The Clone Wars has become a staple among Star Wars fans since its early beginnings back in 2008 when the first episode aired. Then, when the show concluded its run in 2014, many thought that would be the end of an era for their beloved franchise. However, thanks to Kathleen Kennedy, Dave Filoni, and a multitude of others, #CloneWarsSaved reignited the excitement many people had years ago. Bringing back The Clone Wars was a testament to the fortitude and dedication Lucasfilm had to its fans and continuing the legacy of George Lucas started back in 2008.
When season 7 of The Clone Wars returned on February 21st with The Bad Batch, Lucasfilm made sure to bring back the unfinished story that Lucas started. In doing so, a fan-favorite clone with the name of “Echo” sparks the return of Lucas’ story and ongoing legacy that continues to prevail through each episode of its final season. A Distant Echo is nothing short of Lucas’ storytelling wizardry.
Kevin Kiner, the Clone Wars maestro, continues to deliver the emotional punch that audiences like myself have appreciated for all of these years. One of the most meaningful moments between Anakin and his now pregnant wife, Padme, almost brought me to tears. Kiner’s subtle and heartfelt score exemplified the enduring love between the galaxy’s most famous love story.
As always, Clone Wars provides the best visuals from any animated series I’ve ever seen. I can see now why it took them years to complete the final season. The final product was a dazzling display of action, heartfelt sympathy, and some of the best Star Wars has to offer.
This is where the fun begins.
Is Echo alive? How do the Seperatists accurately calculate every move by the Republic? Let’s find out.
To begin with, the Bad Batch has been a lot of fun to watch since their first appearance in the season premiere. They each add a different flavor of clone to the mix and it helps soothe the audience from seeing the usual clone get decimated again and again. It’s nice to see the clones, albeit specialized clones, take home the victory like a video game set on beginner’s mode. Sure, nothing that they are doing is easy in this sense, but their execution is nearly flawless, hence, why winning for them comes much easier to them than most regs. It’s about time for Captain Rex to be able to take somewhat of a break from seeing thousands of his best men be slaughtered in a war that’s being controlled and manipulated by a Sith Lord. Still though, we learn that the war is taking a major toll on Captain Rex. The Bad Batch left us on a cliffhanger and Rex wanting so bad for one of his best mates, Echo, to be alive, especially after all of these years seeing so many of his brothers die. Rex feels like this is his last hope to not just save a brother but save himself from the toll the war has taken on his mind and soul.
Although the war has left its scars, this episode shows how Rex’s compassion for his friends have never changed. Rex’s relationship with Anakin has seemed to become more personal. He went on a limb to hide Anakin from Kenobi so Anakin would be able to speak with his now pregnant wife, Padme. During their conversation, Anakin is worried that Rex’s personal feelings are getting in the way of the mission. As any good wife does, Padme gives Anakin much needed counsel. She suggests for him to stick by Rex’s side and trust in his instincts as Rex has done for him the whole war. After the call and some white lies from Rex, Kenobi barked at Anakin, “I hope you at least told Padme I said hello.” This was a nice connection to Revenge of the Sith, where Kenobi revealed then that he already knew of Anakin’s and Padme’s secret relationship. Love hath no bounds…even when you’re a Jedi and attachments aren’t the Jedi way.
Later on, one of the clones from the Bad Batch tell Rex that his personal feelings are getting in the way of the mission. Truth sometimes can hurt the most. Anakin then pulls Rex aside and echoes the counsel that his wife gave to him. He trusts Rex’s instincts but warns him to not let his personal feelings get in the way of the mission. Rex reaffirms that if his instincts are wrong, he’ll have to deal with it. I love how this episode perfectly exemplifies the relationship Anakin and Rex have grown to create. They are more than just friends… but brothers. In addition, it appears that Anakin is rubbing off onto Rex. Many of Anakin’s decisions have been emotionally reactive, and it appears that Rex is just following his lead.
After much fighting and witnessing the involvement of Minister Wat Tambor and Admiral Trench in this whole scheme behind the secret algorithm that accurately predicts the Republic’s next move, they start getting worried that Anakin’s squad will find out the truth behind the so-called “algorithm”.
They complete the mission and what feels like a breath of fresh air for Rex, he finds the algorithm to be Echo. He’s alive. It ends with Rex telling Echo, “You’re going home,” what felt like was for the both of them.
So eloquently written, the echo of the past was not as distant as it seemed.
Anakin and Rex built off one another’s strengths and it showed how similar they are. They don’t give up on each other or those they love.
Never a dull moment it seems with any episode from the Clone Wars. A Distant Echo continues on this tradition with non-stop action and the unique ability to see inside the minds of each character.
Most of the time, our usual band of heroes like Kenobi, Anakin, Ahsoka, or Padme are picked as the usual MVP’s of the Clone Wars. However, it’s about time that Captain Rex gets his well-deserved medal for being this week’s MVP. He exemplifies the true nature of what being a clone is: honorable, trustworthy, and most importantly, loyal. He never gave up, even when it seemed like a long shot that his brother Echo was still alive. His loyalty to the past was his strength. Because of it, he saved a brother and saved himself.
A Distant Echo echoed to me how much I missed The Clone Wars. Brotherhood, family, friendship, loyalty- the list could go on and on. Valuable lessons can be learned from these stories. They are what exemplify the true nature of Star Wars and that the legacy of George Lucas continues on after all these years.
“No one’s ever really gone.”Luke Skywalker
Final Score: 9.5/10