How The Bad Batch Cast Came To Terms With That Heartbreaking Sacrifice

This post contains spoilers for "The Bad Batch."

During the "Star Wars" Celebration panel for "The Bad Batch," there was a lot of talk about the events of season 2. It was the first time the cast and crew were able to talk openly with a crowd about the shocking end of the season and the death of one of the Bad Batch.

In the season's climactic final episode, Tech — the most technologically savvy and neurodiverse of Clone Force 99 — is forced to sacrifice himself in order to save the rest of the Bad Batch. They decided they had to infiltrate Governor Tarkin's retreat on his home planet of Eriadu and there is a cost to this mission. Tarkin puts them in a position where there's no other option and for the Bad Batch to escape, Tech has to die.

This is devastating for the Bad Batch, particularly their sister, Omega. And it's even more devastating for the audience to endure such a loss. When the panel showed a supercut of a trailer of the entirety of season 2 before starting, it recapped the whole season, but specifically highlighted Tech's final moments, leaving no dry eye in the house. Even in the press section there were many a sniffle. But what about the cast and crew behind that moment? How did they cope with that over the course of production?

Into Tarkin's lair

Supervising director Brad Rau explained to an intently listening audience that the stakes of this mission that cost Tech his life had to be big: 

"It was clear Crosshair needed help. He didn't ask for help. He warned his brothers. They had to go, they had to try. To try meant not only to cross into the realm of the Empire which they were trying to avoid this entire season, they're going to the base of Grand Moff Tarkin. If they're going to go there into his backyard — we know Tarkin is too good and way too evil, way too clever, way too cold, we know there was going to be some kind of consequence. When we realized that early on in the writers' room, we were a little emotional. What does that mean and how are we going to do this?"

"We even tried to talk ourselves out of it, many times," added head writer Jennifer Corbett. "But it just didn't feel genuine to the moment to have it all end happily ever after. It speaks to how the Empire views their soldiers because the Batch would have gotten away if Tarkin didn't send those ships to shoot down not only the clones, but his own troopers. He does not care to the loss of his own men, that's just not how the Bad Batch or the Republic did business. The only choice for Tech was either they all died or he made the sacrifice and for him it was the only choice."

The Bad Batch definitely paid for the folly of heading into the lion's den, and it cost them Tech.

Omega's take

The audience wasn't the only ones that had to grapple with the death of Tech. "It's hard to talk about it still," Michelle Ang, the voice of Omega on the show, told the Celebration crowd. "We don't get the scripts in advance, we just get a script at a time, just a couple of days before we get to record. I knew that something up because Jen and Brad were particularly sensitive about it, saying, 'If you guys want to talk about anything after you've read the script...' I guessed it was something very harrowing, but never in my wildest dreams did I think we were going to lose someone from the Batch."

For audiences watching the completed episode, it felt so surprising but inevitable and it caused many tears to be shed. The proof was in the palpable emotion in the room at Celebration as the actors choked up talking about the loss.

"In hindsight, it kind of made sense," Ang continued. "The journey Omega got to have with Tech got to have a strong and complete arc in the sense that they got to understand each other better. To read that script and sense it coming and go, 'No. No it can't be.' and then waiting to the end, and going, 'Okay. He doesn't come back in this episode.' It was really emotional."

Good soldiers follow orders

Dee Bradley Baker, who has been voicing these clones for more than 15 years, said that he doesn't like saying goodbye to any clones, but Tech was particularly impactful, because it was the clone he personally identified with the most. "It's not easy," Baker said. "I try to console myself with the thought that his sacrifice was heroic and intentional and it would be no less than what any clone would wish for their final moment of service to their fellow soldiers and to their mission. It was rendered and so beautifully choreographed in such a heroic and moving way that it really knocked me out."

Baker told a story about how he tried to negotiate some of the lines in the recording booth, almost as though he was trying to get out of doing it, but relented and admitted to reading the lines pretty close to how they were originally written:

"There's such a beautiful symmetry to the quote that everyone gravitates to, which is, 'Good soldiers follow orders,' and for Tech to finish his time by saying, 'When did we ever follow orders?' that brings it back to the other end of that spectrum of blindly following authority to sacrificing yourself for your band of brothers and for the mission, and there's a great profound lesson and meaning to that. It's really beautiful and I'm just so glad to have been along for the ride with this fella."

The death of Tech still, quite obviously, chokes Baker up. As he finished talking about the impact Tech had on him, his voice wavered and he almost came to tears. "For me, [Tech] did his job and he was satisfied with that. And that's a good thing. And yeah ... I'll never forget the guy."

The first two seasons of "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" are streaming only on Disney+. The third and final season has yet to set an official release date.