ARC TROOPER ECHO
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
First introduced in the first season episode “Rookies,” Domino Squad is a group that The Clone Wars uses to really showcase the general progression of the clones throughout the wars, as well as also hitting home just how bad war can be, seeing as the Squad has a tendency to fall like, well, dominos. Central to the squad’s early stories are Fives and Echo, the two that have the most advancement of any clones in the show, starting off as mere cadets, and eventually becoming full-fledged ARC Troopers. Echo himself has gone even further, becoming one of the few Regs to continue his story post-Order 66 as part of Clone Force 99, aka the titular team from The Bad Batch. This kid’s got some range, let me tell you.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
ARC Trooper Echo is another of the four figures in the Target-exclusive Clone Wars-retro assortment of Star Wars: The Black Series. He’s the first figure of Echo in the line, though it would be an incredible shock if he were the last, given the incredible prominence of Echo’s updated Bad Batch gear. As the name signifies, this figure is based on Echo’s ARC Trooper look, which he sported in the “Citadel” arc of the show, which is notably the story that “killed” him, before the final season brought him back. It’s the look that had the most appearances within the show (prior to The Bad Batch, of course), and it’s his coolest look as a Reg. Plus, they haven’t done any actual ARC troopers in this scale, so he’s a good reason to introduce the tooling. It does mean that he doesn’t actually go with any other figures in the line, of course, since he doesn’t match up with the Batch, and he also doesn’t match up with Rex, since Rex was in his Phase I armor still when Echo died, but there are worse things to have to deal with. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Remember how I mentioned the weird mix-up of Hawk retooling Rex’s body into a more basic clone body, rather than using the newly introduced basic clone? So, you might assume that Echo, with his ARC Trooper gear, would naturally be using the Rex body as well, right? Nope. Echo’s on the new basic clone body, with a bunch of stuff tacked onto it. I know. It’s weird. I mean, it’s still a nice body, so I’m not complaining. I’m just confused, that’s all. In order to update that standard clone armor into a full ARC Trooper set-up, Echo gets a new set of forearms and lower legs, as well as new add-on pieces for his additional torso gear, as well as his belt, kama, and holsters. He’s also got a brand new head and helmet to complete the whole set-up. It’s interesting that he’s got a rubber kama, as opposed to the cloth we’ve gotten for the commanders thus far, but I don’t hate the look, and it doesn’t hold back the articulation too badly. The unmasked head continues the trend of the unmasked clones not looking all that much like Temuera Morrison, though this one does at least seem to be heading a bit more in the right direction, I suppose. The helmet sits well on the head, though, which is a definite plus, as some of the others have had a little bit of trouble with that fit. The rest of the new parts mesh well with the old, and the end result is a quite nicely put together ARC Trooper set-up. The paint work on Echo is generally pretty decent. There’s a good deal of variety to it, but the application is generally pretty cleanly handled. There are some fuzzier edges on a few of the blue lines, but it can be written off to a little bit of wear, to be honest. He’s got the face printing on the unmasked head, which definitely helps with the likeness, at least a little bit. And, just to make him properly Echo, he’s got the hand print graffiti, which is always a fun touch. Echo is pretty well accessorized, getting a long blaster rifle, a short blaster rifle, and two blaster pistols. He still can’t properly hold both pistols at once, of course, since only the right hand has a trigger finger, but at least you have some options.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
“Rookies” was the first episode of Clone Wars that really spoke to me, and I’ve long since had a soft spot for Domino Squad, and Echo in particular. I always liked his story, and I was sad when he was killed off in the “Citadel” arc. I was very glad to see him brought back in Season 7, and he’s thus far been one of my favorite parts of The Bad Batch. I hope to get a Batch version of him soon, but I’m also glad to have gotten him in his peak form here. Sure, he doesn’t match up with anyone at the moment, but hopefully we can at the very least get a Fives to go with him. Once again, thanks to Max for setting me up with this one. I wasn’t expecting him to be quite as easily acquired, but I’m happy he was.