#rewatching anything to do with domino squad
crosshairscodpiece · 4 months ago
Idk about y'all but hearing Rex refer to Commando Droids as 'tweezers' is the funniest damn thing I've ever heard
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lifeofclonewars · a year ago
Fives and Echo in Clone Cadets
Okay, buckle in if you're gonna read this. I'm an English major and you can tell bc this started out as a quick rant with a few points in my head at midnight and turned into a full analytical essay on the Domino Twins throughout the entirety of Clone Cadets in one sitting plus some next-day editing. What can I say, I analyze everything I watch even when I'm not consciously doing so. Some pictures and links included.
I get the whole “Fives and Echo weren't close until after Rishi” thing because of the poetic-ness of the narrative of brothers who aren't close going through trauma and coming out of it stronger and as best friends all that but listen to what I have to say.
We’ll start chronologically: with their final run-through before the finals. As you may know, I made a list (here) of who argues with whom during Clone Cadets. The other three constantly nag Echo about his habit of repeating things. Hevy and Cutup both call Echo, well, Echo but before he accepts it as a name and more as an insult. Cutup’s the first one to do it, literally almost right off the bat. Hevy does it to purposefully pick a fight after the practice test. DB responds to Echo's “stop calling me that” with “stop repeating every order.” 
Fives argues a bit with the rest of Domino when they're all arguing, but he only says one negative thing toward Echo. But there are so many things that make it different from the things aimed at Echo from the rest of the squad.
He tells him “Will you shut up with instructions? You're not in charge.” Domino’s nagging Echo about the repeating, Fives... doesn't quite do that. The narrative makes it look like Fives is also mad about the repeating orders, given both DB and Cutup have at this point. However, what Fives says doesn't make a direct reference to Echo’s habit, at least. He's definitely frustrated here (they all are, they’re failing again), but, at least to me, he's frustrated because Echo's focused more on getting them to follow exact orders instead of moving forward or working together. And yeah, he snaps a bit while reminding Echo he's not squad leader and not focusing on the right thing. But he never mentions the echoing, and, after this one moment, he never makes a negative comment toward Echo again during Clone Cadets. Also, important to note, Echo wasn’t repeating orders or anything when Fives snapped at him, just saying they’re not following orders again (which is different).
So, basically: everyone’s arguing about everything. Everyone argues with Echo about various things. Fives is the only one that doesn’t go and make a comment about Echo’s repeating during it, though.
That signifies something. Fives has got a better understanding or acceptance or trust in Echo than the rest of Domino. He doesn't mock him for what makes him him. He gets why Echo does it, maybe. Even if he doesn't, he knows it helps Echo and that Echo repeating orders is his way of trying to help his brothers. And this comes into play at a point farther along in the episode that we’ll get to soon. 
Next comes the, like, one moment we see the clones have some downtime. It’s when, once again, they start arguing. Despite DB being the one to tell Echo “stop repeating every order” during the run-through, we see them getting along here. We see them chatting with each other and 99 very briefly when Fives' gives his “you never even met a girl” line and Hevy comes barging in. Hevy insults 99, Echo tells the squad to follow orders, an argument starts, yada yada.
Then, Hevy gives his “care to repeat that, Echo?” line, which I mentioned earlier as Hevy doing it to purposefully pick a fight. When they start to fight, we hear the other members of Domino start cheering Hevy on. One says “Come on. Get him, Hevy!” The other says, “Smack that know-it-all.”
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Here’s the thing, though. They show a shot of DB, Cutup, and Fives. Cutup can be seen pumping his fist but his accent isn’t heard. There are two voices speaking, but they’re layered on top of each other so it’s hard to tell who’s speaking and how many people are speaking if you aren’t paying attention. Together, this comes out to look like Fives and DB could be the ones talking, and Cutup’s not actually speaking. 
However, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Cutup’s accent drops in and out all throughout Clone Cadets. Especially during impromptu moments. With this, it is also possible to conclude that he is speaking during the fight, just without a different accent, especially since he’s pumping his fist. 
