Spoilers ahead for the Season 7 premiere of The Clone Wars on Disney+, called "The Bad Batch."
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is back and more cinematic than ever with the beautifully-animated final season premiere. "The Bad Batch" was both Star Wars' triumphant return to the series that originally ended back in 2014 and the beginning of a long-awaited fully-animated arc. In the premiere, Rex and Cody teamed up with a group of clones with "desirable mutations" known as the Bad Batch.
The unconventional clones complete their missions to great success, but with very unconventional tactics, and Rex's mission to discover if his old friend Echo is really alive and the source of the Separatist intel that they've been using to gain ground on the Republic forces doesn't go entirely as planned. Hunter is the Bad Batch leader, backed by the sizable Wrecker, the tech-savvy Tech, and Crosshair the killer shot.
"The Bad Batch" is the first of four episodes that will make up the "Bad Batch" arc (and one third of Clone Wars' 12-part final season), and voice actor Dee Bradley Baker was at his best voicing all the clones, including the new Bad Batch troopers. Baker was kind enough to speak with CinemaBlend about the final season of The Clone Wars, and he weighed in on creating the voices for the Bad Batch, the importance of clone individuality, and the coming tragedy of Order 66.
When asked about his process for coming up with the voices for the Bad Batch when they were so different from the "regular" clones, Dee Bradley Baker responded:
Dee Bradley Baker had spent six seasons voicing clones like Rex, Cody, Echo, and more, and while they all have traits that set them apart from each other, they were all very much clones coming from the same mold and training. Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, and Crosshair don't even look like clones at first glance, and yet they are fighting the same fight and were engineered rather than born.
While the Bad Batch didn't make their fully-animated debut on Disney+ until 2020, the audio for their arc was actually recorded years ago before The Clone Wars was initially cancelled. Although the majority of the Bad Batch audio will be what was recorded before the Disney+ revival, Dee Bradley Baker confirmed that some elements have been changed:
The Season 7 premiere proves that Dee Bradley Baker and the Clone Wars team successfully distinguished the Bad Batch troopers from the "regs," or regular clones like Rex. While the full arc will play out over the next few weeks, fans are clearly in for one of the most memorable arcs from the series.
So how does Dee Bradley Baker go about recording an arc like "The Bad Batch," when many of the scenes are clones voiced by him talking to other clones voiced by him? Baker explained:
Yes, Dee Bradley Baker perfected the art of voicing full scenes with multiple different characters all played by him in one go! His career in voice work does go back to the early 1990s, so he brought plenty of experience to The Clone Wars when it launched, over the years of the original run, and now with the revival. Still, I for one would have loved to see a recording session of Baker talking to himself while he switches between clone voices!
"The Bad Batch" is one of the Clone Wars arcs that manages to show the personalities and loyalties of the individual clones (at this point in the Star Wars timeline, anyway) beyond their status as a nearly uniform fighting force for the Republic. Dee Bradley Baker explained the importance of such arcs:
Sadly, these brothers-in-arms who have learned to solve problems and work together over the years are soon going to lose their ability to make certain decisions, with the exception of Rex and a couple other clones who remove the chips in their brains. Why? Because Order 66 is on the way.
First revealed after Anakin turned to the dark side and Palpatine's plan fell into place in Revenge of the Sith, Order 66 is of course a tragedy for the Jedi Order. Dee Bradley Baker shared his thoughts on the tragedy in relation to the clones:
Considering the shot of the visibly pregnant Padme in the Clone Wars trailer suggests that The Clone Wars is fast-approaching the beginning of Revenge of the Sith, that devastating realization could come sooner rather than later. Fortunately, Star Wars Rebels proves that the fall of the Republic and Order 66 don't devastate all the heroes of the Clone Wars, with both Rex and Ahsoka surviving to fight in the next stage of galactic conflict.
And the good guys will win, as any Star Wars fan worth their salt knows! The original trilogy ends with an Ewok dance party, not with Order 66 2.0. Dee Bradley Baker elaborated on the importance of hope in Star Wars for real-life viewers:
Will hope triumph on The Clone Wars when all is said and done? That likely depends on where in the Star Wars timeline The Clone Wars actually ends, and on which character(s). Ahsoka may be the most hopeful character, since she'll survive the Clone Wars and be able to go on the run, which is better than the fate that awaits many of her childhood mentors.
Alternately, if Clone Wars ends on an epilogue like Star Wars Rebels did, then the final credits could also roll in a happier place than around the beginning of Revenge of the Sith. We'll have to wait and see. There is always that obvious new hope on the way!
New episodes of The Clone Wars' seventh and final season release Fridays on Disney+ (opens in new tab). You can also find the first six seasons of The Clone Wars streaming on the Disney platform, along with plenty of other content set in that galaxy far, far away.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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