The Bad Batch's Michelle Ang On Season 2 And Omega Becoming Part Of The Team [Exclusive Interview]

"Star Wars" is a franchise ripe with all sorts of possibilities, where any and all kind of story can be told. But any time the franchise dives into animation, it feels like a match made in heaven. TV shows like Genndy Tartakovsky's "Clone Wars" or "Star Wars: Rebels" or "The Clone Wars" take us to places and settings we'd never seen before, giving us our first proper look at the war or dropping us into the universe during the time of Imperial oppression all while using the medium of animation to give us impossibly dazzling visuals.

"The Bad Batch" is no different. This spin-off of "The Clone Wars" takes place during the darkest period in the "Star Wars" timeline, immediately after Order 66 wiped out the Jedi and Palpatine declared himself Emperor. The show explores some poignant themes of identity, of what it means to see everything you fought for, everything you were made to protect, be turned upside down. And it explores those ideas while providing some of the most stunningly beautiful imagery in all of "Star Wars" animation.

Going into season 2, a lot of things have changed. After season 1 ended with the destruction of Kamino, the new season focuses more on the period of transition between clones and stormtroopers, as the former Grand Army of the Republic struggles with becoming the enemies they sworn to defeat.

/Film caught up with voice actor Michelle Ang to chat about what fans can expect from Omega this season, and how she's become a more integral part of the titular batch.

Note: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.


Where do we find Omega this season? Because there is a time skip going into season 2, how did the story of the first season impact her going into this one?

Well, when we pick up in the start of season 2, there has been about six months since we last saw her, so what we see is a very confident Omega. [She's] competent in missions. She knows her place, she's very much the good soldier. She is an integral part of the team and is comfortable enough in her place to make suggestions and we'll see that sometimes her ideas are actually well-informed and quite clever.

I think we saw a taste in the trailer of her upgraded skills with her energy bow. Her brothers, particularly Tech and Echo, have been educating her and schooling her and putting her through training, which is important and also quite funny at times. And I think she's very comfortable in the new life that they've set up for themselves as mercenaries. But of course, that gets challenged throughout season 2 and alternative possibilities about what their life and what their existence could be come up, so then Omega and her brothers have to work through that.

A new dynamic

One of the things I really enjoyed as the season started was just how the dynamic changed from having to protect this kid because she didn't have anyone else, to now she's a fully fledged member of the team. How is it playing that side of Omega now that she doesn't have to speak up in order to be listened to?

It's so fun and I think it plays with the idea that in terms of — she's actually older than her brothers, but in terms of world experience, she's so much more naive. Something that we were still exploring in season 1 is she's never left Kamino. So for her, the universe, the physical universe, was a wonder.

Now she's very much internalized that and that's not what is so "wow" for her. What's "wow" for her in season 2 is really the people that they meet and understanding that her life, in some ways, has been privileged because we come across friends and allies who are living in a much more difficult society. We see examples of leaders in communities that are struggling or that are under control from less generous leaders. And I think for Omega, it's learning that there's so many different powers at play in the universe and that her and her brothers being free and independent, they can make a choice about how they exist in the universe. And that's sort of her journey along with the Batch to go through.

A kid in a war zone

There are some moments when they start to consider the fact that she's technically a kid living in a war zone and especially in her bonding with Gungi. I'm curious how that was, playing Omega being technically older but she hasn't had a childhood even though she looks like a kid.

That was so interesting and we did spend a lot of time thinking about it. Because on Kamino, she wouldn't have even seen any example of childhood. So that's when we were playing, especially that theme, the only way she's seen childhood is through the friends that she meets on her missions when she encounters other young children or younger kids. So for her, she feels so exuberant and joyful when she's a soldier and it's actually the conscience of the Batch, the conscience of her brothers going, "Is this right? Are we doing the right thing?" And as she explores the universe and gets to see how different children are living, that's exactly what happens. That throws up questions for her brothers as well as her caretakers. Should we be trying to build a life that allows her to have a childhood? The time for innocence, building a possibility to have an innocent existence.

One of the family

Now as we see the rise of the stormtroopers and the clones struggling with what they did and what they're doing, how does that affect Omega, who is both part of that but also a bit separate because she wasn't a trooper in that regard?

I don't think she considers herself different at all. I think she's very much strongly vehemently aware that these are her people, these are her brothers. I think season 2 is really exciting because it's the question of the clones' identity. Do they get a voice at the Senate? Do they have someone who will advocate for them? Are they considered individuals and souls in their own right?

I think Omega with her naive worldview and her lack of war experience is very clear in her feeling that they have a right to be protected and heard and have a voice. So it's really interesting. And then her, along with the Batch, they encounter people who are for the cause, and then obviously other clones who are not so interested in advocating for their brothers. But for Omega, I think it's absolutely clear that this is her family and they're all the same and she's very much a part of them.

"Star Wars: The Bad Batch" season 2 begins streaming on Disney+ on January 4, 2023.