I’ll get on writing them out, soon. I know I said I wouldn’t do this, but there’s a new workprint in the Google Drive folder with some additions, so when I do it’ll be for that.
Some Preview Clips
There was very little contrast between Hayden as a padawan in AotC, and at the end of the war in the theatrical RotS. He seemed to exclusively follow Obi-Wan’s lead and was at the mercy of the council throughout the film. Meanwhile, Lanter’s General Skywalker was a bold and experienced Jedi general. This clips shows additions/edits that give Hayden that same authority and leadership skill. He gives commands, is addressed by his rank, and is more explicitly involved in military matters. He is treated as not just an adult, but respected as a war hero.
Anakin’s Personality + Relationship with Obi-Wan
Following up on Anakin as more of an adult, this clip demonstrates how Obi-Wan and Anakin’s relationship has evolved. Equal in rank and skill, they’re brothers on the same wavelength. In humor and action. Obi-Wan doesn’t treat Anakin like his subordinate/apprentice, nor does Anakin to Obi-Wan as a master and with formality. Anakin’s easygoing fun nature from the Clone Wars is supposed to be translated in Hayden here - more of the jock-like swashbuckler - and Obi-Wan responds to it with his appreciative wit, not exasperation. The banter is meant to service this from the novelisation:
“And Obi-Wan Kenobi knows, too, that to have lived his life without being Master to Anakin Skywalker would have left him a different man. A lesser man. Anakin has taught him so much (…) He smiles now, and sometimes even jokes, and has become known for the wisdom gentle humour can provide. Though he does not know it, his relationship with Anakin has molded him into the great Jedi Qui-Gon said he might someday be."
As the last real hurrah for the duo, maintaining camp and humor was fine for me, as a contrast to the later tragedy.
Second Act Kashyyk Kickoff + Luke’s Father Wanted Him To Have This, When He Was Old Enough
I’m using Hal’s LoE structure of politics before nightmares, as a way to establish that even an Anakin in an untroubled state of mind still has friction with the Jedi council. Because of that, Grevious’s entrance on Utapau can’t happen where it does in the theatrical - I’ve replaced it with the initial attack on Kashyyk (+Wookiees moving to call the Jedi). It kicks off the second act in a similarly bombastic way, and introduces that subplot a little more elegantly than a change of subject at the tail end of another scene.
That transitions into Padme and Anakin’s balcony scene. The scene on its own is cheesy and bad, but I hope with the added dialogue I mitigate most of it. When we come down to them, they’re in the middle of discussing whether to give their baby a lightsaber. Perhaps if they should be a Jedi or whatnot. (Callback to Ben Kenobi lines too!)
That actually segues pretty nicely into Padme saying she wants the baby on Naboo, but it also feels like a real conversation a real couple would have; Anakin and Padme hashing out the different things they want in their relationship and for their child, rather than just a vague and empty “we love love love”. It in turn also subtly sets up their later ideological conflict, in a way that doesn’t turn us against Anakin immediately. He’s just like his jock-y CW countepart here.
More than that, Anakin doesn’t seem to particularly want or care about the kid(s) in the theatrical, and with this, it’s more clear he absolutely does. He’s excited in his own masculine way, and that also lends itself nicely to how he feels things for Luke as Vader in the OT. He’s ecstatic about being a father, and I keep that thread consistent and noticeable throughout the edit, whereas it kind of fizzles out and seems forgotten (by Anakin) in most of the theatrical.
Siege of Mandalore Tie-Ins and Fixes
Here’s how I’m currently trying to handle the inclusion of the deleted scene where Obi-wan, Yoda, and Mace discuss their concerns about Palpatiine - a scene that can be replaced by a later scene in the film and recreated for TCW. This scene was important to maintain because it establishes where the Jedi are on the chessboard quite early on, and Obi-Wan being here for it is wonderful parallel progression with Anakin. He’s reacting alongside Anakin to the events of the film, rather than offscreen, and helps position their roles as main characters for coming cataclysm. Based on Knight of Kalee’s suggestion.
That leads into Anakin and Obi-Wan in the briefing room, where we actually get a mention of Ahsoka and what’s happening with her in SoM. Other edits in the scene are just subtle things to make Anakin and Obi-Wan more brotherly. Making the interaction less formal and actually having Anakin acknowledge when he’s being a little radical on his own, based on Obi-Wan’s expression. It also makes Anakin less blind and more pragmatic like TCW Aankin; he understands why the council distrusts Palpatine. Here he just has faith in, not blind loyalty for, Palpatine.
