'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Breakdown: The Details And History That Enrich "A Distant Echo"

"A Distant Echo" is the latest episode of the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to hit Disney+ and it takes the fight one step further toward the culmination of this first arc. There are a few things to dive into for extra context in the episode and we're here to bring it to you.

Revisions and Improvements

As most of you may now, the early version of these episodes were screened for fans at a previous Star Wars Celebration after it was long through that The Clone Wars was finished forever. This entire arc appeared online this way and have allowed fans to soak in the stories. But that doesn't mean things haven't changed. As with every creative process, the storytellers take every step to improve the tale they're telling and "A Distant Echo" was no exception.

One of the largest changes came early in the episode. In the story reel version, Anakin comes across a Republic gunship with World War II style nose-art that depicts his beloved Padme in a scantily clad form. Anakin insists in a joking manner that the art will need to change and moves on. You can see this moment in the storyreel above.Through the course of bringing these episodes back to life, Dave Filoni and his team replaced this sequence and those around it with another, much more powerful scene. This one shows Anakin actually contacting Padme and Rex having to cover for him while he does it. It's a much more emotionally resonant and mature scene that means a lot more in the long run than a joke that could easily be taken as sexist. Filoni and co. could have just put in the bare minimum of work to give us these uncompleted as they were before, but they went the extra parsec.This scene, though, goes on to shade our understanding of what is known about Anakin and Padmé's relationship. With Rex hiding their secret and Obi-Wan Kenobi making it apparent that it's not much of a secret at all, it makes it that much easier for us to believe that Obi-Wan connects the dots about Padmé's pregnancy in Revenge of the Sith. 

The Timeline

The next question viewers might have about this episode is when is it set? Anakin mentions in this episode that this is part of the Outer Rim Sieges, which was the conflict Anakin mentions in Revenge of the Sith when he first meets Padmé in the film. "If the chancellor hadn't been kidnapped, I don't think they would have ever brought us back from the Outer Rim Sieges," he tells her right before she reveals her pregnancy to him.Obi-Wan Kenobi also delivers a report about them later in the film, claiming that Saluecami has fallen and that Quinlan Vos has moved his troops to Boz Pity.Naturally, since this is still The Clone Wars, we know that it isn't after Revenge of the Sith, so when is it set?Padmé might be our biggest clue here. She's not showing much of a pregnancy at all. If the Outer Rim sieges are Anakin's last assignment before being summoned back to Coruscant to rescue the chancellor, that means that he's been at this for a while. We know the events of Timothy Zahn's book Thrawn: Alliances, as far as the segments during the Clone Wars, happen about nine months prior to Revenge of the Sith (which likely means Anakin and Padmé's voyage back to the galaxy from Batuu is likely the last time they saw each other in person and conceived the twins), that means this probably happens a couple of months after that.That means that if the Siege of Mandalore happens to coincide with the events leading directly into Revenge of  the Sith, this arc and the next need to cover a lot of ground.

Wat Tambor and the Techno-Union Army

One of the chief villains in this episode is Wat Tambor, who got his first appearance in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. With the events of this episode occuring on Skako Minor, it should come as no surprise that the most high-profile Skakoan in Star Wars makes an appearance. 

He pledged the entire Techno-Union army to Count Dooku and the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the next time we saw him, he was getting moved from Utapau to Mustafar where Darth Vader would eventually murder him. He's such a fascinating character in his design, right out of a '50s sci-fi film and the quirks of his speech make him utterly charming. He's one of the coolest side characters in Star Wars and seeing him here in this episode is a joy.

A Distant Echo

Last week, we talked about the importance of Echo and his history in Star Wars, but now we see him in the flesh, hooked into Admiral Trench's supercomputer like a reject from The Matrix. This was a touching moment for this character, especially in the relief Rex feels when he finds him alive. It's got to make one wonder what might happen to these characters once the show rolls into the territory of Order 66. Will these two discover the programming chips, like Fives did? Or will they be forced to suffer the fate of turning?The Siege of Mandalore can't come soon enough.