On May the Fourth, or as most readers will know it, Star Wars Day, Disney+ released the first episode of their brand-new original Star Wars series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Needless to say, the new adventures of Clone Force 99 are an instant classic. Providing the score for the thrilling series is veteran Lucasfilm composer Kevin Kiner. Since being hired by George Lucas himself to work on Star Wars: The Clone Wars in 2008 Kevin has scored Star Wars: Clone Wars (TV series), Star Wars Rebels, and now Star Wars: The Bad Batch for the galaxy far, far away. Kevin describes the show as a band of misfits. "Kelly's Heroes, The Dirty Dozen, The Guns of Navarone, that's what The Bad Batch is." Channeling noted score masters Max Stiner, Bernard Herman, and Nicholas Rozsa Kiner produce a kind of old-school caper sound, which is a lot of fun. He is a master at the playful balance between the light and dark tones. Enjoy our chat with Kevin as he teases which upcoming scenes will blow fans away and gets coy when asked about the rumors of Anakin Skywalker's return to the animated universe.
Bleeding Cool: Without any spoilers what episode do you think fans will be most excited to see.
Kevin Kiner: Wow. There are so many of them. I just screened the last episode of season one. I would say the last two episodes have some really cool things in them. (Kevin stifles an excited laugh as he says really cool) . But that's after, you know you have to be really invested in the characters and the new characters and stuff like that. I would say, as a fan probably there are scenes in the last two episodes of season one that are going to be the really cool scenes. And actually, I'm just writing the music for those, right now.But I was really struck by a couple of the scenes there.
Kiner should know. Along with David Filoni (The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian), he is the last creative connection to "The Maker", George Lucas, and has seen it all. An old pro, he playfully shrugs off attempts to pry loose any spoilers.
KK: There are a few new characters that have an iconic theme. I can tell you that much.
BC: Are any of them Force-related?
KK: I probably can't say that.
BC: How about if I say a name I'll judge by your reaction if you have made a character theme for this show. Like maybe Anakin Skywalker?
Kevin gets slightly nervous and laughingly replies,
KK: I can't say any of that stuff. I really can't. I should stop talking. I play poker guys. They will tell me stuff if I need to tie a theme like if there's somebody in episode twelve that needs to show up at the end, or episode five or whatever they'll tell me those things, but I sort of don't want to know. I want to really watch it fresh. I'm sure they would tell me if I asked, but I don't like knowing a lot of that.
Kevin has been composing for over 38 years and has been lucky enough to have brought his two sons into the score writing fold.
KK: I have to give credit to my oldest son Sean Kiner who had a lot to do with composing The Bad Batch theme. He is my co-composer on that theme. And I'd been with both my sons Sean and Dean and they've been working on from back to Rebels they've been working on Star Wars with me, as well as other projects that I do. So it's kind of a team thing these days.
Dee Bradley Baker voices Clone Force 99 aka "The Bad Batch" (Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, and Echo) and Captain Rex. In addition, the series' voice cast will also include Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand, Stephen Stanton as Grand Moff Tarkin, and Andrew Kishino as Saw Gerrera. Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian, SW: The Clone Wars), Athena Portillo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), Brad Rau (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance), and Jennifer Corbett (Star Wars Resistance, NCIS) executive produce. Carrie Beck (The Mandalorian, SW Rebels) will co-executive produce with Josh Rimes (Star Wars Resistance) producing. Rau is also serving as supervising director, with Corbett as head writer.
The series follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in The Clone Wars) 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 which makes 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.