The two-part latest episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021) just dropped, and offered a thrilling tale of espionage, conspiracy and assassination in the neon lights of Coruscant. They also finished with a key change to the team: Echo (Dee Bradley Baker, who voices all the Clones) decided to stay behind with Rex and help in his efforts to aid the newly decommissioned Clone Troopers.
This schism in the team might at first seem a surprise, but it makes total sense: Echo and Rex go way back to their 501st days, and as survivor of fairly significant trauma, Echo will have a lot of sympathy for what the Clones may be about to endure. His injuries sustained during his time as a prisoner of Separatist leader Wat Tambor in the Clone Wars are what left him a cyborg and vulnerable to becoming a pawn for the enemy, controlled into betrayed his former allies but luckily rescued by General Anakin Skywalker and Clone Force 99, leading to him joining the Bad Batch.
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Echo’s unique experience of being a small piece in the wider galactic conflict will have given him a unique perspective on the Clones situation. Now rendered redundant and surplus, if not detrimental to purpose due to their accelerated aging, he knows how disposable his fellow brothers are in the Galactic Empire’s wider plan.
Emperor Palpatine’s (Ian MacDiarmid) success in pushing through the Clone Defense Bill and manipulating the situation to his advantage — as always — is an encroaching death knell for every Clone still in service or otherwise in the galaxy. After all, how many do we see in the Original Trilogy or Sequel Trilogy? They serve as nothing but a reminder of a means to an end, part of an elaborate master plan that has been successfully executed. We know Palpatine has little patience for loose ends — see, his dealing personally with Maul for his actions on Mandalore — so it can be assumed that for all Senator Riya Chuchi’s (Jennifer Hale) good intentions, as well as those of Rex and Echo, they have little success in fighting the Clones’ side of the argument.
But by the same token, the Star Wars universe is ever expanding, and with new content continuing to fill in some of the gaps around the Original Trilogy and Sequel Trilogy, it may yet be that Echo and Rex succeed in their quest to save as many of their brothers as possible. Who knows — we could yet get another Bad Batch spin-off ( would that make it a spin-off of a spin-off?) which follows some of their adventures in the time before Rex has his fateful encounter with the crew of the Ghost in Star Wars Rebels (2014).
Outside of the impact on Rex and Echo, the way Echo leaving the team will affect Omega (Michelle Ang) will surely be explored too. The episode closed with a fade to black of Omega on board the Marauder as it flies away from the glittering lights of the Imperial capital. Her keenly attuned idea of family and loyalty will surely have to shift to accommodate the loss of one of their own — albeit, a decision of Echo’s own making. Omega’s experiences with Gungi on Kashyyyk and now her sense of the Clones’ place in the wider conflict must surely also give her a shifting viewpoint of her own status as a child in a changing galaxy.
What did you think to Echo leaving the Bad Batch behind? Tell us in the comments below.
About The Bad Batch:
From showrunner Dave Filoni comes a new animated Star Wars sensation. Created as clones of bounty hunter Jango Fett, Clone Force 99 — ‘The Bad Batch’ — are an elite force of Clone Troopers who turned their back on the Galactic Empire’s regime to carve their own path through the galaxy. Alongside young ward Omega (Michelle Ang), they embark on adventures during a time of great turmoil in the galaxy.