The Clone Wars: “On the Wings of Keeradaks”

The Clone Wars is back! The show that was cancelled after 5 and a half seasons returns on Disney + to get the ending it deserved. I was a huge fan of the show, so safe to say I’m thrilled that we finally get to see these episodes.

After really enjoying writing my episode reviews for The Mandalorian and Resistance, I couldn’t wait to do the same again for this final season of The Clone Wars. The reviews will take on the same format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole.

I have been looking forward to this show so much, so there was no way that I wasn’t going to watch this as soon as I could. Unfortunately, living in the UK, Disney+ is still not available here yet, so I’ve had to channel my inner Hondo Ohnaka to see this! Today, we’ll be looking at Episode 3: “On the Wings of Keeradaks”

star wars the clone wars on the wings of keeradaks anakin skywalker

Plot Summary

Picking up almost immediately from where the last episode finished, Anakin and the Bad Batch continue trying to hold off the masses of droids while Tech and Rex attempt to free Echo from the tubes connecting him to the stasis chamber. The group are forced to fall back into the lab, and the clones finally free Echo while Hunter and Crosshair weld the doors closed. Wat Tambor arrives outside the lab and orders the use of “the decimator”, which proceeds to cut through the doors.

“Better to feel something than nothing, old buddy.”

With the group trapped, Echo directs them to an exhaust pipe above the chamber and uses the socket that has replaced his one hand to open the pipe. Wrecker throws all the clones up into to the pipe before Anakin jumps up, then Wrecker plants a number of detonators around the lab and Anakin pulls him into the pipe just as the decimator makes it into the lab. As the clones escape in the pipe, the detonators destroy the labs.

Anakin and the clones make their way through the facilities cooling systems while Echo explains that by using the cybernetic implants, the Techno Union were able to get his memories, but he was also able to access their database. Echo uses this to find an escape route, which takes them over a narrow pipe between 2 buildings, with a large drop beneath. There is a landing pad on the far-side building where Echo hopes there will be a ship. However, as they are about half-way across, they are attacked from both ends of the pipe by droids. Tech takes advantage of a hobby of his (recording all sounds he hears) to project out the calls the Keeradaks made, which attracts 4 of the creatures. The group jump on the backs of the Keeradaks, but the droids fly after them, eventually being tricked into crashing into a cliff face hidden by clouds.

“That wasn’t part of the plan. Those things can fly!”

The group fly back to the Poletec village, but they are attacked by more droids, one of which manages to escape. The Poletec leader is impressed that the group managed to tame the Keeradaks, but is angry that they have brought the war to his village. Rex shows the Poletecs what the Techno Union did to Echo and – with Tech translating – convinces the Poletecs to help.

The droid that escaped reports back to Wat Tambor, who sends a much larger force of droids to the Poletec village. The first group arrives to find the village empty, before being ambushed by the clones and Poletecs. Though many of the Poletecs are killed, the clones help them get the upper hand, but the second wave of droids arrives – including 2 octuptarra magna tri-droids, which proceed to cause heavy losses and damage. Anakin succeeds in taking out one of the tri-droids, while Rex and the Bad Batch combine to take out the other. The remaining droids fall back.

“Still showing off, huh, General?”

“You know me, Echo.”

Wat Tambor laments the loss of Echo, as he was a sizeable investment, but chooses to hold off warning the Separatists as hey look to recoup their losses.

Back at the Poletec village, the chief praises the bravery of Anakin and the clones and says that the Jedi are welcome back on Skako Minor. As everyone 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.

Review

This was another really good episode, but as a slightly shorter episode that is mainly action-focused, I found it to be a little weaker than the previous episodes, though still a great continuation on the arc.

There is our ride out of here.”

I loved how as the episode went on, we could see Echo becoming more like his former self, making jokes and alluding to his history with Rex and Anakin. I do wish, however that there had been some mention of Fives given how close he and Echo had been, but with 1 episode left in the arc, there is still time! I loved seeing more of Wat Tambor and appreciated the selfishness of him and the Techno Union to focus on their profit margins over the possible dangers to the Separatist war machine. It was also great to see the Bad Batch beginning to work better with Rex and Anakin, to the point that they felt like a cohesive group in the final battle.

Having seen the unfinished reels, the reveal that the droids from the past 2 episodes could fly was no shock, but I appreciated the way that it was revealed and think that this will be a good moment for viewers who are going into the arc with no knowledge of the unfinished reels. Oddly, it actually felt that the “They fly now!” dialogue from The Rise of Skywalker would have fit better here than it did in the movie!

“They took away his freedom, his humanity.”

I loved how dark and gritty the final battle was. The Clone Wars matured as its seasons went on, and that maturity remained here as we saw Poletecs being shot without mercy. I loved the way how the battle progressed with the Bad Batch getting their heroic moments to take out the droid forces, then the reinforcements and heavy artillery changing the momentum, before more heroic moments from the clones to win the day.

What did feel a little out of place in this episode was the decimator. Having seen the unfinished reels, I can give a bit of clarity here, as there was a scene cut that showed Anakin stalling for time by attempting to negotiate with Wat Tambor, leading to Tambor demonstrating the decimator’s ability to search for and lock on to any organic material, which it would then vaporise. I can understand why the negotiation was cut to a degree, as the nature of the discussion largely focused on the Techno Union’s supposed neutrality, a large theme in the unfinished arc that has been somewhat dropped to make the story more personal. However, I think that it left the decimator as feeling somewhat wasted in this version of the episode as we were left not really knowing what it did. I think that the episode would have benefited from either changing the decimator to some other overwhelming droid force that was about to break through and overwhelm the group, or better yet keeping the negotiation scene but changing the dialogue to better fit the new focus for the episode.

“How are you holding up, Echo?”

“Never better, sir.”

A couple of final thoughts from the episode:

  • I can’t help but feel that Hunter is a little underused right now. Wrecker has been the comedy but also had some heroic individual moments like stopping the Poletec being crushed, Tech has been heavily involved in rescuing Echo and helping the group escape, while Crosshair has had some great elite sniper moments, but other than hitching a ride on the Keeradak last week, Hunter has mainly been limited to knife-fighting in battles, when it is not always so clear at a glance who we are seeing
  • This point will refer to the unfinished reel’s final episode, which is being adapted for next week’s episode, as such there is a high potential for spoilers on this next point. The musical cue at the very end of the episode as Echo echoed Rex’s “old times” sentiment felt oddly foreboding. From what I remember of the final episode in the arc, there was nothing to really make that musical choice seem right, so I do wonder if we will see some significant changes made to the next episode or if we will look back at this as a musical moment that didn’t quite come off as intended

Moments in Canon

  • The Techno Union apparently prioritise their profit margin over Separatist success in the Clone War
  • Anakin has prior experience of Wat Tambor as they were on opposite sides during the Republic’s Liberation of Ryloth

star wars the clone wars on the wings of keeradaks anakin skywalker rex tech echo hunter crosshair wrecker

What did you think of the episode?

Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you.

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