That leaves Fives or Droidbait as the other person speaking. As you can see, both of them seem to be watching. Now, you could argue that Fives is the one who said something. You can argue the DB is the one who said something. Since they’re showing the fight when the lines overlap (the “Get him” one starting about a second earlier), there’s no conclusive evidence for either. For the point of this argument, you can’t argue that it proves Fives and Echo were close, you can’t argue that it proves they weren’t.
Following that comes Colt’s speech before the final. As I’ve noted multiple times, nobody in Domino is happy with Echo the first time he makes a comment.
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Going back and watching it happen in time reveals a bit more, though. They’ve all got facial expressions kinda similar to it when it cuts back to them after Colt speaks. Echo says “thinks he means us, boys?” Hevy seems to be the only one truly angry about the comment. The other three seem to be more of “what are you talking about, you know we’re not that great.” Plus, you know, they’re all nervous about their final. Even more so with how they didn’t make it through the day before. (Here’s a link if you wanna see it for yourself. 0:45; it’s all quick reactions, but you can see what I mean)
(Hmm so maybe I was wrong about that screenshot before. Go figure. There’s a reason screenshots aren’t always completely reliable sources for shows, since none of what I just talked about is visible in a standstill moment. This is why I’ve rewatched Clone Cadets 48209832 times. I’m still picking up new things about Domino while doing it.)
When Echo says, “well bravo for Bravo Squad,” some other things happen. Firstly, Echo’s rolling his eyes. He’s either being flippant about Bravo or he’s being self-aware enough to know it’s a bad pun and that his brothers don’t like his comments. But Fives actually looks over, concerned, when he makes the comment.
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That definitely counts for something. Especially since the other three don’t look very concerned about how Echo’s feeling with the comments. (Hevy’s definitely not looking over here.) But Fives seems to be wondering how anxious Echo’s feeling or something along those lines and how Echo’s expressing it. Especially since Echo doesn’t purposely pick fights like Hevy. He’s just making comments that happen to aggravate the Squad more than he’s usually trying to use as his way of showing he cares about his brothers and how well they perform.
After that comes their first run of the final. And with it comes a moment I love so much. Echo’s standing at one of the cover blocks when Fives runs up to him. Not only does this happen, but Echo smiles so much at seeing his brother do so.
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He’s just! So happy that Fives is there. I love that. Anyway, Fives tells him, “you flank right, I’ll flank left.” Then comes Echo’s lil pun moment. Fives rolls his eyes, but he looks more fond but exasperated than truly annoyed. 
Right after that, Fives runs off again. Which means he took Echo’s comment about staying on the same side and went with it, even though that wasn’t his initial plan. He’s trusting in Echo’s combat planning there. After DB gets shot down, we can actually see this happen as they meet Hevy at another one of the blocks. They come from the same side, Fives, then Echo. So, it worked out successfully.
When Colt tells them they failed not too long after that, another thing happens! Fives and Echo share a look. They didn’t have to — Hevy was behind Fives and Cutup was in front of Echo. They could’ve shared a look with them. But they didn’t. It’s definitely an “oh crap” kind of look they share with each other. Something that’s usually shared with those your closer to in situations like that, ya know?
“But wait!” you might say. “These are mostly examples of Fives being a good brother than of them being close.” Well, that’s where Echo and Fives talking to Shaak Ti about transferring squads comes into play! Of course, since I’m going chronologically, it’s not the immediate next point on this, but it happens during this conversation.
The two of them talking to her is a pretty big deal, especially since constantly up to that point we see Echo not getting along with the squad. He definitely wouldn't do it with Hevy, who he fights with most. Cutup and Echo don't fight as much as Echo and Hevy but we don't see them actually talk to each other besides whenever they do the sim, right before the second final, and Rishi. And Rishi is Hevy and Cutup making fun of Echo a bit. (Main difference then is that they do understand each other better to some degree and it doesn't escalate like it once might've.) DB, I touched on some points earlier. 
