When Star Wars: The Clone Wars was initially cancelled by Cartoon Network and when there was no hope for the series returning, Disney released a handful of animatics from planned episodes that would seemingly never be realized, with this week's new episode of the series confirming that a reference to Padmé Amidala was cut out of the final edit of "A Distant Echo." The reference itself saw the "Bad Batch" of clones taking part in a tradition similar to World War II pilots where they painted women on the nose of their ships, with the original animatics confirming that the soldiers painted a slightly provocative image of Padmé on their ship, with this element being omitted from the actual episode.
Once the episode landed on Disney+, many fans wondered why such a scene would be edited out, though Twitter user @MianaKenobi claims that, at a screening event for the episode, series creator Dave Filoni revealed he removed the reference due to how little this final season utilized the character and that he didn't want one of her only references to be as a painting on a ship.
You can head over to YouTube to see the animatic of the scene.
Back when the animatic was first created, it likely wasn't known that the scene would have been part of the series' sendoff, with the rest of the season likely allowing Padmé to have more of a presence, which would have completely recontextualized the reference.
While some fans might be disappointed by the edit, this wouldn't be the first time that Lucasfilm and their creatives had a change of heart about the way one of their projects or decisions could be received.
Back in 2012, Lucasfilm confirmed that it would be delivering fans a new animated series from the creators of Robot Chicken that took place between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope, compiling a number of satirical adventures for the galaxy far, far away. Within months of that announcement, Disney officially purchased Lucasfilm and confirmed that new movies and TV series would be on the way, with the studio ultimately deciding that it didn't want some audiences' first exposure to the franchise to be one that playfully poked fun at itself, resulting in Star Wars Detours being shelved indefinitely, despite dozens of episodes being completed.
New episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars land on Disney+ on Fridays.