Star Wars' Ming-Na Wen On Playing The Mandalorian's Fennec Shand Differently For Disney+'s The Bad Batch

Fennec Shand holding gun in Star Wars: The Bad Batch

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It’s like Werner Herzog’s The Client said The Mandalorian: bounty hunting is a complicated profession. Not everyone is cut out for this line of work, but Ming-Na Wen’s Fennec Shand has been at it for decades. We’ve followed along with an experienced Fennec over The Mandalorian’s first two seasons, and now Star Wars: The Bad Batch is showing what the bounty hunter was up to immediately after the end of the Clone Wars. Wen reprised Fennec for the animated Disney+ series, but she had to tackle the character differently compared to how she played her on The Mandalorian.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ming-Na Wen about her time on Star Wars: The Bad Batch, and among the questions I asked was if it was difficult or weird for her to voice a character she’s already played in live-action, especially considering the big time gap between The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian: The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actress responded:

Yeah, because when you’re someone in your 20s vs. someone in your 40s, there are so many things that change. And especially as a bounty hunter, I’m sure Fennec has lived many lives and gone through many, many adventures and near-death experiences. So it’s interesting for me, I wanted to play the young Fennec where she’s still very cool and very cunning, but there’s just a different energy about her. She’s more impulsive, she’s more raw and ruthless, and I think she’s out to make a mark in the world and just take on as many jobs as possible Truly, truly ambitious. I think later, she’s more choosy, she’s more careful.

At the time Star Wars: The Bad Batch takes place, Fennec Shand is a newcomer to the bounty hunting game, although it hasn’t taken her long to establish an impressive reputation. Nevertheless, this Fennec still needs to get a lot of experience under her belt, so that provided Ming-Na Wen an opportunity to vocally differentiate the character from the Fennec we’ve seen in The Mandalorian who’s been around the block and is more picky with the jobs she takes. Still, it’d abundantly clear in The Bad Batch that if you cross paths with the young Fennec, expect her to put up one hell of a fight.

As for how voicing Fennec Shand on Star Wars: The Bad Batch compares her other voiceover roles (her credits on that front including Mulan, Phineas & Ferb and Sofia the First), here’s what Ming-Na Wen had to say:

It’s interesting to go from a live character, and then taking all that I’ve learned about that experience about who that character is and doing it in animation is certainly a lot easier. Because I’ve already lived in her skin, basically. So I loved it, and we cranked out the episodes quite quickly. Because Dave [Filoni] and the writers, they were very talented and skilled, and they knew exactly what they wanted to get.

Warning: SPOILERS for the Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode “Bounty Lost” are ahead!

We first crossed paths with Fennec Shand on Star Wars: The Bad Batch in the episode “Cornered,” where she attempted to kidnap Omega on behalf of an unidentified client. She returned in the latest episode, “Bounty Lost,” once again after Omega, but this time having to secure her from Cad Bane. Omega ultimately managed to escape from both bounty hunters and reunite with the Batch, but it was revealed that Fennec and Bane weren’t working off the same bounty. Rather than retrieving Omega on behalf of Lama Su, Fennec was hired by Nala Se to ensure the Omega wasn’t brought back to Kamino. Nala Se was okay with the young clone being back with the Batch, so now Fennec is off to take on a new job.

Whether we’ll see Fennec Shand on Star Wars: The Bad Batch again remains to be seen, but you can catch new episodes of the series Fridays on Disney+. Ming-Na Wen is also reprising the older Fennec for The Book of Boba Fett, which will premiere later this year on the same streaming service.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.