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 the finale of the Bad Batch arc, Episode 4: “Unfinished Business”
At Fort Anaxes, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Rex are going very battle plans to retake Anaxes. Echo arrives with a plan, Rex is hesitant to involve him initially but Mace Windu is interested to hear Echo’s idea: The Bad Batch will help Echo infiltrate Trench’s dreadnought and mislead him by supplying false battle tactics that will allow the Republic to emerge victorious. With no better ideas, the Jedi agree to the plan.
Anakin, Rex, Echo and the Bad Batch make their way up to Trench’s dreadnought in the Havoc Marauder, which Echo disguises as a Separatist ship by sending out a fake signal. Meanwhile, Mace Windu and Obi-Wan lead the rest of the Republic forces in an assault on the assembly plant, with Admiral Trench and his Super tactical droid watching on from the bridge of the dreadnought.
“… And the Regs think we take risks.”
Echo and his group successfully infiltrate the dreadnought and make it to the interface unit. Tech and Echo work together to send a transmission and make it look like the algorithm is still transmitting from Skako Minor, telling Trench to mobilise all droids to the assembly plant. The Bad Batch have been questioning Echo’s loyalty and this gets them nervous, but he explains that he is massing all of the droids in order to shut them all down at once by sending a feedback pulse.
With the Separatist forces surrounding Obi-Wan and Mace Windu, Echo issues the pulse and successfully shuts down all of the droids, shocking Trench. When the tactical droid notes that the pulse came from the dreadnought, Trench sends droids to find the grup who have infiltrated the ship. Trench reveals that he has a Plan B, and Echo picks up a transmission of a bomb being activated next to the main reactor under the assembly plant. Mace Windu makes his way down to the reactor to stop the bomb, while Anakin goes looking for Trench.
As Obi-Wan begins to organise an evacuation of Republic forces, Windu finds the bomb, but it is protected by a ray shield. Echo uses his link to the system to discern the shutdown sequence and pass it on to Windu, who uses the Force to move the dials to set the sequence. The Separatists manage to trace Echo’s signal and jam its signal, which causes Echo to be electrocuted to unconsciousness until Rex disconnects him from the system. At Windu’s order, Rex and the Bad Batch begin a retreat to their shuttle, bringing Echo with them.
“Relax, Wrecker. You’ll top him next time.”
“No, he won’t”
Anakin finds Trench on the bridge and destroys the droids with him before demanding Trench give him the final digit in the shutdown code. Trench initially refuses, but after Anakin cuts of 3 of his cybernetic arms, he relents. Anakin passes the final digit onto Windu, who successfully shuts down the bomb. Trench tries to attack Anakin, who kills him. Anakin takes the dreadnought’s remote detonator from the bridge and makes his way back to the Bad Batch. The group make it to the shuttle and detach from the dreadnought. As they make their way back to the planet, Anakin gives the remote detonator to Wrecker, who uses it to blow up the dreadnought and a number of nearby Separatist ships.
Back at Fort Anaxes, the Jedi praise the courage of Rex, Echo and the Bad Batch, with Obi-Wan mentioning there will be medals coming. The Jedi go to prepare the medal ceremony, but Echo notices the Bad Batch preparing to leave. They explain that they do these missions for the thrill rather than accolades. Hunter offers Echo the chance to join them. Echo initially declines, but after speaking with Rex, decides to leave with them. Rex stays to see Echo off, and Echo and the Bad Batch all salute him.
What a great episode and a fitting end to the arc! I feel like I say this every time, but the quality of animation in this new season is fantastic! There were a few moments – generally in brighter, less atmospheric environments – where I didn’t think that the animation looked its best, but that is a small gripe. The battle scenes in the Kenobi and Windu portions really highlighted the quality with such large-scale battle scenes that showed just how far the series had come from “Landing at Point Rain”, which remains one of my favourite large-scale battles in the series.
“I am not a liability, Rex. I’m the best chance we have to take back Anaxes.”
It’s been great watching the regular characters grow over the course of the arc, with Rex being willing to let Echo go at the end of this episode and also the Bad Batch having developed respect for Rex to the point that they join Echo in saluting him (I definitely felt those manly tears building up in the final moments of the episode), while I loved the rivalry between Wrecker and Crosshair in this episode – very reminiscent to Legolas and Gimli in The Lord of the Rings. I also really loved seeing how dark Anakin is becoming as we near the end of the Clone War and the rise of Darth Vader – which was teased wonderfully with a few seconds of the Imperial March just before he cut off Trench’s arms – but I loved that he was still given a reason to kill Trench in self-defence rather than killing him in cold blood, as it feel like he has not gone too far yet.
“Now I will use their arrogance and desperation to our advantage.”
There were one thing that felt a little off for me in this episode: out of nowhere, there are suddenly questions about Echo’s loyalty. This was due in part to changes in the previous episodes from the story reels, where this had previously been suggested. I didn’t think that it would have hurt this episode to have either cut this idea (in the story reels, it was more of a joke from the Bad Batch by this point as they had come to trust him already).
I also felt that with this being the final season and the Bad Batch probably not appearing in the final 8 episodes, it would have been nice to get more of a connection between Echo and the 501ˢᵗ. This could have been done by having a slightly longer episode, with some scenes showing the group’s initial return from Skako Minor and a bit of Echo’s initial recovery, during which we could have seen him find out about Fives’ death and even help set up him not feeling like he fully belongs with the 501ˢᵗ anymore by having old friends like Jesse and Kix not quite sure how to act around him anymore, which could have also made the ending more poignant by having them also see Echo off and returning the salute to him.
“My name is General Mace Windu, of the Jedi Order.At this point of the Clone War, I have dismantled and destroyed over one hundred thousand of you type 1 battle droids. I am giving you an opportunity to peacefully lay down your weapons, so that you may be reprogrammed to serve a better purpose than spreading the mindless violence and chaos which you have inflicted upon the galaxy.”
A few final thoughts on the episode and the arc as a whole:
- Crosshair was my early pick for my favourite Bad Batch member (of the original 4) and he solidified that spot with his actions in this episode, Wrecker managed to take the second spot
- I really hope that we get more Bad Batch content in the future as I doubt they will feature in the remaining episodes
- It felt a little odd that Echo didn’t give the Jedi his entire plan, just the most basic of details
- Trench’s Plan B helped to solidify him in my mind as one of the best Separatist leaders, as he is an accomplished officer as well as having a fearsome visage
Moments in Canon
- Trench and the Separatists were unaware of the loss of the algorithm as the Techno Union were too selfish to pass on the information, prioritising their profit margins
- This was the third campaign of the Clone War that we have seen in the series where Anakin and Trench have found themselves on opposite sides of the battle, having both been present at Christophsis and Ringo Vinda
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you.