I thought I could get past the second episode of the Bad Batch arc without crying, but I miserably failed! I did, however, manage to jot down a few thoughts pertaining to “A Distant Echo.”
In this latest chapter, Captain Rex, Anakin Skywalker, and the Bad Batch embark on a dangerous covert mission to Skako Minor, where they discover the truth behind the mysterious signal connected to ARC trooper Echo.
From the prolonged effects of the war to the meaning of being a true friend, here are 5 thoughts on the episode.
State of Things
I appreciate how this episode shows the war continuing to take a toll on everyone. Anakin and Padmé remain separated because of it, and Rex has lost so many of his brothers because of it. And while Rex isn’t hooked up with computer wires, he and Echo continue to be tools in this war — Rex develops strategies for the Republic’s forces, and Echo does the same for the Separatists. The longer it drags out, the more it chips away at them. In a way, Echo represents what war physically does to a person, while Rex represents the mental and emotional aspect. In hearing Echo’s voice, it not only gives Rex hope that his friend is still alive, but it also gives him hope that even after all the chaos and destruction, part of their essence remains in tact.
In the original animatics, Padmé was reduced to an object of desire in the form of pin-up art on the exterior of the Bad Batch’s ship. I remember watching the episodes at Celebration Anaheim and laughing out loud with the rest of the audience, but the revision shows growth on the part of the creative crew. I like how the update highlights her intelligence and wisdom as well as one of her strengths, specifically her compassion.
Echoes of Ahsoka
I don’t know about the rest of the audience, but I felt the echoes of Ahsoka’s arc in this episode because Anakin isn’t sure what he can offer Rex. In the Ahsoka arc, Anakin did everything he possibly could to help Ahsoka, but she still ended up leaving, so what can he do for this other person he cares about?
The simplest thing anyone can do in that situation is to just be with them and let them know they’re not alone. Anakin may not believe Echo is alive, but it’s important for him to believe that Rex believes he’s alive. That’s what it means to be a true friend. Even though Ahsoka is off on her own, I’m glad Padmé was there to remind Anakin how Rex has been there for him and how it’s his turn to be there for Rex.
Like General, Like Captain
The conflict between Rex and the Bad Batch is one of my favorite aspects about this episode because Rex isn’t willing to let go of Echo. That’s basically the problem Anakin suffers from later on with Padmé. They both do whatever it takes, even if that means lashing out against the people who are on their side.
Brother Against Brother
It was also fascinating to see Rex lose it with Crosshair because we all have our breaking points, right? There’s only so much you can take before you start to crack. While watching this episode, I couldn’t help but think of Rex’s quote to Kix in the first episode of the Fives/Order 66 arc. He told Kix, “We were designed to withstand any stress.” That’s not true. They’re human. They’re just as susceptible to pain and stress, like anyone else. Even for the best of us, the ones who try to set an example for others, like Rex does on a daily basis, there’s a limit. Rex hit his limit. And to hear such an insult come from another clone, someone who should understand the plight they go through as soldiers, it’s the last straw for Rex.
Have any other deep thoughts to share about the episode? Let us know in the comments below.
“A Distant Echo” is currently streaming on the Disney+ streaming service. New episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will drop on the platform every Friday.