But there’s a reason it’s Echo and Fives here, and it’s more than just Fives fighting with him less.
When they talk to Shaak Ti Fives trusts Echo to do the talking for them (he only speaks up twice with small comments then). While it’s a short conversation, most of the talking is done by Echo. The duo most likely had a conversation beforehand about what they were asking and why. While we don’t know who asked the other if they wanted to do it, they’re both there, and Fives trusted Echo and his memory and ability to repeat the points they wanted to make. It's the exact opposite of what the squad has been doing. Instead of mocking the repetition, he gives Echo a chance to do it without judgment and as a positive thing.
Echo also goes on to do some things that show it’s not just Fives being a good brother, it goes both ways with them. 
There are only two instances where we see Echo touch someone. One is when he fights with Hevy (and Hevy starts it). The other instance is with Fives, during this talk. The two of them had been standing at parade rest and Echo — who's whole thing as a cadet is following orders — breaks it to set a comforting hand on Fives' shoulder! 
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He's the one to do it! Echo’s the one that takes the opportunity to comfort Fives and Fives doesn’t shy away from it. And not only did he recognize what Fives was feeling, but he also acted on it. They know each other well enough at this point to understand each other’s emotions and how to react to them accordingly.
And it's not like the other clones don't nudge and pat each other on the back and whatnot. Hevy pats 99 on the head (condescendingly smh Hevy you know better but whatever that's not the point).Both Fives and DB nudge Cutup for a comment he makes.
Echo just... doesn't do it during Clone Cadets. (I will point out he gives 99 a light excited punch on the shoulder during Arc Troopers — but that's after he's been with Torrent and trusts 99 even more than he did on Kamino for helping Hevy out) But he does voluntarily set a hand on Fives' shoulder. He’s comfortable enough with Fives to do it when we don’t see him do it with the rest of Domino or even 99.
Also, we all know Fives smacks some of his brothers, we've all seen that post by now. But he never does it with Echo. Instead, he lets Echo do what he's comfortable with. I just think that's important to note.
There’re also multiple times in this scene where they share looks while they’re speaking or when Shaak Ti says something. If you watch Arc Troopers or the first half of the Citadel Arc, even some parts of Rookies, Fives and Echo have a lot of nonverbal communication. This is just planting the seeds for that.
This scene can also be used for some “Fives and Echo aren’t that close” arguments, especially if you go with the “they are literal twins” hc. The whole “they wanted to stick together because they were twins, not necessarily because they got along better” argument. There are some other points here, like the fact that Fives did say something rude to Echo, or that Fives was talking to Cutup in their downtime and Echo with DB.
The thing is, with these things I've talked about, it shows that they were close on Kamino, regardless of that hc. I highly doubt LF and Filoni actually write them as twins (they probably would've mentioned it by now if they were). So while I personally like to take some of these things as them being twins, mostly they just show that either way, they were close. And the points Echo makes while asking Shaak Ti come into play as well.
Echo states, “Which is why Fives and I are looking out for each other,” when told that the clones, like the Jedi, have individuals and the group be one and the same. He makes it a clear point that they’re looking out for each other, that they’re trying to make the decision they think is best for the other. That’s! A big deal and sign that they’re close, if you ask me. 
Right at the end of the scene, Fives once again shows his trust in Echo. After hearing that they’ve been given another shot at the final, he looks skeptical. What does he do right after? Look at Echo. He didn’t need to, he could’ve stared at the wall, ground, given Shaak’s back a funny look. But he looks to his brother for comfort again. And we see Echo look back at him, doing so, right as it transitions to Cutup’s scene.
(“Wow this is really long, you must be obsessed with Domino Squad,” you might also say. That would be correct lol. We’re almost done, though.)
The next time we see either of them is when they think Hevy hasn’t shown up but then does. This is a nice little moment. Domino must’ve had a conversation or something because Cutup, DB, Fives, and Echo seem to be more at ease beside the whole missing Hevy thing. I should write that conversation someday. Echo even repeats what Fives said and nobody makes a comment about it.
