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(The Bad Batch) Cinematic Version | A More Mature Edit (WIP)

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 (Edited)

TBB

The Bad Batch is currently sitting at a very respectable 8.0 user rating on IMDB which is no small feat. However, I have made multiple attempts to get into it and I am always put off by some of the more “cartoon-ish” or kid oriented aspects of the show. In addition to this, a general consensus is that the episode count is too high and there’s some pretty forgettable filler content that really bogs down the core story. There are some really great moments in this show, but like The Clone Wars dealt with at times, it seems to be a show where certain parts are specifically made for an older audience and certain parts are specifically made for a younger audience. Personally, I am only interested in telling the best story possible rather than forcing elements into an episode in order to appeal to certain demographics.

As I wrap up my workprint production of my Star Wars Legends Sequel Trilogy, I have the plan to go through the Bad Batch and make an edit of this show into movie arcs that are focused on telling a good Star Wars story without as many of the shenanigans that comes along with it also being marketed to children.

I plan to watch the entire show again to make sure I understand each plot point and how I can improve the pacing, character interactions, and ultimately tell a darker, more mature story that fits into the timeline we see this show take place in.

Off the top of my head, the 3 main issues I need to fix are:

  1. A lot of the episodes follow a formulaic structure of “We have to save them, Hunta!” “No, it’s too dangerous” “Please, Hunta.” “Fine.” Or another example being “Okay, Omega, wait at the ship.” “But I’m part of the squad!” “If you are part of the squad then follow orders.” Then one of the two parties inevitably needs saving by the other. This is fine if it happens like once to get the point across to the audience, but when nearly every filler episode follows a structure like this it just gets really old throughout 16 episodes.
  2. Obviously the squad is built as cliche, steroetypical character archetypes which is fine in theory. Most “squad shows” are. Even think back to the Republic Commando video game which gives us the best comparison, but all 4 of those characters were written very well within their own lanes. In The Bad Batch, I felt like sometimes the archetypes go way over the top to the point of being overly cartoonish characterizations of their archetypes which becomes distracting, and I would even say at times makes it hard to watch (looking at you, Wrecker). I want to maintain their individuality while cutting down on some of the over-exaggerated traits and repeated stereotypical moments.
  3. Streamline the plot to remove the unnecessary filler. I haven’t seen a single review where the filler content isn’t criticized. The problem is that it’s not even filler that gives you insight into something new about a character… It’s filler that copy-paste rehashes the exact same insight we learned about a character in one of the “main” episodes. Filler is fine if you’re still learning new things about the characters and bonding with them, but time spent with characters does not automatically translate into liking them more or knowing them better. If the filler stories aren’t teaching you anything new, it just feels like you’re taking AWAY from the characters rather than adding to them.

I would love to hear some thoughts from those of you who have watched the show, haven’t watched the show, or started and didn’t make it through. What would make it more interesting to you? How could I cut it into a version that would make you want to watch? Which plot points need to be highlighted or altered? Would love to hear your thoughts all around.

It will likely take a while for me to complete the project, as I still need to go through watching everything, but overall it shouldn’t be that hard of an edit as I imagine most of what I will be doing is reorganizing and cutting.

(The Force Awakens) Heirs of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Last Jedi) Fate of the Jedi | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Rise of Skywalker) Legacy of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Bad Batch) Cinematic Version | A More Mature Edit

(The Avengers) Dawn of Thanos Re-edit | MCU Refocused

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This sounds really interesting? What are your plans for the Hera stuff?

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Really interested in this. I’ve only watched the show the once, and don’t have the capacity to load it in and thoroughly analyse it right now, but I think you have exactly the right approach.

That said, if you do a watch-along analysis, I’d love to jump in and join you on that.

How certain are you that you want to run with the movie length idea? I found “as long as necessary” serves my Clone Wars edits well, without binding me to a rough runtime, and that coupled with using text crawls up front allows me to pull weaker content out of the episodes themselves (where necessary) and to pace and bridge the content more freely.

