"The search for truth begins with belief."

"A Distant Echo" is an episode of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. The episode was originally intended to be the second episode of a seventh season, but production on the television series was halted before the episode was completed. Scripted by Brent Friedman, it is the second installment in a four-part story arc focusing on a ragtag unit of clone commandos, Clone Force 99. The episode, along with the rest of its arc, premiered on April 17, 2015 at Celebration Anaheim and was released on StarWars.com shortly after on April 29, 2015.[7]

On April 14, 2019, it was revealed at Celebration Chicago that a finalized version of the Bad Batch arc would be part of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars revival season.[4] The final version of this episode debuted on Disney+ on February 28, 2020.

Official description[]


"Believing that MIA soldier Echo may still be alive, Rex's mission becomes doubly important. Alongside the Bad Batch and Anakin Skywalker, the clone captain launches a dangerous covert rescue."


Anakin Skywalker, Rex, and the Bad Batch make a shocking discovery on Skako Minor.[12]

Plot summary[]

"I'm telling you that signal is being sent by Echo himself! He's alive!"
―Captain Rex[11]
Conspiracy! After repeated setbacks
on the planet Anaxes, an elite clone
squad is deployed to investigate the
Separatist tactical advantage. This
special unit, called the Bad Batch,
infiltrates Admiral Trench's cyber
center to steal a strategic algorithm
capable of predicting the Republic's
every move.

What our heroes found was a live signal
from the ARC trooper known as Echo, a
clone long believed to be dead....

At Fort Anaxes, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, Clone Captain Rex, and Clone Sergeant Hunter are waiting for permission to embark on a rescue mission to Skako Minor in search of the ARC trooper Echo, although Hunter remarks that the general staff are skeptical about the mission. Rex is insistent that if they're going to get permission, they should leave immediately, but Anakin says that they need to make time for "that thing," although Rex disagrees. Heading to the barracks, Rex hands Anakin his helmet before staying outside as Anakin goes in. Once in private, Anakin puts the helmet and a holoprojector on the floor and contacts his wife, Padmé Amidala. He tells her he is worried that Rex is letting his personal feelings drive him too much on the mission. Padmé says she wonders where he might have learned that from, and advises Anakin that he should support Rex's instincts on this mission, since Rex has always done the same for him. Outside, Rex sees Obi-Wan Kenobi approaching and bangs on the door to warn Anakin. Obi-Wan, having already deduced that Anakin is inside the barracks, doesn't believe Rex's hastily thrown-together claim that Anakin is double-checking his gear, without him. When Anakin emerges, he returns Rex's helmet with a claim that the Captain allegedly broke something on it. Obi-Wan has actually come to say that the Jedi High Council has denied permission for the mission, but Anakin talks over him and resolves to go anyways. Resigned, Obi-Wan calls after Anakin "I hope you at least told Padmé I said hello," revealing that he knows what Anakin was up to and prompting a brief displeased look from him.

In space, Skywalker, Rex and Force 99 prepare for their assault. Force 99 are reluctant to reveal who they answer to. Shortly later, they exit hyperspace above Skako Minor. Tech flies the ship into a storm but they manage to safely land on the planet's surface. Tech informs his fellow clones and Skywalker that they have landed on a part of Skako Minor that is inhabited by Poletecs, a primitive people who apparently worship large flying reptiles. Shortly later, the Marauder is attacked by a keeradak.

Skywalker and the clones go out to confront the keeradak, which carries a Poletecan mount. The keeradak kidnaps Anakin with its claws and flies away. The clone trooper Crosshair manages to fire a grappling hook at the keeradak and Hunter holds on. He attempts to shoot it down but his blaster is knocked out of his hand. The keeradak tries to knock Hunter against the rocks and Hunter lets go on a flat surface. He is unhurt and manages to track Skywalker and his kidnappers to a nearby Poletecan village. The villagers take Anakin prisoner.