Hevy eventually surprises everyone with his dramatic entrance and marches through their bench area to head to the simulation room. After that, the three of them turn and look at Echo, who shrugs. Not really a moment between Echo and Fives and more about the whole squad, but it’s there. Domino’s getting along better as a whole, matching more of what the dynamic between those two has been the entire time. 
And finally, the second final. Like how the practice test is slightly focused on Echo’s comments and the reactions to it, this one’s focused on Hevy being the natural leader he is. Also, just, Domino Working Together.
When they take cover in the little slit thingies, Fives and Echo take cover in the same one. Part of it was probably which one was closest. Part of it definitely was production trying to make it easier to fit more of them in the same frame there. But also, it says something about how they trust and understand each other on the battlefield. Partially from growing up training together, partially they've got the trust and understanding the whole squad is just finally starting to get within the rest of their dynamics. 
The only scene in this whole episode I don’t know who’s who is during the medal scene. If we base it on where Hevy stands, Echo and Cutup are the ones to talk. However, the second clone doesn’t have Cutup’s accent and it’s not one of those situations that Cutup tends to drop his accent. So I’m not really sure, other than that Domino is very clearly all proud of each other. I’m not really sure why I wrote this paragraph then… aNyWaY, that’s the episode!
TL;DR Throughout the episode, the Domino Twins show multiple signs of them being close to each other. I really think that the episode is supposed to show us that they're close from the beginning and Rishi just made them form an even stronger bond. Paraphrasing Shaak Ti, their journey is about them connecting to the rest of their squad throughout the episode, not necessarily about them also learning to connect with each other. They’ve got that down, after all.
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ninastarkov · a year ago
ok i started a chronological rewatch of tcw and got to “clone cadets” and besides that it made me way too sad that episode is exhibit a of why tcw is so good.
it has all the elements of good tcw in just one episode: humanizing the clones and emphasizing unity/brotherhood among them, giving us a look into the jedi, giving us little scenes and lines that come back to haunt us later.
shaak ti is a main player in this episode and i love her a lot. one thing i noticed is that not once in the episode did she refer to any of the clones by their number, which felt very purposeful bc some of them (hevy, droidbait, cutup) hadn’t even chosen names yet, and at one point i think echo(?) calls fives CT-27-5555 which is so unnecessary that it’s funny. other characters (ex. the bounty hunters that help with training) have no issue calling them by number. one of them especially, bric, is a prime example of the people out in the galaxy who see clones as objects more than anything. the other, el-les, cares more for them as people. they’re the opposites on the spectrum, their purpose to show a good side of humanity and bad, and work pretty well in that role.
also on shaak ti, at one point she meets with a kaminoan (lama su) and makes clear how the clones are people, not objects, to which this moron says “you jedi show too much compassion.” so much insight into two characters just from a line of dialogue. the portrayal of lama su shows just how little the kaminoans care for the clones—the clones are just products to them, which comes back into play once again in the chip arc with fives in s6.
twice in the episode, someone makes a speech to all the clones that are about to be shipped off to war. first time, it’s colt, an arc trooper. his speech is all about unity, brotherhood, working together for a common cause. the second speech is by shaak ti, right as all the clones are leaving kamino, essentially wishing them well. but after her speech, we get a shot of all of them marching out with ti standing alone in the middle. this, combined with music that seems mournful, is what got my attention. this should be a proud moment, and it is, but it’s overshadowed by the knowledge that all of these men are going to go fight and inevitably die. the music reflects that, and so does the image of ti standing alone, still, as the clones pass her by.
and on foreshadowing and scenes that come back to haunt us. someone on bravo squad (the good squad, making fun of domino) says “watch the dominoes fall” which made me s c r e a m because that’s exactly what we the audience have to do over the course of the show. honestly, if ahsoka and rex are the main characters of tcw, domino squad is right below them. also, towards the end of the ep, hevy gives 99 his medal, promising they’ll see each other again. of course, that never happens, and 99 and hevy both die in sacrifice for their brothers. 99 is another amazing part of this episode. he’s the one to push hevy to bring his squad together. without 99, hevy would have deserted and domino would have failed. again, brothers coming together.
