Clone Wars Review: A Distant Echo

Spoilers for the episode and Star Wars Rebels

This is my favorite episode so far this season. It has a bit of everything. There’s character drama, action, horror, and some fun jokes too, mostly from Wrecker.

 

Let’s discuss the Anakin and Obi-Wan and the Anakin and Padmé scenes that everyone is talking about. They are changes from the original animatics. Like I said last week, I haven’t watched the original reels all the way through. I’ve seen clips here and there, and I’ve read the episode summaries years ago. I appreciate Star Wars Explained in their reviews making sure to note the differences between the original animatics and the final product so viewers are aware of the changes. It looks like all the changes are to keep the story more character focused over plot driven narratives.

Which is a really smart move on their part. I was saying in my last Clone Wars review that everything is heightened with Revenge of the Sith looming on the horizon of this season. We’re on the “Anakin Skywalker Goodbye Tour” as any moment in the show could be the last time we see him as a hero. With that, I wonder if this is the last time we see Anakin and Padmé together until Episode III. It makes their conversation so much more important.

Because it is a lesson that Anakin never seems to learn. Padmé tells him that Anakin and Rex has been together a long time. He should trust Rex’s instincts and lead on this one. Which Anakin does do this time.

But he doesn’t do this with Obi-Wan. We now know that Obi-Wan knows something is going on with Anakin and Padmé. I doubt that Kenobi knows that they’re married, but he’s aware there’s something. Which makes it even sadder that Anakin doesn’t feel like he can trust Obi-Wan with this information. Obi-Wan would probably understand more than anyone else. Obi-Wan has known love. He was in love with Duchess Satine of Mandalore. He understands what it’s like. In the Clovis Arc, Obi-Wan even confided to Anakin that he had romantic feelings towards Satine. Obi-Wan should be the one Anakin should turn to. But Anakin has been living with secrets this long. He does not take Padmé’s advice to trust the people closest to him. And with Episode III coming, we know that he never will.

 

When Rex asks Hunter who the Bad Batch reports to, Hunter says he doesn’t know. That should be a huge red flag to everyone. Then they go into battle, and it’s not brought up again. But this is a big reveal. We know that the Clone Wars as a whole is a senseless war to cover Palpatine’s machinations as he transitions to the Empire and reveal his plot to destroy the Jedi. I think if this wasn’t the last season this would be a topic they would bring up in later seasons. Maybe we would have gotten an entire arc of the Bad Batch learning the truth about their missions. There’s just no time anymore to explore that.

 

I also mentioned last week that I think this arc is working towards Rex’s transition of who he is in Star Wars Rebels, and we’re seeing more of it this week. After he gets in a fight with Wrecker and Crosshair, Rex’s talk with Anakin pretty much sums up his emotional journey through the series. Rex has lost so many people he’s cared about over the course of the series. He’s lost all the other members of Domino Squad. He was tricked into killing his own men in the Umbara Arc. He chose to walk away from a chance of a different life with Cut Lawquane and his family. All he has left is hope that he can save one life and make it better. He can save the last member of Domino Squad with Echo. As we move towards Order 66, we know that Rex is about to lose so much more. Him emphasizing saving just one life is important. We see later on that he’s with Wolffe and Gregor in Rebels, possibly having saved them. Every life is important. And with someone who has lost so much and about to lose everything, I think Rex is done with this war. I think he’s done playing by it’s rules. Fives was the one who taught Rex that clones are individuals and deserve to be more than just cannon fodder. Rex is taking those lessons, and he’ll be damned before he loses someone else he loves.

 

Here’s some random thoughts I had to round out the episode:

-Rex awkwardly keeping watch for Anakin is one of the best things to ever happen in Clone Wars.

-I love the design of the Poletecs. When they walk, it reminds me of old Big Foot footage of the cryptid moving through the forest

-The first two episodes have had scenes where they used no music during battles. It’s a powerful twist when I’m so used to hearing Kevin Kiner’s powerful scores to set the mood. But without the music, it was far more intense. Every blaster bolt seemed louder, upping that drama factor to leave me on the edge of my seat.

-The fight sequences are so smooth. I know they motioned captured Ray Park later in the season for fights, but I wonder if they did that with other battles too. Some of Anakin’s moves are so fluid like it was motion captured.

-Echo coming out of the stasis chamber is straight out of a horror movie. It has the look of a Victor Frankenstein experiment, and the borderline jump scare of Echo falling out is horrific.

 

If the rest of the series is up to this level, I’m going to be such a happy camper. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

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