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After two weeks of intricate character development sprinkled with action, “Clone Wars” fans are treated with sprawling action pieces while adding necessary doses of levity in the form of character interactions.
After infiltrating the command center on Skako Minor in a mission to uncover enemy intel and rescue the presumed-dead clone trooper Echo, Captain Rex is accompanied by Anakin Skywalker and The Bad Batch in completing this off-the-record mission. What the audience receives is the return of a beloved character, albeit in decrepit state, and a wild ride of combat against the Separatist’s forces.
The constant ride to new locations within the episode keeps the action fresh and engaging. Beginning with a trapped, alleyway fight, the fighting quickly moves to a skybridge that finds our heroes surrounded on all sides. A quick and intuitive escape thanks to the dragon-like creatures from the title brings the fight to the final location, the village of the planet’s indigenous population. A final standoff against the Separatist forces provides the episode’s climax and a fitting end to an engaging, action-packed story.
Where the first two episodes succeeded as character development, “On the Wings of Keeradaks” soars as a reminder to the amazing set-pieces and gorgeous, world-building animation that only “Clone Wars” style fighting can bring to the larger “Star Wars” universe. The tension introduced earlier for Captain Rex is given a necessary conclusion, while also providing opportunities to expand the relationship between the captain and now-weakened clone trooper Echo.
Even though the episode might have been less about character and more about dazzling animation, every character plays their part well. Echo, Captain Rex, The Bad Batch and Anakin all interact in useful and cooperative ways to fight against the Separatist forces. The action might take center stage this episode, but there’s still small character moments that keep things from becoming stale. The cohesion of stunning animation, important character moments and quickly-paced combat is what continues to keep “Clone Wars” in storytelling excellence.