The Bad Batch interview: Ming-Na Wen, showrunners talk season 1 details

Fennec Shand in Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Photo: Disney+.
Fennec Shand in Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Photo: Disney+. /

Clone Force 99 and Omega have been on a turbulent and challenging journey throughout the first half of season 1, but things are about to get more intense for our heroes. We’re now officially entering the second half of the series, and supervising director and executive producer Brad Rau has two words for fans of the show, “Buckle up.”

As we snowball our way down to the season finale on Aug. 13, which promises to be an emotional event for both the series creators and fans watching at home, we can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen next.

To get a better idea of where the show’s headed, Dork Side of the Force recently attended a virtual press conference and spoke with voice actor Ming-Na Wen and showrunners Jennifer Corbett and Brad Rau, where they provided further insight into the development of the series, briefly touched on Fennec’s mysterious origins, and teased a bit of what’s to come.

Saw Gerrera
Saw Gerrera in The Bad Batch episode 1 “Aftermath.” Photo courtesy of Disney+. /

“We’re never really confined by things.”

Taking place after the conclusion of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch creators are exploring a part of Star Wars we’ve never seen before. Clone Force 99 could essentially bump into characters, visit locations, and have an impact on events from Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars Rebels, and much more.

When it came to playing around with those possibilities, there was a group of people Corbett and Rau relied on. “Anytime we have a story discussion or an episodic discussion, the [Lucasfilm Story Group] weigh in on things that could potentially be an issue or things that could potentially be a tie-in,” Corbett told Full of Sith’s Bryan Young, confirming the Story Group’s continued role in assisting creators throughout the storytelling process. “If it makes sense creatively, that’s something we discuss and talk about, but we’re never really confined by things.”

Which begs the question: what other tie-ins could we see in the future between The Bad Batch and other Star Wars stories? Fans of Star Wars Resistance might want to strap in because we could see more Resistance references.

“I’ll just say Resistance was an awesome show with this amazing cast of characters,” Rau said to James Burns of Jedi News before shifting focus over to how the crews working behind The Bad Batch and Resistance are almost the same. “It’s interesting how that show and the production of that show has affected what we do as we continue to push forward in the animation process.”

Maybe Clink‘s similar design to LE-12 and those adorable voorpaks that distracted Omega in “Cornered” were just small hints of things to come.

The Bad Batch
The Bad Batch premiere “Aftermath.” Photo courtesy of Disney+. /

Mysterious origins

Omega has a rude awakening when she discovers her true purpose in “Bounty Lost,” the ninth episode of the series. Lama Su needs her for his contingency plan because she’s the sole living source — besides Boba Fett — of Jango Fett’s raw genetic material. That essentially makes her Jango’s daughter and Boba’s sister.

“We just had a lot of fun playing the mystery up,” Rau said in response to Star Wars News Net’s James Baney, adding that his favorite part of Omega’s character is seeing her train with the Bad Batch and overcoming obstacles along the way. “To me, that’s the most exciting part of her character more than anything else, but there are other parts of her story to tell that we will be excited for you guys to see in the future.”

Someone whose origins we don’t know much about is Fennec Shand. Voiced by Ming-Na Wen — who recorded and brought her character to life in her closet during COVID-19 lockdowns — Fennec is a bounty hunter who’s just starting out in The Bad Batch, but what motivated Fennec to pursue this kind of life?

Dave Filoni, The Bad Batch writers, and Wen “collaborated and threw a lot of ideas out at each other, so I don’t know what will stick and what won’t,” she said when we inquired about her mysterious origins. Wen couldn’t shed more details, however, fearing she might “reveal something from that conversation that hasn’t been explored yet or brought to life in the animation or in future episodes down the line in other venues.”

While it’s unlikely The Bad Batch will explore her background, it’s possible we could see some of those story ideas surface in The Book of Boba Fett, coming out later this year.

Speaking of which, Wen also mentioned how she had no idea The Bad Batch and The Book of Boba Fett were going to be part of her future after initially playing her role in The Mandalorian.

“When Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni offered me this role, I was really, really excited because my entire life has been trying to manifest this moment where I got to participate and be part of a Star Wars project,” Wen told David Yeh of Endor Express, so when she read “The Gunslinger” script, she was shocked it ended with her character’s death. “I’m really hoping that it’s between them loving the character and what I brought to it as well as the fans’ reaction to the character when the episode aired that all this other stuff transpired.”

Bad Batch season 1 episode 3
The Bad Batch season 1 episode 3: Replacements. Photo courtesy of Disney+. /

“The discussion of choice is a big topic.”

Crosshair’s exposure to the ion blast in “Reunion” makes us curious where his story will go next. Is the physical damage to his head going to affect the way the inhibitor chip functions? He’s been under the control of the Empire this entire time, but could we see choice playing a role later this season?

“One of the things we always try to talk about with this series and when the Bad Batch were dealing with the regs is that question of choice,” Corbett said when we asked if they had pre-production discussions about Crosshair following the Empire by choice instead of by force. “What the regs are going through and what Crosshair’s going through is something we continue to explore throughout the season… The discussion of choice is a big topic.”

We’ve seen choice play out particularly through Hunter’s actions: he let Caleb Dume escape, he helped get Omega out of Kamino, and he handed over the tactical droid information to the Martez sisters. It’s time for Crosshair to start making his own choices, but what if he makes the wrong ones?

As for what the remaining season has in store for us, the creators couldn’t go into further detail, but Rau offered this one reassurance to Ion Cannon’s William Devereux and the audience at home, “If you like where we’ve gone, I think you’re going to really like where we’re going.”

Next. Interview: The Bad Batch showrunners talk creating the series. dark

Stream new episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch every Friday on the Disney+ streaming service.