Appointment to the Council and Anger Management
Following up on that thread, these are more ways Anakin is not blindly loyal to Palpatine, and more mature and pragmatic.
Using deleted scene dialogue, Anakin relays the council’s concerns to Palpatine, and Palpatine responds by being more subtle about his manipulations. Rather than tell him the council needs him and Anakin just buying that entitlement, he just points out all Anakin has done for them in the past and leaves it at that.
Anakin handles the rejection better than he does in the theatrical. As opposed to lashing out for not getting what he wants, he feels the unconventionality of the situation and catches on to a plot they aren’t revealing to him. It’s less “How dare you do this to me” and more “Wait a second, what’s going on here.” He’s more upset at their dishonesty than what he feels he’s owed.
Subtle things to make him more CW-y: Obi-Wan gives him a head shake to calm him down, Mace doesn’t refer to him as “young,” and Yoda offers Anakin something to think about rather leave him cold. In line with all of their TCW relationships; Obi and Ani and communicate nonverbally, Mace and Anakin have a strained but equal relationship, and Yoda is nicer than Mace to Anakin.
Anakin and Padme’s scene has Anakin not lash out at Padme. He understands the council’s moves but Palpatine is his friend. He’s caught in the middle, rather than all-in on Palpatine at this point.
Not From A Jedi
At Delpheas’ suggestions, here’s how I’m reincorporating that scene where Anakin senses Obi-Wan’s been at Padme’s. Right after “Not From a Jedi.”
I initially didn’t keep it because I had the Padme deleted scenes where it is in the theatrical, and because Anakin came off as too sinister and the tone was too foreboding for how I wanted to depict his fall. I want Anakin to be cognizant and aware of his actions up until the end, and this scene almost single handedly undoes that. But there’s merit in how it discusses Obi-Wan reaching out, worried for his friend.
I discovered that placed after the opera scene and before (1) His friendly farewell with Obi-Wan and (2) His soft discussion with Padme about his dream (this has been moved from the beginning of the film to the middle), it doesn’t necessarily read as an unhinged Anakin’s descent, but a moment. And having normal, human moments afterwards shows that he doesn’t fall down a rabbit hole into Vader (which is what I don’t want.) I’ve edited the scene short obviously, ending with:
P: You expect too much of yourself…
A: Is that bad?
…Which isn’t like the theatrical, where he pretty much tells Padme he’s going to use the dark side. Now, he’s just opened himself up to his selfishness, which works well directly off of the opera scene. The dark side isn’t something he’s interested in yet, nor is it anything he ever really seeks in this edit, at least until the last second choice between Mace or his wife.
Obi-Wan reacts to Anakin’s Fall
I’ve always had an issue with how… nothing, Obi-Wan’s reaction to Anakin’s fall initially is.
I tried to mitigate some of that, with a few added lines/shots and distressed noises (from Ewan himself) that better show how much it shocks and hurts him.
Slightly more experimental clips currently on the workprint:
Palpatine Reveal (Palps is more subtle)
Grevious expecting Skywalker (Parallels Maul and Ahsoka)
Anakin is the father isn’t he? (Obi-Wan comforts Padme, wants to save father of her children)
Padme stands up to Anakin, Obi-Wan thinks there’s good in him (kept here for archival reasons)
Earlier, better version of above (Audio clip selection TBD, some VFX, Padme shot credit to snooker)
Anyway, feedback for all that would be helpful, although how it all works together is more important so hmu for a workprint!
Some thoughts on Siege of Mandalore so far in regards to my edit:
- I know Delpheas hopes to use New Canon Cut for their combined edit with this finale, so check that out if you want to see that.
- I like how much they refer to Anakin as “General Skywalker” in this last season, more than usual, almost as a way to mitigate how RotS doesn’t reference it, much like this edit.
- I would have thought the overlap between RotS and the show would shift Lanter’s Anakin to be more like Hayden’s, but the show didn’t do that, and I think he fits with this edit’s interpretation even more than before.
- Yoda calls Ahsoka “Padawan” still, so I feel validated about Obi-Wan in my edit referring to her as that as well.
- Based on what Ahsoka hears, Anakin does say “What have I done?” As it is missing here, should I reinstate it? I feel like the scene works better without it - Anakin as less conflicted at this juncture and more selfish - but it’s there canonically or Clone Wars-wise, something Ahsoka hears. I was thinking I could get away with not using it since Lanter actually says that specific line in the episode, (so it could be like an inner thought) but idk. She hears the rest of the scene as it is in the edit.