The Bad Batch: Nala Se is a masterclass in writing morally grey characters

One of the most hated characters from The Clone Wars is a hero in The Bad Batch
Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Season 3. Confined. Nala Se. Image Credit:
Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Season 3. Confined. Nala Se. Image Credit: /

If anything in any media excites me, it's an incredibly well-written, morally grey character.

Grey characters are my favorite because they add so many layers to a story. They are the ones who live in the middle, making them complex wild cards where you never know what they will do. One of the biggest grey characters in Lucasfilm Animation is the Kaminoan scientist, Nala Se.

Nala Se first made her debut in The Clone Wars. She was often around during any episodes on Kamino as early as Season 1. However, as the series progressed, her more shady tendencies emerged. Compared to the Jedi, who saw the clones as individuals, Nala Se made it clear they were no more than test specimens to her, which made them disposable. She was also one of the few people in the galaxy who knew about Palpatine's plans for Order 66 and the inhibitor chips that would make the clones turn on the Jedi.

With The Bad Batch showing a much softer side of Nala Se, it's easy to forget she was one of the most hated characters towards the end of The Clone Wars for one big thing:

She's the reason fan-favorite clone, Fives, was killed.

the-bad-batch-season-2-Nala- Se
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2 Nala Se. Image Credit: /

After Captain Rex, it could be argued that Fives is the next most important clone in the show. As early as the Season 1 episode "Rookies," his desire to push authority and question things was fully displayed. It also set up his history with Echo, who would go on to be one of the main characters of The Bad Batch. The Umbara Arc solidified Fives as a fan-favorite as he openly helped Rex fight against the villainous Jedi, Pong Krell, in an eerie foreshadowing of Order 66.

It was The Clone Wars Season 6 that made Nala Se enemy #1. Fives discovered the truth of the clones' inhibitor chips and realized the Republic and the Jedi were in danger. To protect the secret, Nala Se drugged Fives which made his mind spiral and led to his death. This act made her hated in the fandom for years, because people adored Fives.

It's why The Bad Batch is so fascinating with her writing. The creators are pulling back the layers of someone once seen as a villain and making Nala Se a more fleshed-out person. Bad people can do good things, and good people can do bad things. Nala Se is walking that middle path as she isn't morally good or bad anymore. I would argue she was morally bad in The Clone Wars. But in The Bad Batch, when the enemy is the Empire, anyone standing up against them definitely falls more on the good side of the spectrum in comparison to a literal fascist Sith Lord.

While all the other clones are assets and disposable, Nala Se clearly loves Omega. She is the mother figure for this young girl and raised her. If not for Nala Se, who has constantly endangered her own life to save Omega, the show would have been much shorter, as Omega would have quickly been in the hands of the Empire. The Season 3 premiere once again showcased Nala Se sticking her very long neck out for Omega so she could get away from Doctor Hemlock. These acts have changed the fandom's view of one of the most hated characters in The Clone Wars.

Nale Se is by far one of the best-written characters in all of Star Wars. Her complexities make her fascinating to watch. She is not a good person, but she's doing good things to save the heroes. Does this make her a hero, too, after what she did to Fives? That's for you to decide, making for a wonderful fan debate.

As The Bad Batch wraps up its last season, I can't wait to see how Nala Se's story will end too.

dark. Next. Did Omega's influence make Dr. Emerie switch loyalties?. Did Omega's influence make Dr. Emerie switch loyalties?