By Josh Reilly B. and Julie Catherine
The Bad Batch arc concluded with perhaps the best episode of the season yet with “Unfinished Business.” This episode saw the Republic forces, led by Anakin and Rex, use Echo’s tragic situation as a once Clone Trooper turned Techno Union confederate to their advantage by sneaking Echo aboard a Separatist ship and feeding them false information. This episode had what the last episode was lacking, which is emotional, interpersonal content that offsets the impressive action set-pieces. Once again, the heart of this episode was Echo, whose loyalties were questioned and debated by Clone Force 99, Rex and Anakin. Putting the audience in a unique position as to where they lie in this debate was smart given the unpredictability of Echo’s state of mind following capture. Especially given the way in which the last episode concluded, the resolution of this lingering question regarding Echo’s loyalties was interestingly explored in this episode and culminated in a tense final showdown with Admiral Trench’s forces.
Speaking of Admiral Trench, it was great to see the Harch admiral once again. Trench has always been an interesting fixture in The Clone Wars and continues the pattern of cool looking alien species in Star Wars. Anakin’s tussle with Trench showed a different side to the Jedi Knight’s mentality, one that more echoes his murder of Tusken Raiders than it does his playful interactions with Ahsoka and Obi-Wan. Anakin’s entrance into the bridge of Trench’s ship was very reminiscent of Anakin’s arrival on Mustafar and subsequent execution of the various Separatist leaders. It’s a shame The Clone Wars hasn’t delved deeper into some of these darker sides of Anakin’s personality, but, when it does, the show really thrives and further sets up his inevitable fall to the dark side in Revenge of the Sith. Hopefully, the remainder of season 7 will offer more moments like this that shed light on Anakin’s underlying darkness.
The final moments of the episode were quite powerful, with Echo choosing to align himself with Clone Force 99, rather than accepting a medal for his achievements. This distinction between “regs” and the Bad Batch has been quite poignant throughout this arc and adds more to the individuality of the Clones overall, even beyond what we’ve already seen throughout the show. The final salute to Rex from Clone Force 99 and their newest member really cemented how the show can deliver emotionally fulfilling moments amidst episodes full of action and humor. This adds yet another later to Rex’s character, who, across The Clone Wars and Rebels, is easily one of the most interesting characters over the last five years in Star Wars canon.
It was also nice to see more Jedi in this arc, with Obi-Wan and Mace featuring a little more substantially in this episode. Hopefully, the remaining episodes of The Clone Wars offer more moments with Mace as he’s been an underutilized character throughout The Clone Wars, the prequels, and broader Star Wars canon. His wisdom and power and resentment of Anakin are all really intriguing avenues to explore in future Star Wars projects.
Technically, this episode excelled once again. The voice acting, visuals, and animated choreography of action scenes was top notch. Dee Bradley Baker in particular continually performs at another level as a wide array of different characters, making each and every Clone feel distinctly unique. Matt Lanter and James Arnold Taylor as Anakin and Obi-Wan evoke Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor’s performances as these characters, while also bringing their own spin to these iconic figures in Star Wars canon.
All in all, this arc culminated in a satisfying, entertainment and emotional finale. It’ll be nice to progress from this arc into stories we’re not as familiar with for the rest of the season. We still haven’t seen Ahsoka, Maul, Yoda, and more, so the prospect of seeing this characters again in The Clone Wars is really exciting.