An Interview with Dee Bradley Baker of “The Bad Batch”
I’m not exaggerating when I say Dee Bradley Baxter is one of the most prolific voice actors of our time. He’s been in so many shows and voiced so many video games, I think it’s virtually impossible to have not seen something he’s voiced. This post contains affiliate links.
His major roles—many of which feature his vocalizations of animals—include animated series such as: “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “American Dad!,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Codename: Kids Next Door,” “Gravity Falls,” “Steven Universe,” “Phineas and Ferb,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Star Wars Rebels,” “Star Wars Resistance,” “Ben 10,” “The Legend of Korra,” “Big Hero 6: The Series,” “Curious George,” “Doc McStuffins,” Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure,” “Shimmer and Shine,” “The Lion Guard,” ”Spirit Riding Free,” “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Adventuretime,” and “The 7D,” live action series such as “Legends of the Hidden Temple” and “Shop 'til You Drop,” films such as The Boxtrolls and Space Jam, and video games such as Halo, Gears of War, Viewtiful Joe, Spore, and Overwatch. And so many more.
This post may contain spoilers if you have not yet watched Episode 1 of “Star Wars The Bad Batch.”
Who is “The Bad Batch?”
We first meet the Bad Batch in the final season of “The Clone Wars.” The new series, “The Bad Batch,” follows the elite, experimental clones of the Bad Batch as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War.
Members of Bad Batch–a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army–each possess a singular exceptional skill making them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew.
In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose during the rise of the Empire.
The 5 clones of the Bad Batch include Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Echo, and Crosshair.
The Voice of the Bad Batch
If you’re familiar with “The Clone Wars,” then you likely already know that Dee Bradley Baker is the voice behind all 5 members of the Bad Batch, as well as the Clone Troopers.
At the press junket for “Star Wars The Bad Batch,” Dee Bradley Baker shared about the fun and the challenge of carrying the weight of the clone galaxy on his shoulders. We were excited to interview Dee Bradley Baker about all the voice work on clones and the Bad Batch specifically.
Who's Who in the Bad Batch?
Dee Bradley Baker shared with us his take on each of the 5 Bad Batch members
“Of the team, you've got Hunter, who's kind of the leader of the pack. He's got tracking skills and smell and kind of this heightened sense that helps him gauge the terrain. Then you've got Tech, who is very technically oriented. He always has a handheld device that he's working on. And is super cool, super calm, and competent with all things technical.
“Then you've got Wrecker, who to no surprise, is the muscles of the group. Who's got incredible strength. And, then you've got…Crosshair. Crosshair is the sharpshooter of the group. He's kind of a contrary character and quite interesting in the dynamic. And then you've also got Echo, who is a modified clone. An android clone from the Clone Wars episodes, who was brought on board with the Batch.
“And that's the gang, I think. And together they are a force to be reckoned with.”
Does Dee Bradley Baker have a favorite clone to voice?
Dee Bradley Baker said it would basically be like asking him to pick a favorite child to ask him to pick which clone is his favorite to voice.
That said, he said it is fun to be Wrecker because he’s “…so honest, so clear and funny, but I have great affection for all of them. They're all very interesting fellows. but Wrecker's probably the furthest away from me from all of them. And, he's great fun.”
Dee Bradley Baker discussed how the approach to voicing Clone Force 99 is a little different than voicing clones and how the whole thing feels a bit like a magic trick.
“Clone Force 99 is kind of another step beyond what I've been asked to do in the Clone Wars series. The Clones, the tricky part for them, is that the differentiation is much tighter between characters. Although it has to be decisive.”
The Bad Batch are actually much further apart from each other, which oddly makes it a little bit easier to jump from character to character to character. For me, it feels like I'm jumping from rock to rock on a stream. I can see the rock. The writing is clear. And that's what I jump to, is that character,” Dee Bradley Baker said.
“It's like, I can see them. I feel like I know them, and it actually helps that they're further differentiated vocally, and also in terms of their personality and their mood, shall we say? So It comes off looking more like a magic trick than it does maybe with the Clones, but it's still a really fascinating process as a voice actor to just, you know, have these scenes where I'm just talking to myself.”
“Just switching from character to character to character as we go through the script. Which is typically how we do it. We just go straight through it. It's great that it's fantastic fun. It's really an interesting project.”
“Star Wars The Bad Batch” on Disney Plus
“Star Wars: The Bad Batch” makes its debut on Disney+ Tuesday, May 4, with a special 70-minute premiere, followed by new episodes every Friday starting on May 7.
Do you have a favorite member of the Bad Batch? Tell us in the comments.
Check out all of our Bad Batch coverage here.