(but also wtf was with cutup’s random accent???)
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oceanera12 · 2 years ago
Fives has the Force (AU edition)
“Ooooh... meteor shower.”  - Hevy (Rookies)
Part 2: Rookies
The Rishi Outpost is… boring. Which is good for Fives. This is something everyone agrees on. Away from Jedi, away from the battles, away from other clones. Fives is hidden away, safe and sound. As such, no one complains, despite how boring and dull the routine becomes.
It also gives Fives time to read through and practice the notes General Shaak Ti left him.
Domino takes turns helping Fives with the exercises. Most of them involve just sitting on the ground and clearing his mind. But even if clones are trained to sit and wait (ambushes, scouting, etc.) just sitting on the ground, eyes closed, and focusing on breathing is so boring.
Of all the Dominos, Droidbait is the one most willing to sit and do nothing. Actually, he grows to enjoy the “meditation” things.
After a week on Rishi, Fives wakes up in a cold sweat, holding in screams and tears. He wakes up Echo in a panic and the next hour is Fives shakily explaining he saw Droidbait get shot, Cutup get eaten by a Rishi eel, and then the Rishi station blow up in a massive fireball with a bunch of droids and Hevy inside.
Echo’s pretty sure it was a nightmare at first. Obviously not fun to watch and concerning. Then Fives has it again a few nights later. And then again. And then he snaps out of one of his “meditation sessions” with it. And now Echo is researching Jedi abilities again and finds something called “Force visions” and he’s just “WELP. This might be a problem.”
Course they can’t tell their commanding officer about it because “clone’s don’t have the Force.”
Also, they don’t know exactly what’s going to happen or how to really prevent it. Or if they even can prevent it. But Force curse it all, they’re going to try and at least be prepared to fight or something!
So Domino is now doing a lot of target practice during their freetime, looking at battle tactics and strategies of invasions of the base, and familiarizing themselves with all weapons and ammunition on the base.
Cutup and Echo team up on researching the Rishi eel’s and also other giant animals looking for ways to kill them. 
Hevy and Fives practice hand to hand almost constantly, getting tips from Sergeant O’Niner who has never seen shinies throw themselves into this much training on a station outpost.
Droidbait throws himself into medical procedures and practices. Some of them he learned on Kamino, but most of them new. 
And unbeknown to all, Fives is trying to lift things with his head. Or at least nudge them. Tripping a droid or edging a grenade closer to it’s target seemed like a good idea. At first, he practiced alone, in his barracks, using a training ball clones used for hand-eye coordination practice. But when he started making progress, he tried tripping anyone who walked by him in the commander center. Sometimes, it worked. But mostly, it didn’t.
It was a month, maybe two later.
Meteor showers happen often on Rishi. About once a week. So Fives doesn’t know exactly why he was on edge. It didn’t help when the sentry didn’t respond to the Sergeant. Droidbait and Nub are ordered to find him.
Out of pure instinct, Fives grabs two blasters and tosses them to Droidbait and Nubs. Nubs looks confused but takes the blaster anyway. Droidbait is immediately on guard.
Twelve Commando Droids vs seven clones (and pretty much zero battle experience on the latter’s account)
Nub goes down almost instantly. Droidbait was able to back up and get towards the command center before getting shot through his arm. He was grabbed by Sergeant O’Niner who threw him back into the room and to cover.
The rest of Domino is able to take out four of the Commando droids before the Sergeant goes down. With that, it’s just Domino. Cutup manages to close the main doors and hardwire it shut. Hevy and Echo carry Droidbait behind the control panel to better cover while Fives readies the emergency supplies the squad had hidden around the base (aka, the backpack of droid poppers and thermal detonators in the ventilation shaft, along with a Z-6 and sniper rifle)
Echo starts working on cutting the all clear signal just as the droids break through doors. Two Commando’s go down instantly from Hevy’s Z-6. The other six began to press in. One manages to get through but is heavily damaged and taken down quickly by Cutup and Droidbait, both covering Echo. The next follow suit. Two more are taken out by droid poppers and some well placed shots.
