Six episodes in, and Star Wars: The Bad Batch is exactly the kind of story we’d expect from Lucasfilm, given its similarities to The Mandalorian and both series’ exploration of the distinct Star Wars trope of rough-around-the-edges father figures caring for a mysteriously important orphan. But it’s also full of surprises. Omega, the orphan taken in by the Bad Batch after the end of the Clone Wars and makes them enemies of the new Empire, is a clone whose origins are shrouded in mystery, much like Grogu in The Mandalorian, but she’s also proven to be a unique and remarkably pleasant character on her own.
She’s been thrust into this reluctant band of mercenaries who are trying to find their place in this new world in which the Empire is gaining tyrannical control of the entire galaxy, and she’s more than capable of holding her own as a part of their squad. Not that she doesn’t have much to learn. She is a little girl, after all, but she’s full of this curious innocence and drive to be helpful, which makes her journey of growing up in the care of Clone Force 99 especially fun to watch.
Michelle Ang, the voice behind Omega, recently sat down with Kristin Baver, author of Skywalker: Family at War, for StarWars.com to discuss her approach to bringing Omega to life. Omega’s voice is easily recognizable when you’re watching an episode of The Bad Batch, and for it, Ang uses her native New Zealand accent, but in hearing her voice and seeing Omega on screen, you might be surprised the first time you see Ang herself.
Michelle Ang on voicing Omega in The Bad Batch
Ang, who is of Chinese/Malaysian descent, brings all of herself to the character of Omega and enjoys having her culture represented through such a powerful story.
“As someone who might not visually be what the world thinks of when they think New Zealander, because I am of Chinese/Malaysian descent, on a personal level it was great to be embraced for who I was and all of my different identity spheres,” she told Baver.
Interestingly, The Bad Batch wasn’t Ang’s first attempt to join the Star Wars universe. She recalled auditioning for a role in The Last Jedi but didn’t get it. “The feeling of losing out to that was really huge and quite heartbreaking,” she said, but she’s grateful the opportunity came back around, and most Star Wars fans would agree.
As for her approach to playing the character of Omega, Ang used her 4-year-old son as inspiration for the youthfulness and innocence of the character, which is demonstrated early on in episode 2 when she leaves her homeworld of Kamino for the first time and is left stunned by her first encounter with dirt.
“[There are] lots of firsts,” she said, “lots of interacting with situations or even things — like sand — in a completely first-time way, which is quite challenging but also lovely.”
One aspect of the Star Wars franchise Ang finds most impressive after her experience with The Bad Batch is the depth of storytelling the Star Wars universe requires. She told Baver, “The lore is so specific. This is a living, breathing world. It’s fictional, but it’s very exacting and there are laws and logic and references. And that was one of the most exciting things about stepping into the Star Wars franchise, really.”