Star Wars: The Clone Wars- 7.02 A Distant Echo
The seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues with the second episode 'A Distant Echo', a story that picks up where the previous episode left off. The episode follows Anakin, Rex, and the Bad Batch as they now head to Skako Minor in search of the long-missing clone trooper Echo...or what they hope is Echo.
Once again, all of the technical aspects of this episode are completely on point. The animation is gorgeous, while the voice acting makes it feel like no time has passed at all. And for anyone upset about a lack of Anakin and Obi-Wan in the previous episode, 'A Distant Echo' includes plenty of both. That being said, the episode isn't perfect. There's something of a story flaw that actually stems back to the series' original run.
This troublesome plot development happens at the beginning of the episode. Before leaving on the mission to Skako Minor, Anakin slips off to talk with Padme (via holo) while Rex stands guard. That Rex is in the know about what Anakin is doing isn't all that surprising. What did catch me off guard was the revelation that Obi-Wan is aware of these secret meetings as well. This moment, while funny, also feeds into a longstanding problem: how can Obi-Wan possibly be aware of what Anakin and Padme are doing and be okay with it? Remember, Anakin's relationship with Senator Amidala is strictly against the Jedi Code, and there would be huge consequences if they were caught. Obi-Wan revealing that he knows Anakin's talking with Padme means that he has to know there's something going on...and yet he just brushes it off? Either Obi-Wan is just that dense where Anakin and Padme are concerned, or he's a lot more supportive than Anakin ever realized.
The bulk of the episode takes place on Skako Minor and it is all very well done. The tension between the regular clones and the Bad Batch is teased, but not overly so. When push comes to shove, the two groups work very well together and there's plenty of lightsaber and blaster action to go around. I also really liked the depiction of Skako Minor's native culture, a perfect addition to the galaxy George Lucas originally created. But this part of the episode is more centered around locating Echo and it shows to a certain extent. The story's path towards the reveal is a little uneven, but the payoff is well worth the build.
The reveal of Echo is one of the most shocking scenes ever seen in The Clone Wars to date. This is fitting though, since before being cancelled the series was trending towards darker ideas and more graphic content. It's an emotional finale to an episode that has consistently cast into doubt whether or not Rex is even after something real. Unfortunately, Echo is very much real, though whether he'll ever be the same is....questionable. Seeing the fallout from all of this will be very interesting indeed.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues to be strong with its final season. It's not clear how this story will connect to the teased return of Ahsoka and Maul, though this could also just be a prelude to the "main" story of the season. Either way, I'm very much enjoying the season and I can't wait to see where the story goes next.