Star Wars: The Bad Batch's Dee Bradley Baker on Street Level Pod Racing and the Character He Hopes to Cross Paths With (Exclusive)

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is back this week with its second season, featuring all-new adventures of the former Clone Force 99. That includes Hunter, Echo, Wrecker, and Tech, plus their errant brother Crosshair, all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. In the show's first season, Baker had the challenge of establishing these characters as worth building a television show around and differentiating them from each other even though they're clones. With that out of the way, Baker spoke to about how The Bad Batch's second season differs from its first (in more detail than he revealed when we talked to him previously). 

"The stakes are upped in all kinds of ways in season two for the Bad Batch," Baker says. "The Empire, Palpatine, is slowly closing his iron grip of control and power as he consolidates his power and his resources and starts to move away from the clones or eliminate the clones and to bring online a different police force, a military force, to maintain his grip on things. So we have the Bad Batch, that is those that are together along with Omega, they increasingly have to deal with the upped political stakes and threat that this poses. And then you have Crosshair on the other side, who is right in the middle of all of that as that starts to play out and how that reveals itself and how that plays out with his story as well.

Season 2 also sees the Bad Batch embarking on adventures into unexpected genres, as discussed with the show's producers. Baker also commented on what episode and characters stood out this season. 

"Right out of the gate, I just, I love the pod-race episode Tech," Baker says. He's referring to an early episode in the season that does not involve actual pod-racing, as seen in The Phantom Menace. Instead, it features something like Star Wars street racing that's presented and used similarly to pod racing in Episode I. "I thought that was really fun and it's like, I know this guy and I like this guy a lot more now because he's able to jump in there and do something that you wouldn't really think he'd do, but how fun. It was just fun."

Bradley continues, "And on the other side of it, I think for me the most meaningful and affecting was the outpost episode with Crosshair to see how he's taken to the limits of his extreme in a heartbreaking way. But that plays out as this very personal climb to a revelation, to a moment, to a break, and to bring his character, who is typically tough, and kind of grumpy, and not saying very much to this state of transformation, or revelation, for me, it's like, wow, I think I actually like him the best now. He's the most compelling and interesting character of all of them. And I love them all very much, but to bring that out in Crosshair, I think fans are really gonna go nuts for it. It's really a fascinating journey that he's on."

Finally, Star Wars: The Bad Batch's first season had some exciting guest stars, with more coming in Season 2. We asked Baker which character he'd most like to cross paths with as the Bad Batch meet. He had an unexpected response. 

"I want them to cross paths with a tauntaun," Baker replied. "I want them to ride tauntauns. That is the Star Wars character that I want them to cross paths with because I love tauntauns." He emphasized this point by holding up his Echo Base shirt bearing a tauntaun.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2 premieres on Disney+ on January 4th. The Bad Batch's first season is streaming now.