- "Wars are not won with superior weapons, but with superior strategy."
"A Distant Echo" is an unfinished 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.
Following the raid on the Separatist intelligence center on Anaxes, the clones return to Fort Anaxes. Rex informs Jedi General Anakin Skywalker that they will travel to the planet Skako Minor to find Echo, a missing Clone trooper who disappeared during a previous mission. The Clone Force 99 trooper Hunter recommends that they use his team's personal gunship, the Havoc Marauder. General Obi-Wan Kenobi criticizes Rex for embarking on a "reckless plan" but the Clone Commander managed to convince his superiors that they need to prevent the Separatists from having access to the algorithm. Unwilling to argue with them, Kenobi lets them go but warns them to be back before the next rotation.
Rex, Anakin, and Force 99 prepare to depart on the Havoc Marauder for Skako Minor. Skywalker notices that the ship has nose-art of his secret wife, the Naboo Senator Padmé Amidala, whom the clones admire. Wrecker jokes about negotiating with Amidala anytime. Meanwhile on Skako Minor, 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. Trench warns that a Republic attack is imminent and Tambor resolves to be ready.
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 Poletec, a primitive people who worshiped large flying reptiles called Keeradaks. Shortly later, the Havoc 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 attempts to shoot it down but his blaster is knocked out of his hand by one of the keeradaks. The keeradak tries to knock Crosshair against the rocks which causes Crosshair to lose his grip. Despite falling, Crosshair is unhurt and manages to track Skywalker and his kidnappers to a nearby Poletecan village. The villagers take Anakin prisoner.
Meanwhile, the clones join Crosshair at the edge of the village. After resolving not to terrorize the villagers, the clones move in to rescue Skywalker. They used a boulder to smash several structures and managed to awe the Poletecans by their display of firepower. In the end, the Poletecan chief ordered a ceasefire and told the clones that he did 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 told the Poletecans that Wat Tambor and his Separatists were responsible for bringing the war to Skako Minor. Rex then told Tech to tell the Poletecs that he and the Clones would apologize for their actions. He also explained that they were here to rescue one of their comrades, Echo, who had fallen into the hands of the Separatists. The chief provided the clones and Skywalker with scouts to lead them to Tambor's city Purkoll but no further.
During the journey, Tech found that he was unable to trace Echo's signal. Hunter thinks that the Separatists are trying to lure them into a trap. When Crosshair suggested that Echo had become a traitor, Rex assaulted him. Anakin managed to defuse the situation by sending Force 99 to scout out the surroundings while he talked to Rex. While Rex defended Echo, Anakin advised him that they should be ready for such a situation. Rex understands Anakin's concerns but insists on being the one to deal with his former comrade.
In Purkoll, Force 99 manages to trace Echo's signal to a tower. Shortly later, they are joined by Anakin and Rex. Tech managed to enter the facility and they took a lift to the top. While on the lift, Anakin reminded the clones that they were on a stealth mission and told them to avoid blowing things up. Upon exiting the lift, the clones found themselves facing several D-wing air support droids. The clones and Skywalker quickly dispatched the droids in a brief skirmish. 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. Skywalker heads into a chamber where he dispatches two D-wing droids tat attempt to trap him. Meanwhile, the clones search the chambers. Tech traces the signal to an upstairs chamber but finds that its entrance is sealed. Shortly later, they receive a hologram message from Wat Tambor who informs the clones that he was aware that they were coming and had laid a trap for them. He told them that he had use their algorithm to predict every movement they had 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. Before departing, Tambor praises the clones for playing their part and orders several D-wing droids to execute them.
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 manages to open the door to the chamber. Rex and Tech head into a large chamber 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.
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. Jedi General Anakin Skywalker is involved throughout the arc to an extent, though most of the action focuses on Rex and The Batch. Friedman stated that the "emotional hook" of the arc is Rex's relationship with ARC trooper Echo, a character who had been killed in the third season episode "Counterattack" but was resurrected for this arc. The setting for the episodes is split between Anaxes, a planet from the Star Wars Legends line, and Skako Minor. A complete and finished version of the episode will air as part of The Clone Wars revival on Disney+.
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Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Rebels Report #2: Behind the scenes with Brent Friedman. Rebels Report (2013-11-22). Retrieved on May 1, 2014. "[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."
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 screenshot) (
- ↑ 3.0 3.1
- ↑ 4.0 4.1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 screenshot) (
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Counterattack"
- ↑ The Essential Atlas