This Star Wars: The Clone Wars evaluation accommodates spoilers.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 Episode 3
As an easy motion story, “On the Wings of Keeradaks” works identical to Star Wars itself. Listed here are disparate, bantering protagonists who come collectively, escalating motion, inventive-but-classic monsters, and an unsuspecting village out of the blue in the midst of a warfare. This specific episode owes as a lot to Return of the Jedi as to the Prequels, with the native aliens within the Ewok function. There isn’t a lot new right here, however the remix is high-energy and enjoyable.
Anakin Skywalker, Captain Rex, and the clones of the Dangerous Batch have found and rescued clone trooper Echo, whose thoughts has grow to be a transmission tower-slash-processing energy supply for the Techno Union. Now they should get out of the enemy base and escape the planet, which leads them again to the Poletecs, the native aliens.
The stress between the Dangerous Batch clones and “regs” was a significant supply of battle within the first two episodes of the arc, but it surely’s principally forgotten right here. Was there an opportunity for a dialog about how seeing Echo exhibits the Dangerous Batch that common clones aren’t … regardless of the Dangerous Batch thinks they’re? What’s the root of this rigidity, anyway? The Dangerous Batch characters are quirky, and it’s maybe implied that different clones look down on them for that. Echo is quirky now too, so it looks like this may be a great place to discover what precisely the Dangerous Batch have been by and the way they really feel.
Conversely, exploring the place the rift particularly got here from would do away with one of many core fantasies of the episode: camaraderie. It’s a pleasure to look at the Dangerous Batch clones easily throw a instrument to at least one one other, understanding the opposite clone can be there to catch it. Now that they’ve gone by a lot as a bunch, the workforce works properly collectively. Anakin Drive-lifts considered one of them in a reverse belief fall.
Anakin Skywalker is sophisticated, however I’ve by no means discovered him notably compelling: his fall to the darkish aspect is inevitable, his declarations within the Prequel Trilogy so bitter and stilted. He’s a youngster who needs to make use of authoritarianism to appease his emotions of helplessness. For some motive, in season seven of The Clone Wars, it’s simpler to see why the folks round him belief him. After final week’s masterful mendacity, this week he’s principally all navy enterprise. The exception comes when he checks in on Rex and Echo. The script makes it clear that when he addresses them he’s not going by navy protocol. He truthfully cares about his associates, and particularly in regards to the prospect of discovering somebody who primarily got here again from the lifeless.
As with “A Distant Echo,” it’s laborious to not evaluate this episode to Revenge of the Sith and Assault of the Clones. Rex unties Echo simply as Anakin untied his mom. However as a substitute of dying in his arms, Echo will get up and survives. Anakin is studying hope from the clones—hope that can be dashed in a matter of months when Anakin tries to avoid wasting Padmé. Both the dramatic irony of the present has gotten extra pointed within the final six years, or I’m simply noticing it now.
Echo himself is without doubt one of the finest issues in regards to the episode. He isn’t actually the main target, easily integrating into the group and offering some emotional stakes for Anakin and particularly for Rex. Echo’s cyborg implants are successfully creepy, as is the problem the clones have in detaching him from the machine. The pneumatic hissing of cords as they’re eliminated is sharp and overwhelming. Paired with Echo’s scrabbling, spasms, and eventual collapse, the episode takes a dive instantly into the horror style. The snappy dialogue brings the episode’s tone again into action-adventure easily.
The episode is usually motion, and I can’t complain about how properly it retains the momentum going, particularly within the fast-paced second half. A struggle on a slim pipe an untold distance above the bottom is breathless. The music skirls into swish notes that match the actions of the characters. The center-act motion scene is just too quick — I wished extra time to look at the planet’s dragon-like creatures and the brand new battle droids, which fly on rainbow wings. Even when they’re within the episode’s title, the keeradaks have a comparatively small half.
These droids are a cool new addition, with a dinosaur-like gait and distinctive, ever-shifting silhouettes. They’re yet one more visually distinct factor on this episode, which implies it’s a pity when the ultimate battle occurs at midnight. Right here is Return of the Jedi over again, decrease know-how prevailing over larger. The large distinction is Anakin. That is the Clone Wars, and the Republic’s secret weapon is the Jedi. A Drive-push in mid-air is thrilling. The Dangerous Batch serving to one another out is endearing. They’re a bit of toned down on this episode, and that works rather a lot higher than the goofy motion determine sorts from the season premiere.
It appears unusual that Rex doesn’t get an “I instructed you so” in, since he clashed with the Dangerous Batch over Echo’s survival earlier than. As a substitute, workforce cohesion is simply higher, adjustments in character properly illustrated by motion however missing specificity.
The native aliens swear alliance to the Jedi. In distinction, the Techno Union characters mourn their misplaced earnings. There’s additionally a touch that one thing may be flawed with Echo, a tense second the place the digicam stares into his unreadable expression. Is he a sleeper agent? Carrying some sort of virus? For an episode that didn’t really resolve a lot, “On the Wings of Keeradaks” looks like a satisfying step ahead, because of the wild science-fantasy motion.
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