- "Survival is one step on the path to living."
"On the Wings of Keeradaks" is an episode from the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It premiered in story reel form on April 17, 2015 at Celebration Anaheim, and it was later released online on April 29, 2015.
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. It was released on March 6, 2020.
Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and the Bad Batch fight off several D-wing air support droids while Rex and Tech attempt to free Echo from the tubes connecting him to the stasis chamber. Echo can't remember much since his last mission to the Citadel. Echo's vital life signs are still dependent on the machine and his body is controlled by computer generated brain waves. Since their mission to Skako Minor was unsanctioned, the clones and Skywalker can't call for reinforcements.
Meanwhile, outside the core systems chamber, the D-wing commander informs the Techno Union leader Wat Tambor that they have the clones surrounded and trapped inside the lab. Tambor orders his men to prepare the Decimator, a prototype combat droid capable of vaporizing organic life.
Back at the Techno Union facility, Skywalker and the clones are surrounded by countless D-wing droids. Tambor deploys the decimator against the intruders. Meanwhile, Tech manages to figure out how to unplug Echo, who tells them that they can escape through an exhaust pipe above the chamber. After Echo opens the top exhaust door, in response to Crosshair wondering how they're going to get up there, Wrecker says that he's got this and pushes a surprised Hunter forward before throwing him up into the vent, prompting the irritated sergeant to shout down that he could have done with a warning. Wrecker then tosses up the other clones as well, although Anakin declines his help. Before they leave, Wrecker plants several detonators as a parting gift to show what he thinks of Tambor's "science experiment". Skywalker manages to levitate Wrecker just as the decimator enters the chamber. After the clones escape, an explosion destroys Tambor's machines and years of research. Furious, the Techno Union leader vows vengeance on Skywalker and the clones.
Skywalker and the clones navigate their way through the facility's cooling systems. When Rex asks him how he knew these vents were here, Echo explains that the Techno Union's cybernetic implants gave him access to their database at the same time they were using his memories. Anakin realizes this means that Echo can find them a safe escape route. The ARC trooper does have an escape route, but he doubts that anyone is going to like it: When they reach a door, Echo points the way across a long narrow pipe which leads to a building with a landing pad. While Tech comments about their poor chances of survival, the clones and Skywalker try to cross the pipe but find themselves trapped by D-wing droids on both sides. Crosshair loses his balance and nearly falls, but Wrecker pushes past his fear of heights to catch his comrade, leaving them both dangling from a protrusion on the bottom of the pipe. Tech comes up with a way out by using a recording he took earlier to summon several keeradaks to escape on, and the entire party leaps onto the flying reptiles. The entire party survive the jump but are pursued by the D-wing droids, which can fly. Skywalker and the clones flee on four keeradaks into the wilderness. Their droid pursuers crash into a cliff face, but the clones manage to make it back to the Poletec village they had encountered earlier.
The Poletec leader is impressed that the offworlders have managed to tame the Keeradaks but is displeased that they have returned to his village, bringing the war with them. Tech apologizes on behalf of the group for overstaying their welcome. A short time later, several D-wing droids follow but the clones managed to shoot them down. Rex apologizes for breaking their promise and gives a speech denouncing the Techno Union, and shows them the cybernetic prosthetics that the Techno Union have inflicted on Echo. The Poletec are won over by the Clone troopers' arguments. Meanwhile, Tambor sends a force of D-wing droids and two octuptarra magna tri-droids to wipe out the clones and the villagers sheltering them.
During the ensuing battle, Skywalker, the clones, and their Poletec allies lure the droid army into a valley and then attack them from all sides. The Poletec swarm the droids but many are killed by blaster fire. The clones then join the fight while the Octuptarras descend into the valley. The clones also deploy charges that cause the D-wing droids to short circuit. After instructing the clones to take out the Octuptarras, Anakin uses his lightsaber to disable one of the tri-droids' weapons. Wrecker throws Rex and another clone onto an Octuptarra. Rex and Hunter manages to disable the droid by destroying its eye sensors. Meanwhile, Anakin causes his tri-droid to topple onto the other one, crushing more enemy forces in the process, and ending the threat of the Octuptarras. The surviving D-wings flee back to Wat Tambor empty-handed, who regards the loss of Echo as a devastating blow to his company's profit margin. He decides to find a way to recoup on the Techno Union's losses.
Back at the village, the Poletec chief praises the bravery and valor of Skywalker and the clone soldiers. Rex also praises Echo for his courageous performance during the battle. As everyone else boards the Havoc Marauder, Rex apologizes to Echo for not being able to rescue him sooner, but says that when they get back it'll be just like "old times". Echo repeats the phrase, but sounds doubtful as he heads for the ship.
- "In war there is no such thing as neutrality"
- ―Original moral, per the story reel for "On the Wings of Keeradaks"
The final version of the episode has several differences from the story reel. Anakin Skywalker does not contact Wat Tambor in an attempt to negotiate a deal with him regarding rescuing Echo, leading to Tambor demonstrating the organic decimator (the full name of which is no longer mentioned) by disintegrating a Poletec test subject. A reference to Admiral Trench was also removed from the scene where Tambor decides not to immediately alert the Separatists of Echo's rescue.
During the scene where Rex is crawling up the exhaust vent behind Tech and Echo, Rex's kama is missing.
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