Last night’s new Clone Wars ended the Bad Batch arc satisfyingly enough with Echo making himself useful and Anakin starting to look a bit more like Vader.
The two stories are an interesting juxtaposition with Echo (Dee Bradley Baker) using his partly mechanised body to assist our heroes while Anakin’s (Matt Lanter) decent into the Dark Side will be symbolised partly by the exchange of flesh for machine, becoming “more machine now than man”.
Interestingly, last night’s episode, “Unfinished Business”, featured a moment where Mace (Terrence C. Carson) randomly decides to offer a legion of battle droids the opportunity to surrender. A reply from one of them of the familiar line, “Blast them!” suggests the machines have no such capacity for free will. However frequently we see the battle droids comically bemoan their obvious fates, they’re apparently hard wired to take the punishment. It’s no wonder Echo has to struggle to prove himself.
Anakin, showing more anger in the kind of ruthless interrogation tactics we’ve already been seeing him employ, interestingly chooses to cut off the spider alien admiral’s mechanical arms—this character, Trench (Dee Bradley Baker), had appeared in a previous episode where he evidently lost half his body in a battle with Anakin. Considering what happens to the clone troopers, as far as free will goes, the series more and more seems to be blurring the lines between the two factions.
Clone Wars is available on Disney+.