The penultimate episode of the Bad Batch arc has everything: running, jumping, throwing, flying! It was an episode that made me feel physically exhausted and all I did was sit on the couch and jot down a few thoughts.
In “On the Wings of Keeradaks,” Captain Rex and the others have to fight their way off the Separatist base on Skako Minor and make their stand at a local village, where they help protect the natives.
From being marked as property to Rex’s inspiring speech, here are 5 thoughts on the episode.
It’s interesting how Fives and Echo — two troopers who were always by each other’s side until Echo’s capture — both separately experienced moments in which they were both marked as property. In the season six episode “Fugitive,” Fives expresses how he isn’t hardware and how he’s a human being. Nala Se claims he is Kaminoan property, while Shaak Ti corrects her and clarifies he is Republic property. In this latest Bad Batch episode, Wat Tambor describes Echo as “his experiment” and as Techno Union property.
I can’t help but think of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Measure of a Man” in which Captain Picard has to present convincing evidence about why Data shouldn’t be considered Starfleet property.
Like Picard, Rex is there not only to save an old friend but to remind everyone that Echo is not a piece of hardware. He is a human being.
Speaking of Rex, part of me believes he’s determined to get Echo out of Skako Minor alive because he couldn’t save Fives. That kind of trauma tends to change a person, making them want to do anything in order to prevent such a thing from happening again.
As mentioned last week, Rex’s behavior reminds me of Anakin. When Anakin lost his mother, this made him more possessive toward Padmé and he did everything he could to prevent her death. The main difference is Rex’s actions are more controlled. He’s more disciplined and he’s able to make reasonable decisions, but he’s still human. He still falters and lets those emotions get the best of him, as we saw in the previous episode.
I can’t tell if Echo’s resilience is a result of him being a clone and trained to deal with high-level stress situations, the fact that he was surrounded by friends, or if his resilience was written for the episode to flow smoothly. I’m thinking it’s a combination of all 3 factors.
The reality of the situation is the Techno Union stripped Echo of his humanity and they treated him like a lab rat. Where’s the psychological and emotional damage? He essentially got up and picked up right from where he last left off. Granted, they were being hunted down, so they had to keep moving in order to survive.
I don’t remember the animatics all that well, but I hope the final episode of the arc touches on his mental state instead of glossing over. It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic or drawn out, but it would be more impactful if he shares how he feels about his current situation and how things will never be the same.
Just Like Old Times
At the end of the episode, Rex tells Echo, “Hopefully, it’s gonna be just like old times.” The thing is it won’t be “like old times.” Echo lost all of his brothers from Domino Squad, and even though he’s surrounded by brothers who are just as unique as him, it doesn’t erase the fact that things are drastically different from what he last remembered.
Most importantly, “like old times” implies he will continue to be an asset or a tool in the war. Shouldn’t he be given the option to recuperate? Knowing Echo, he’ll deny it in favor of contributing to the cause, but he should still be presented with the option. The fact that he isn’t brings back the whole “property vs. human being” conversation. Property can be fixed and upgraded to continue being useful. Human beings need time to recover, and sometimes, things aren’t so easily repaired.
One of the most important reminders to come out of this arc, so far, is freedom isn’t free. I think most people nowadays take freedom and how that freedom was earned for granted. When outside forces threaten your livelihood, you have to fight for it. Otherwise, that freedom will get taken away, like how it was taken away from Echo.
Lastly, I also like how Rex is the one to inspire the Poletecs to fight back because as we know, Rex eventually becomes a rebel leader fighting against a regime that threatens the freedom and peace of the galaxy.
Have any other deep thoughts to share about the episode? Let us know in the comments below.
“On the Wings of Keeradaks” is currently streaming on the Disney+ streaming service. New episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will drop on the platform every Friday.