbett added.

Rau also explained how the absence of Tech impacted the creative team, saying, “It was a strange challenge on us, behind the scenes as writers and directors… how are we going to get out of this jam without Tech?”

Of course, there are those out there who think Tech may have somehow survived and will make a return in Season 3, but Corbett put a measure on those expectations.

“I think that’s part of the human condition when dealing with grief to have that kind of hope. But, you know, the decision that Tech made, we don’t want to cheapen it by having him survive and come back,” she said. “We want to honour the decision that he made and his sacrifice because we didn’t make that decision lightly.”

New faces, old friends

the bad batch season 3
Image: Disney+/Lucasfilm

Another challenge facing the Bad Batch in Season 3 is the appearance of some new and returning friends and foes.

One new face that was particularly intriguing after their intro in Season 2 was that of Emerie Karr, Omega’s older genetic sister, who works under the Galactic Empire’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Hemlock.

“[Omega] doesn’t understand Emerie at all. Because as much as Omega is so family-oriented in the sense that like her brothers are all the clones and she’s aware of that, Emerie seems completely not. She’s very, very cold,” Ang explained. “I guess, that is a consequence of her having been brought under Dr. Hemlocks care fairly early on. So they may share a genetic code, but as far as Omega can see, there’s very little else that they share.”

Star Wars animation has also opened the door for plenty of exciting guest stars, and that continues in Season 3 of The Bad Batch.

“What we were really excited very early on in Season 3 [was] we had Daniel Logan back in the Star Wars universe to play a young cadet,” Rau said, referring to the actor who starred as a young Boba Fett in Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

Rau also revealed that Logan’s scene partner was another iconic New Zealand actor, that being Julian Dennison (Deadpool 2, Hunt for the Wilderpeople), who the producer hinted was “awesome” in his role.

The final season of The Bad Batch also marks the return of some iconic Star Wars names, like Emperor Palpatine and Fennec Shand, and will re-introduce some fan-favourite characters, such as Count Dooku’s former apprentice, Asajj Ventress.

“We want to make sure that any legacy characters that come into our show come in for a very specific reason. And when it works, it really pops,” Rau said.

The Bad Batch: The end of an era

Image: Disney+/Lucasfilm

After a total of 47 episodes, the Bad Batch’s journey will come to an end in Season 3, marking the conclusion of a years-long journey for its cast and crew.

For Ang, the actor is trying to avoid thinking too hard about saying goodbye to Omega, instead hoping there may be an opportunity to return to her one day.

“I’m trying not to be sad about it because, at the end of the day, I’m just so grateful that I ever got to play in this universe,” she said. “I hope someone will throw me back in the ring and I will get to be someone else or do something live action or take Omega into a different place.”

Crafting an ending for such a large ensemble of beloved characters was never going to be an easy task, but the creators are optimistic they’ve provided a satisfying ending for the Bad Batch.

“There’s a variety of storylines that needed answers and balancing all of those as it came to the ending was so tricky, to conceive of, to write, to direct, to animate, all the way through to the very end,” Rau said. “It’s pretty cool. We hope the fans like it as much as we do.”

The Bad Batch Season 3 debuts with its first three episodes on February 21 on Disney+.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply