Clone Wars Season 7 continues. The two episodes that followed the pilot are mostly in the same vein as “The Bad Batch”. Themes introduced in the beginning expand and deepen, as do the relationships between characters.
“…Unless You Brought It With You”
“A Distant Echo” and “On the Wings of Keeradaks” are as action-packed as their predecessor. The story continues with another incursion, this time to the neutral planet of Skako Minor, and the dramatic rescue of Echo from a Techno Union compound.
Broadly speaking, the traditional form of old TCW episodes is maintained: the heroes arrive at a world whose inhabitants do not wish to let themselves dragged into the Republic-Separatist conflict, which is exactly what inevitably happens. This time, the heroes even literally bring the war to the natives’ homes. The half-hearted attempt to explain how evil the Techno Union is does not really manage to exempt the protagonists from bringing battle and destruction to yet another formerly peaceful planet.
The animation and the whole visual aspect of season 7 maintains a very high quality. This is promising also in regards to the yet-unseen episodes.
What can definitely be commended in terms of storytelling is more focus on characterisation of the individual clones. Especially Wrecker with his fear of heights (one of the effects of his defective cloning?) became much more “human” and more likeable. The short moment between him and Anakin during the escape was a nice touch. We could see how Anakin treats clones not just as expandable material. At the same time, Wrecker is portrayed as a tough guy, but one who puts his comrades’ lives before his own. The same theme resurfaced on the ledge, when, despite his phobia, Wrecker immediately jumped to save a fellow clone.
On Humanity and Feelings
The triune topic of Anakin, clones and personal feelings has been recurring throughout this story arc and we can expect it to continue perhaps during the whole seventh season. Anakin is worried about feelings for Echo clouding Rex’s judgment, but his own judgment is clouded in regards to fellow clones – not to speak of Padmé.
The brief scene when Anakin contacts Padmé (and Rex covers for him) implied much and opened a whole new can of worms. How much does Obi-Wan know about the relationship? What is his opinion on it (himself having had an affair with Duchess Satine)? How is he going to act if, say, the Council catches wind of it too – will he deny everything and cover for Anakin as well?
“On the Wings of Keeradaks” ends with an open question – what is left of Echo, and how is his story going to end? And what does it mean to lose one’s humanity – and what is the line between a cyborg, a clone programmed to obey orders, and a human being? All these are questions The Clone Wars have been subtly asking the whole time – with Season 7, possibly, at last providing some final perspective to judge them from.