The Clone Wars returned with the third episode of the seventh and final season, and the penultimate chapter in the Bad Batch arc, entitled “On the Wings of Keeradaks.”
This episode sees our heroes attempting to flee from the Techno Union with Echo, and it was a fast-paced and action-packed episode! Let’s dive in to our review.
As Rex comforts Echo and Tech works to free him, Anakin Skywalker and the Bad Batch fight off the Techno Union droids. Skywalker checks on Echo’s progress and the Bad Batch seals off the doors, buying some time. Wat Tambor shows up and prepares to send in the decimator once it can get through the doors, but Echo alerts the heroes of a vent through which they could escape. Wrecker throws the other clones up into the vent, but Skywalker is able to jump up himself. Before he leaves, Wrecker plants charges. Skywalker uses the Force to pull Wrecker into the vent just before the decimator could kill him. The charges soon go off, destroying the room. After the explosion, Tambor goes in and bemoans the Republic having stolen such a valuable asset, and he orders his forces to find them.
Echo tells the heroes that, though the Techno Union got access to his mind, he got access to all of their data too – meaning he can find them a way out… but he doesn’t think they’ll like it. He shows them that the way out is to walk across a thin beam to the other station, where a hangar awaits. Anakin leads the way and the clones follow, with Wrecker hating it due to his fear of heights. But while the group is halfway across this beam, droids appear, trapping them. The heroes fight back, and Crosshair loses his footing and falls – only to be saved by Wrecker, who despite his fear of heights jumps to catch him. Tech reveals that he had recorded the distress call of the winged creatures they previously flew, the keeradaks, and calls for them. The keeradaks soon arrive, and the heroes jump onto them and fly away, pursued by the flying droids.
The group lands back at the Poletec village, where the natives are angry with the clones for breaking their promise not to bring the war to them. Rex speaks up and says that they’re right, but then shows off Echo as a testament to the Techno Union’s horrors and farce neutrality. Seeing Echo causes the Poletecs to side with the clones, and they prepare to fight back as Tambor sends his forces, including two walkers, to the village. As the forces arrive, the clones and Poletecs fight back in defending the village, with the Bad Batch in particular taking charge.
When the walkers arrive, however, things change. Skywalker, who to this point had been defending Echo and Crosshair, orders Rex and the Bad Batch to take out one of the walkers while he handles the others. Echo muses that the General still likes to show off, and Anakin leaps into action, swiftly taking down one of the walkers. The clones notice Skywalker’s strategy and follow suit, taking down the other one. This causes the remaining droids to flee, and the Poletecs say that the Jedi will always have allies on Skako Minor.
As the heroes prepare to leave, Rex and Echo share a moment, where Echo thanks the captain for coming after him. Rex says that it’ll now be just like old times, but as Rex turns to leave, Echo somewhat ominously says, “Yeah, just like old times.”
This episode was shorter than the previous two, but it was a very entertaining chapter. Maybe I’ll stop highlighting this at some point (though probably not), but the animation for this season is absolutely incredible. It’s clear how much Dave Filoni and his team have learned, and Star Wars animation has never looked better. That continued in this episode, for sure.
Perhaps the main reason why this episode was a bit shorter was because there was a scene cut from the original unfinished storyreels, in which Wat Tambor speaks with Anakin Skywalker and demonstrates a test of the decimator on a villager. I suppose that would have allowed us to see just how dangerous the decimator really is (because we didn’t see it in action in this episode, just the threat of it), but we can basically understand the threat just by how Tambor talks about it, and by how the heroes are fleeing from it.
Much of this episode was action-based, so that made for some exciting moments of battle as the Republic forces attempt to flee from the Techno Union and then defend the Poletec village. It is made clear that they won’t be getting an evac from the Republic, since their mission was unsanctioned, but together they’re able to find a way out. And even though the trope of a neutral village being forced to make a choice has been used quite a bit before in Star Wars, I thought it worked this time in particular because of Echo. It’s not until the Poletecs see him that they realize they can’t stay neutral; upon seeing what the Techno Union has done to one of the clones, the Poletecs decide to join the clones in fighting back. It was really cool to see Rex speak up in this moment, and it makes sense for Echo to be the one who causes the Poletecs to join.
The battle that ensues is a lot of fun to watch, especially when it came to taking down the walkers. I loved Echo’s line to Anakin about how the general still likes to show off, and then later how Hunter says that it’s hard to compete with a Jedi. This episode really had some great Anakin moments, so that was cool.
While much of the episode was action-packed, it the end there is a touching exchange between Echo and Rex. Echo thanks Rex for coming back for him, while Rex apologizes that it took so long. Rex then says that it’ll be just like old times, but that’s when Echo watches him board the shuttle and ominously says, “Yeah, just like old times.” That’s a change, and I think it’s a significant one: the ending of this episode isn’t as happy as you would think (considering they just rescued Echo, and he has regained his personality), but rather somber and ominous. Because of this, I really wonder if we’ll get some significant changes to next week’s episode, which is the final chapter of the Bad Batch arc.
Others have mentioned it as speculation too, but I wonder if Echo knows about the inhibitor chips in their heads. He has been fitted with plenty of cybernetics and has been hooked up to a computer, so it’s very reasonable that he could have discovered the chip in his head. And if that’s the case, then it would make sense that he knows it won’t be just like old times for long. But this could allow Rex and Echo to have a conversation about Fives, and for Echo to confirm Fives’s suspicions about the chip in their heads – which could lead to Rex removing his chip shortly before the Siege of Mandalore. This could all fit together, and I think it’d be a brilliant way to tie things together if Rex and Echo are able to discuss what happened to Fives, with Echo being the one to prompt Rex to remove his chip.
But anyway, that’s just speculation. This was another good episode, and I can’t wait to watch the conclusion next week!
My grade: 8.0/10