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[S7E2] Design

This was evident when Ponce de León and her team set about designing a library and cultural arts and media center in Pompano Beach, a low-income city 40 miles north of Miami. They wanted the people who would use the building to see themselves in its design. So they started by listening.

[S7E2] Design


Mónica Ponce de León has used digital fabrication to create a range of structures. From a New York City hotel to that Los Angeles gas station. When designing the Fleet Library at the Rhode Island School of Design, she used software to make every cubicle a different size to accommodate different body types. But now Ponce de León strives for more than just harmony with her buildings. Design, she believes can bring balance to our relationship with the planet. Buildings generate almost 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions as we tear down, construct and use them. Sustainable design will allow us to continue building our world without simultaneously destroying it.

The droid designs in this episode are also visually interesting and intimidating if sometimes bordering on the edge of being too busy. Battle droids are basically cannon fodder, so pitting the Bad Batch against a greater variety of droids and more heavy-hitting models like the Super Battle Droids keeps the action scenes varied.

Spindly and quite impractical by design, the D-wing air support droids were a line of troops designed and created by the Techno Union, which is explored thoroughly throughout the show as part of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. They are bipedal with four of what appear to be claw-like hands. Their heads are cylindrical, with a mohawk of sorts protruding from them. All in all, they give off the appearance of regular B1 battle droids that have seen heavy modification, from their thin limbs to their red-and-beige color scheme. Though they appear quite often in the episode, they are not any more effective than their regular droid counterparts.

This was technically their first appearance; however, they also played a role in the unfinished Clone Wars season 7 episodes as well. The follow up to "A Distant Echo" was titled "On The Wings of Keeradaks", which included the D-wing's flight ability. This showcased how they were, in some ways, designed to appear like the titular creatures, which are native to Skako Minor and were seen being ridden by the Poletecans when they first ran into Anakin and his crew. It has been confirmed that this episode will be completed for the official release of the Bad Batch arc of Clone Wars season 7, so it is likely they will take to the skies soon enough in canon.

And what a fascinating place this is, ruled over by a man who at first seems to be a drama club president handed ultimate power. Who also has a tiger named Shiva. Khary Payton's King Ezekiel is a great creation, and a complicated man. Unless you've read the comics and know more about him, you don't learn until later in the episode that his grandeur is an act, one designed specifically to give his "subjects" a feeling of hopefulness for their security and the future. Carol, being Carol, doesn't buy it from the start, and there's scope for Melissa McBride to switch from the hard-nosed character we've come to know and often love to her faux-helpless version. And kudos to the team (the episode was written by Matthew Negrete and directed by Greg Nicotero) for having Ezekiel figure her out in one episode. His scene later with Carol, where he reveals his true nature (former zookeeper, much more pragmatic and plainspoken) was a great one, sketching in character without having to ladle on exposition. And is there the merest hint of sparks between these two.

Just to review, on episode 1 of Season 7, we met all the designers, got a taste of their personalities and an idea of their design style. Christiane King waltzed into the workroom with a bit of a diva attitude, declaring that "yeah, I'm pretty good," only to become the first contestant to get the boot. I was a little surprised.

Meanwhile Ping Wu, a flighty, wild card designer from China, did some serious draping to create an outfit that resembled a hybrid of traditional Bedouin wear and performance art. For her ensemble, she didn't win but received a top three honorable mention from the judges. I was a little surprised.

And if the run-and-gun mission is more of the same, at least we get ample payoff with the reveal Echo is indeed alive and being used as a tool by the Separatists. Echo's revamped character design is haunting - all pasty white skin and emaciated flesh and a pair of metal legs that look a whole lot like those of a certain stubborn Sith Lord. Echo is a tangible reminder of how the clones have been chewed up and spit out by the galactic war machine, and it'll be interesting to see how Rex and the members of Bad Batch reconcile that in the second half of this arc. 041b061a72

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