On January 4, 2023, the second season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch arrives on Disney+ to continue the tale of experimental Clone Force 99 amidst the fallout of Order 66.
Out ahead of Season 2, series producers Brad Rau and Jennifer Corbett, along with the show's cast, have offered a bit of what to expect from The Bad Batch's second chapter and how it differs from the first.
1.) Clone Force 99 No Longer on the Run
Since then, the team has been "sort of staying under the radar" and going "gig to gig."
However, while they're "not being hunted by the Empire" this time around, they're still witnessing "things that are happening in the galaxy because of the Empire," which could pull them back in.
2.) Omega & Her 'Space Dads'
After Omega joined the crew at the start of the first season, Clone Force 99 truly became a family with team leader Hunter, in particular, becoming a sort of father figure.
While that continues in the new season, Brad Rau explained that Omega is "kind of raising them too," and that "they're going to have to make decisions about what they do in the future for Omega:"
"It's this weird dynamic among all of them so as a tight knit family unit, you see how they have evolved. You see it in particular in how Omega has grown up a little bit and her hair is a little longer... They're really at a crossroads... They're going to have to make decisions about what they do in the future for Omega, for themselves, and she's gonna make her own decisions, and they're going to have to deal with that as well as dads."
3.) Omega the Adrenaline Junkie?
Michelle Ang, who voices Omega, had more to share about her clone's growth, referring to her as an "adrenaline junkie mercenary" who's "obsessed with missions."
Ang went on two acknowledge this shift from Season 1 saying:
"I think that's a really different place from Season 1 where she was sort of constantly in awe and sort of being wowed by the physical world around her. She's also upskilled a little bit and wearing a more appropriate costume..."
4.) Crosshair - The Lone Clone
While Season 1 began with Crosshair as part of Clone Force 99 and ended with him reluctantly reuniting with his old crew in the finale, Dee Bradley Baker - who voices all of the clones - confirmed that the team "no longer have Crosshair with them" in Season 2 as he "has his own story..."
Corbett had a bit more to share on how Crosshair differs in Season 2, from how "he has doubled down" and "thinks he's made the right choice" to "his interactions with Cody..."
5.) More Empire, Fewer Clones, More Problems
While Season 1 introduced the Empire's intention to transition from clones to conscripted troops, Baker shared that this plot point is directly dealt with in the new season.
As Palpatine's tyranny and control expand, the clones discover that they're "ultimately expendable" and "slowly wake up to how this is playing out..."
Corbett also teased that Echo and Captain Rex's background as standard clones amid this transition "leads to a lot of conflict with the Batch."
Characters at the Heart of Bad Batch Season 2
What's particularly interesting about these changes is that they all have to do with character growth.
Omega is growing up, which presents a challenge to her newfound family, and Crosshair is doubling down despite the changes going on around him.
Meanwhile, the fact that the team isn't always on the run means they have some breathing room which, interestingly enough, presents them with some challenging choices.
For fans of the show and Lucasfilm Animation's style of storytelling, this is good news.
Audiences don't want a rehash of Clone Wars or The Bad Batch's first season. They want this next chapter to do what its predecessors have always done in evolving its characters while offering a different perspective of the changing galaxy.
The real question now is where will these changes leave Clone Force 99 by the season finale?
If it's anything like the show's Season 1 conclusion, it's sure to pack a punch.
Season 2 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch debuts January 4, 2023, on Disney+.