Meanwhile, the clones join Hunter at the edge of the village. After resolving not to terrorize the villagers, the clones move in to rescue Skywalker. They use a boulder to smash several structures and manage to awe the Poletecans by their display of firepower. In the end, the Poletec chief orders a ceasefire and tells the clones that he does not want their war on his planet. The chief also explained that this was the reason he had kidnapped Skywalker. With Tech acting as a translator, Anakin tells the Poletecans that Wat Tambor and his Separatists are responsible for bringing the war to Skako Minor. Rex then tells Tech to tell the Poletecs that he and the clones will apologize for their actions. He also explains that they're here to rescue one of their comrades, Echo, who had fallen into the hands of the Separatists. The chief provides the clones and Skywalker with scouts to lead them to Tambor's city Purkoll, but no further.

Meanwhile, Minister Wat Tambor is contacted by Admiral Trench, who warns him that an infiltration team of clones has traced the algorithm's signal to Skako Minor and that a Republic attack is imminent. Tambor says the Techno Union has corporate neutrality on the planet though Trench warns that it wouldn't matter to these Republic operatives and Tambor resolves to be ready for them.

During the journey, Tech finds that he's unable to trace Echo's signal. Hunter thinks that the Separatists are trying to lure them into a trap. When Crosshair says he would have left him for dead as he is just another "reg", Rex is enraged and assaults him, but is stopped by Wrecker who say to pick on some not his size and Rex angrily says to Wrecker that he'll be a lot smaller when he's through with him. Anakin manages to defuse the situation by sending Force 99 to scout out the surroundings while he talks to Rex. While Rex is confident that Echo is alive, Anakin advises him that they should be ready for such a situation. Rex understands Anakin's concerns, but refuses to give up hope and says that if Echo is dead, he'll handle it.

In Purkoll, Force 99 manages to trace Echo's signal to a tower. Shortly later, they are joined by Anakin and Rex. Tech opens the door and they take a lift to the top, despite Wrecker's reluctance. While on the lift, Anakin reminds the clones that they are on a stealth mission, so they have to avoid blowing things up. Upon exiting the lift, the clones find themselves facing several D1-series aerial battle droids. Wrecker immediately moves to engage the droids, and as the rest of the Bad Batch follows, Rex quips to Anakin "So much for stealth!" Exploring the facility, they lose Echo's signal again. Tech theorizes that the signal is only visible during data transmissions and that they have to wait for Echo to transmit more data.

Anakin orders the clones to split up while they search the facility, heading heads into a chamber where he dispatches several D-wing droids that attempt to trap him with the help of Crosshair. Meanwhile, the clones search the chambers. Tech traces the signal to a particular chamber but finds that its entrance is sealed. The viewscreen next to the door activates to reveal Wat Tambor, who informs the clones that he was aware that they were coming and has laid a trap for them. He even used their algorithm to predict every movement they made to infiltrate Skako Minor, thus violating the Techno Union's neutrality. Rex responds that Tambor had violated the Union's neutrality by bringing a Republic prisoner to Skako Minor. Tambor claims that Echo is dead, which causes Rex to angrily call him a liar. The foreman orders approaching D-wing droids to execute the clones.

The clones fight the D-wing droids and are assisted by Anakin, who helps them to destroy all the droids. After fighting off the droids, Tech opens the door on Anakin's orders. Rex and Tech head into a large lab where they find Echo confined within a stasis chamber. Echo has been drugged and is completely unaware of his surroundings. Several tubes have been fitted into him and some of his limbs have been replaced by prosthetic parts. Rex and Tech deduce that Echo had been kept unconscious by the Separatists, who remotely mined his mind for information on the Republic's strategies on Anaxes. Rex comforts his old comrade and he and Tech begin freeing Echo.