Three droids remain and Hevy’s gun overheats. Cutup and Fives take the fight to the droids, hand to hand. Droidbait takes a few pot shots here and there. Echo hurries to turn the all clear signal off. 
Everything happens at once.
Droid #1 grabs Fives and throws him clear across the room with a very hard punch. Then the droid pins Cutup to the ground, his arm is snapped in two and then given a few broken ribs for good measure, before the droid reaches for his gun. Droid #2 yanks Echo away from the control panel and throws him across the room. Echo hits his head and falls unconscious. Then Droid #2 finds Droidbait, lifts him by the neck and begins to slowly choke him to death. Droid #3 shoots Hevy through his arm twice, then through the torso, sending the clone to his knees, then to the ground. 
Pushing himself to his feet, Fives finds himself looking at a scene of certain death. He screams, “NO!” and reaches out his hands in desperation, like he can stop it. A shockwave spreads from Fives and it throws all the droids back (think Ezra in Rebels when Zeb is almost killed by Kallus).
Cutup manages to grab his gun in the confusion and shoot his would be killer. Droidbait ignores the pain in his injured arm, grabbing the commando’s head and ripping it from the body with full force (while screaming in pain). Fives is too shocked to recover from what just happened to help Hevy but Echo wakes up just in time to shoot the stupid thing.
No more droids left.
Echo heads to the medbay, leaving Fives to position the three injured Dominos and get Cutup to stay down. The two treat their brothers to the best of their knowledge (Droidbaits the best medic, but he isn’t exactly able to help other than give some friendly advice or things he’d read). 
None of the Domino’s mentions Five’s Force push. Echo doesn’t even ask before he shoots the video surveillance module, effectively destroying all video evidence of the attack.
The radio was destroyed in the fire-fight and the “all-clear signal” button had also been destroyed, leaving it hard-wired at the moment.
Echo and Fives grab a blaster for each injured man, then take the Z-6, sniper rifle, and a few other goodies for themselves. Then they face the door and wait for whatever comes next.
With the radio down, no one receives the call from the inspection team.
When Commander Cody and Captain Rex find a dead deck officer, a few downed Commando droids, and a cut hole in the blast doors, they’re ready for anything. So it’s a bit of surprise to see five shinies (three of them lying on the hard ground, injured but alive, and two of them holding blasters ready).
General’s Skywalker and Kenobi is alerted immediately through the inspection ship’s radio and Rishi is secured in a matter of minutes.
Domino is taken aboard the Resolution, all five being placed in the medbay, despite some protests. Some bacta and rest for a few days fixes the crew right up, ready, and willing, to return to Rishi base. 
Except for one problem:
Rex had asked Echo and Fives to explain what had happened on Rishi. Echo had done most of the talking (as Fives was a terrible liar) and even without the Force visions or powers, the tale had impressed the Captain. 
He had told General Skywalker, who had also been impressed.
Which is how Domino squad finds they are now assigned to the 501st Legion.
Under a famous Jedi General
Around a lot more clones (which translates to eyes and ears)
And in more dangerous situations (in which Fives may or may not do something stupid, whether on accident or on purpose)
None of them can sleep that night.
((Random note that I noticed rewatching Rookies recently: Did anyone else notice when Nub and Droidbait went to look for the deck officer THEY DIDN’T TAKE A BLASTER? Seriously, they just walk down the stairs, come face to face with the Commando droids and yell “DROIDS!” as loud as they can and then they both get shot and die. I mean, I get nothing is supposed to happen on Rishi and they’re all relaxed but TAKE YOUR KRIFFING BLASTER, DANG IT. THEN YOU MIGHT HAVE LIVED LONGER.))
Part 3: https://oceanera12.tumblr.com/post/615352813810302976/fives-has-the-force-au-edition
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