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Dee Bradley Baker on Keeping His Characters Distinct

Jan 5, 2023


As the dust settles on Andor, the second season of The Bad Batch aims to take Star Wars fans back to the comforting world of animation, though its highly anticipated return certainly has no shortage of high stakes or moral dilemmas. With the titular Bad Batch’s return, Hunter, Wrecker, Echo, and Tech (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) and Omega (voiced by Michelle Ang) find themselves once again caught in the crosshairs of the Empire as they face new dangers across the galaxy, and discover just how dangerous it has become for clones.

Ahead of the Season 2 premiere, Collider had the opportunity to share a quick 1-on-1 chat with Dee Bradley Baker, who lends his voice to not only the Bad Batch, but all of the clones (with the exception of Omega). During the interview, the multi-talented voice actor discussed how the Empire is growing bigger in Season 2 and how that connects to the larger Star Wars canon, how the Bad Batch have evolved between Season 1 and Season 2, and he also discusses how he keeps all the various characters straight in his head—especially when he has lent his voice to recent films like Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again and Star Trek: Prodigy’s adorable Murf.

Image via Disney+

COLLIDER: So I’m curious, for season two, what would you say is the key thesis of the season?

DEE BRADLEY BAKER: The key thesis of the season to me is that the Empire is growing bigger and there’s nowhere to run or hide. That’s my thesis.

You’re not wrong.

BAKER: And that plays out for Omega as it does for the Bad Batch, as it does for Crosshair. And so these are the larger realities of the Star Wars canon that are locking into place, and coming into play, and it’s spectacularly great Star Wars as far as I’m concerned. I just love it.

What do you think each of the characters of the Bad Batch learns the most this season about themselves or as a group?

BAKER: A lot of what The Bad Batch has to learn, I think it’s interesting because they’re really sort of their own offshoot individual branch that run at things in a more improvisational manner, and now they’re thrown into a situation that is exponentially more improvisational than ever before where they don’t even know where their money’s coming from, I mean, they’re always on the move. They’re not following anyone’s orders, really. They’re kind of guns-for-hire, free contractors running missions.

And then they have Omega a child in their midst now who wants to have a family and sees them and their ship as home and family, and they have a lot to learn, it turns about, from her. From her improvisational open-hearted stance towards the universe and towards what is fair and what is just and isn’t. And that she has a lot to teach them, as children often do. They have a lot to teach grownups. And so they’re both learning from each other under these increasingly challenging conditions. On the other side, you’ve got Crosshair now among the Empire and is doing what he thinks is the right thing and, well, he has his own education to play out.

Image via Disney+

Definitely. It was so much fun. I watched the entirety of the Bad Batch, and then I watched the new Night at the Museum movie, which you also voice a character in, and obviously, I’m watching Prodigy, I even have Murf up here. How do you keep all of these different voices so distinct because sometimes you’re making animal sounds, creature sounds, and then an entire cast of clones that all have a distinct cadence? What do you do to keep that in the forefront of your mind when you step into the booth?

BAKER: It helps to have, I’ve got kind of a dry-erase mind as I sometimes call it. Which I think I’ve learned from a lot of live performing and in particular improvisation, where part of the skillset of that is having an open mind that is uncluttered and just ready. That it’s not one necessarily about preparing, but just about being ready to go with how the story needs to be. And so, I can jump into these very different playpens and steer my acting in very, very different ways, but that’s what improvisation is.

I mean, if you’ve ever seen an improv show where they ask for, give me a style or give me an occupation. So you’re used to jumping to these very different realms as a way of entertaining or telling a story. So I’m used to that, and this is the gym that I’ve been working out at for a good while now. And it all feels the same to me, whether I’m doing the straight-ahead acting that we do in Bad Batch, in The Clone Wars, or if I’m a blue space blob in another show, it all ultimately comes down to storytelling and listening and intent and tone and playing it as it comes to me. So, it all feels oddly related and like the same thing.

Catch up with Season 1 of The Bad Batch on Disney+ before diving into Season 2. Watch the trailer for Season 2 below:

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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