‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Continues to Look at Relationships in Episode 2, “A Distant Echo” — Review
Episode 2 of The Clone Wars, “A Distant Echo,” continues the Bad Batch arc as they search for the live signal Rex and Tech found last time. Rex thinks it’ll lead to Echo, who’s been presumed dead since Season 3, but others worry he’s getting too personally attached to the outcome. Meanwhile, Anakin Skywalker joins the mission and the season already starts to pick up even more. Spoilers ahead for Season 7 of The Clone Wars, through Episode 2.
This episode displays the characters’ relationships so well
The episode starts off at the Republic base on Anaxes. The Bad Batch and Rex came back to regroup before going to Skako Minor to search for the live signal they got in the last episode. As Anakin, Rex, and Hunter talk about moving out on the mission, Anakin reminds Rex that they have to do that thing. Despite some pushback, Rex caves and this begins an amazing scene that shows so many character relationships at once.
As you might have guessed, Anakin needed to speak with Padmé, and Rex was part of his plan to sneak off and do so. As Anakin is spending time with Padmé via hologram, Rex is very obviously standing guard outside his barracks. Obi-Wan Kenobi comes up, looking for Anakin and Rex’s inability to lie is also on full display.
If you needed a reminder of how good the writing is on The Clone Wars, this is it. Not only do you get a two-minute scene that shows how Anakin keeps in contact with his secret wife while keeping it, you know, secret. But it also shows how the bonds between Anakin, Rex, and Obi-Wan revolve around each other. The chemistry and hilarious circumstances make for a relatable and entertaining scene.
Rex’s personal feelings are cause for concern for Anakin, and everyone on the mission
The chunk of this episode takes place on their mission to Skako Minor to find the source of this live signal and break it off so that the Separatists can stop predicting the Republic’s moves. For Rex, he also hopes to save Echo, who he now has full hope is still alive.
The tagline for this episode is, “The search for truth begins with belief.” But at the start, only Rex believes in Echo’s part in this. As for everyone else, they want to warn him that Echo could very well still be dead. As Rex’s belief grows stronger as the episode goes on, he gets into more fights with the members of the Bad Batch.
Anakin’s worried about this turn in Rex, who’s usually really levelheaded, which he relays to Padmé. She playfully replies, “Where did he learn that from?” shading Anakin’s tendency to let personal feelings guide him. But she then reminds Anakin that Rex stands behind him on all of their missions and Anakin should do the same this time too. Even if personal feelings are clouding Rex’s judgment.
Rex isn’t prepared for what he finds
Rex’s immense care for Echo is an exhibit of the connections the Clones feel for each other. With this in mind, Rex is understandably horrified by what they find. Echo’s mind is being used as a weapon by the Separatists and he looks like he’s barely alive. Echo’s disoriented when he’s pulled out of the chamber he was held in. When he says, “You came back for me,” it hurts the heart.
As mentioned last time, it’s hard to get over just how good the fighting looks, especially Anakin’s Jedi moves with the Force. It’s so fluid when he’s lunging and slicing with his lightsaber. The animation has truly come a long way since the 2008 movie where they just crossed their arms all the time as a placeholder. While we knew this is part of the redesign going into this season, it won’t stop being cool to look at.
There’s another little thing detail I noticed too. In all of the other seasons when Anakin and Obi-Wan were out in the field, they had their armor on. It was a good way to show that they were at war, not just on Jedi business. But now, to better fit in with their aesthetics in Revenge of the Sith, they’re just in their Jedi robes. It’s not explained, but it’s a nice touch to continue continuity between the overlap that’s bound to happen later this season with the movies.
It’s only a 24-minute episode and it always ends so fast. Next week, we’ll see Anakin and the Clones defend the locals on their way off of Skako Minor, and Echo’s final fate will be revealed. Still no sign or mention of Ahsoka, but if this arc ends next episode, then expect her soon.