"Wars are not won with superior weapons, but with superior strategy."
―Moral in the story reel[11]
A Distant Echo thumb

Footage from the story reel

Series Writer Brent Friedman, who scripted "The Bad Batch" as well as the other three episodes of the arc, released information about the episode via his Twitter account in May 2014.[9] As he revealed, Jedi General Anakin Skywalker was involved throughout the arc to an extent, though most of the action focused on Rex and The Batch.[13] Friedman stated that the "emotional hook" of the arc was Rex's relationship with ARC trooper Echo,[14] a character who had been killed in the third season episode "Counterattack"[15] but was resurrected for this arc.[16][17] The setting for the episodes was split between Anaxes,[13] a planet from the Star Wars Legends line,[18] and Skako Minor.[13] A completed version of the episode aired as part of The Clone Wars revival on Disney+ on February 28, 2020.[19]


The completed version of the episode has several changes from the original story reel. The scene where Skywalker objects to provocative nose art of Senator Amidala painted on the Marauder has been removed and replaced with a scene where Skywalker and Amidala converse in a holo-call while Rex keeps a watch outside the barracks. As Rex is keeping watch, Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives, looking for Anakin. Rex tries to cover for his general, who eventually comes out of the barracks. As Skywalker and Rex leave, Kenobi says to his former apprentice: "I hope you at least told Padmé I said hello," implying that he knows about his friend's secret. This is also Padmé's only appearance in the final season.

The scene where Hunter suggests that they take the Marauder on the mission because it "doesn't scream 'Republic'" is also removed. Another change is that in the finished episode, the scene where Trench contacted Wat Tambor is delayed. Also, the reason for the brief fight between Rex and Crosshair is changed from Crosshair insinuating that Echo may have turned traitor to him showing a lack of sympathy for Echo's being left for dead at the Citadel.

In addition, the final version adds comments about the lift in the tower where Echo is being held. Wrecker also attacks before the droids announce the intruder instead of after. Anakin Skywalker's "I don't know how, but it looks like we're still under the radar" line is removed.

The credits in the story reel version misspell Wat Tambor's surname as "Tambour" and Poletecan as "Poltecan" for the Poletecan Prisoner and Poletecan Villagers, though the word is spelled correctly for the Poletecan Leader


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Notes and references[]

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  1. Rebels Report #2: Behind the scenes with Brent Friedman on rebelsreport.com (November 22, 2013): "[starting around 26:50] So my episodes that I wrote for Season Six were going to be—I was told by Dave [Filoni] they were going to be the premiere episodes for Season Seven." (archived from the original on April 18, 2017)
  2. 2.0 2.1 TwitterLogo Brent Friedman (@BFree63) on Twitter: "Here's the 2nd episode ('A Distant Echo') fortune cookie: Wars are not won with superior weapons, but with superior strategy." (screenshot)
  3. 3.0 3.1 StarWars Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Bad Batch" 4-Episode Arc Coming to Star Wars Celebration on StarWars.com (backup link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 SWYTlogo Star Wars: The Clone Wars Panel at Star Wars Celebration 2019 on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 DisneyPlusLogo Episode 702 "A Distant Echo" on Disney+ (backup link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 StarWars "A Distant Echo" Episode Guide on StarWars.com (backup link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 StarWars Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Bad Batch" Recon on StarWars.com (backup link)
  8. Star Wars: Timelines dates the events of "A Distant Echo" to 19 BBY.
  9. 9.0 9.1 TwitterLogo Brent Friedman (@BFree63) on Twitter: "OK, the fortune cookie of the 1st episode in my Echo arc (called 'The Bad Batch') was: The best defense is a strong offense." (screenshot)
  10. StarWars The Clone Wars Legacy on StarWars.com (backup link)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "A Distant Echo"
  12. What's New on Disney Plus February 2020, Including Toy Story 4 by Gregory Lawrance on collider.com (archived from the original on January 25, 2020)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 TwitterLogo Brent Friedman (@BFree63) on Twitter: "Anakin's involved on/off throughout the arc but it's mostly Rex in charge of The Batch. Takes place on Anaxes & Skako Minor." (screenshot)
  14. TwitterLogo Brent Friedman (@BFree63) on Twitter: "Yes on Rex. The emotional hook of the arc was Rex & Echo's relationship." (screenshot)
  15. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Counterattack"
  16. StarWars To Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Thank You on StarWars.com (backup link)
  17. TwitterLogo Brent Friedman (@BFree63) on Twitter: "@Halabrew The truth is out!" (screenshot)
  18. The Essential Atlas
  19. The star wars show logo The Star Wars Show: Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 Live Stream - Day 3 | The Star Wars Show LIVE! on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)

External links[]