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The Bad Batch Voice Star Dee Bradley Baker On Maintaining George Lucas' Original Vision Of Star Wars - Exclusive Interview

While he has enjoyed every opportunity to employ his unique vocal skills in the "Star Wars" animated and live-action realm over the years, prolific voice actor Dee Bradley Baker is thrilled to enlist his talents again for a second season of "Star Wars: The Bad Batch."

All voiced by Baker, the "Bad Batch" — named for the group of five experimental clones who differ in looks to the uniform visage of their fellow soldiers — made their first appearance in the seventh and final season of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" in 2020. "The Bad Batch" series added an extra wrinkle to the line-up of Wrecker, Hunter, Tech, Echo, and Crosshair when the group discovers a decidedly different clone in Omega (Michelle Ang), a young girl who quickly becomes part of the rough-and-tumble soldiers' family.

Season 2 of "The Bad Batch," which premieres Wednesday, January 4, on Disney+, begins months after the destruction of the clones' home world of Kamino in the Season 1 finale, as the small group of rogue clones and Omega find themselves on the run from the Empire. In an exclusive interview, Baker — who has amassed more than 650 credits during his illustrious voice acting career — discussed with Looper his specific affinity for his "Bad Batch" characters, his work with "Star Wars" creator George Lucas and "Clone Wars" luminary Dave Filoni, and why his favorite character to voice in Season 1 of series has changed in Season 2.

Baker loves the character range The Bad Batch presents him

Do you hold the record for the most voices in the "Star Wars" universe? I would imagine you do, but among all of the voices in all of the series and movies, "The Bad Batch" has to be your favorite, yes?

I'm really in love with it. The storytelling is so good and so interesting. It's great "Star Wars." It's particularly gratifying that this is kind of the last element of "Star Wars" where George Lucas was directly involved, and that is still bearing fruit in such entertaining and interesting and thrilling ways. As an actor, it's gratifying to have these scenes that are so beautifully executed and written — everything from the action to the personal one-on-one stuff. It's a range of acting that ... there's nothing in my career experience [like it] that I've been allowed to take a swing at. It's beautiful.

Trusting his captains and playing favorites

When you go from Season 1 to Season 2 in "The Bad Batch," do you review your work in Season 1 and say, "I'd like to fine-tune my approach to Wrecker or Hunter" or whatever character? Do any changes occur?

I don't go back to look for any course correction, because my support — my ship that I'm flying on — is the script and what [supervising director and executive producer] Brad [Rau] and [head writer and executive producer] Jen [Corbett] put before me in the session. It's like my main captains are already piloting the ship and I'm on board, and it feels natural to fly it. It doesn't take an effort to reconstitute or to find what refinements, because I know that they know what they want, and that's all the guidance I need.

You mentioned your favorite characters to voice are "The Bad Batch" clones, but let's boil things down a bit to your favorite character out of the five you voice. Who is your favorite and why, and has that character changed from Season 1 to Season 2?

Season 2 changes it for me. Before [with Season 1], I had a lot of fun being Wrecker because I like his personality, and he's far from me in so many ways. But for Season 2, with how it plays out, Crosshair is, I find, a fascinating character and a really interesting story. His whole ordeal that he goes through as he processes where he stands and what the universe is bringing him is quite interesting, and I was surprised. Crosshair's the guy right now for me this season.

Baker loves how The Bad Batch expands the depth of Star Wars movies

I love how "The Clone Wars" and now "The Bad Batch" mesh the events of the live-action "Star Wars" films and the animated stuff so well, like we're looking at the events of the live-action films from a different point of view. You must love that as a performer, knowing that you're taking those original stories and expanding the narrative with the animated storylines, thus making the "Star Wars" universe that much more meaningful.

Yeah. It's a beautiful fulfillment of the "Star Wars" stories. I know it's a priority of Dave Filoni [to have the series feel like the] "Star Wars" [movies] that George Lucas made with his tone and style. Lucas took things in very big and interesting, unexpected turns after the nimble start with "Episode IV," and then [he went] back to the prequels, where it goes big with this very ambitious, larger political-military reality that's playing out.

With the Disney takeover, they invested in these little offshoots of stories that all fit together into the larger canon of what's playing out. But they made it all interesting, and now they can go back and can fill out interesting details from before that fulfill the current story that's being pursued. It's really fun to see how beautifully all of these stories fit together and how they coexist in a friendly way. From my point of view, even if it's stuff that seems like it's a simpler version or it's a kinder version — or for a younger version or all the way up to "Andor" — it all feels like it fits together. It's very exciting to be part of all this very thriving creative empire as it plays out.

"Star Wars: The Bad Batch" Season 2 premieres Wednesday, January 4, on Disney+. New episodes of the series debut every Wednesday through March 29.

This interview was edited for clarity.