I’ve done work with raw Bad Batch files, so if I can help you with any of the technical stuff, I’ll be happy to.

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One thing to take into account is that what may seem like filler now, may end up being more important in future seasons / Star wars shows.

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T-202 said:

This sounds really interesting? What are your plans for the Hera stuff?

I’ll have an update on that as I do a story analysis of each episode. Do you have any recommendations in the meantime?

EddieDean said:

Really interested in this. I’ve only watched the show the once, and don’t have the capacity to load it in and thoroughly analyse it right now, but I think you have exactly the right approach.

That said, if you do a watch-along analysis, I’d love to jump in and join you on that.

Certainly, I would definitely love to pick your mind on a re-watch if you have time. I could benefit from your experience from your project.

How certain are you that you want to run with the movie length idea? I found “as long as necessary” serves my Clone Wars edits well, without binding me to a rough runtime, and that coupled with using text crawls up front allows me to pull weaker content out of the episodes themselves (where necessary) and to pace and bridge the content more freely.

I love what you’ve done with TCW arcs to simply tell the best story possible, no matter the length. Honestly, that’s how Disney should have released them in the first place, especially once it went to Netflix exclusive. There’s no reason to fill timeslots with poor writing just to meet a pre-designated number.

For this project, I want to find a balance between what you have done with your TCW:R project and what Smudger is doing with his Mandalorian movies. Reorganizing scenes between episodes, cutting out the fluff, but ultimately creating a storyline that can be digested in a single sitting in a complete way. I’m not going to get hard locked into pre-determining a time length or movie count beforehand though. An initial estimation is aiming for 1.5-3 hour films, either 2 or 3 of them total depending on pacing.

Peonthegrate said:

One thing to take into account is that what may seem like filler now, may end up being more important in future seasons / Star wars shows.

True, always something to consider. If in the future something from Season 1 turns out to be content that feels left out after Season 2 releases then I can always just update to another version. At this time though I will only be focused on turning Season 1 into the best self-contained story it can be.

(The Force Awakens) Heirs of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Last Jedi) Fate of the Jedi | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Rise of Skywalker) Legacy of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Bad Batch) Cinematic Version | A More Mature Edit

(The Avengers) Dawn of Thanos Re-edit | MCU Refocused

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Acbagel said:

For this project, I want to find a balance between what you have done with your TCW:R project and what Smudger is doing with his Mandalorian movies. Reorganizing scenes between episodes, cutting out the fluff, but ultimately creating a storyline that can be digested in a single sitting in a complete way. I’m not going to get hard locked into pre-determining a time length or movie count beforehand though. An initial estimation is aiming for 1.5-3 hour films, either 2 or 3 of them total depending on pacing.

I think this is the key. In your analysis, look for how episodes flow together or complement each other, and look for dialogue that could be repurposed to help smooth things out - such as when their handler sends them off on a mission. Reorganising scenes, mainly by pulling dramatic scenes early so their threat lingers, will be valuable too.

Bad Batch is more serialised than Clone Wars, so you probably will be able to get closer to a rough movie length more comfortably, just be sure to end on your more dramatic peaks, but find the episodes and scenes that lead up to those points. In my opinion, having too many disconnected plotlines ends up feeling like the episode doesn’t have much thrust.

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 (Edited)

I was able to go through the extended pilot episode and start editing. It’s a very cohesive narrative in and of itself since it’s an hour+ long intro, but I was able to streamline it and trim the fat off the edges. However, it did get me thinking… Is there a benefit to starting this project from the Clone Wars episodes themselves? With the way I’m presenting some of the characters, it will definitely feel like there’s a disconnect between their appearance in TCW and TBB. Wondering if there’s a way to use those episodes as part of the first film somehow.

(The Force Awakens) Heirs of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Last Jedi) Fate of the Jedi | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Rise of Skywalker) Legacy of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Bad Batch) Cinematic Version | A More Mature Edit

(The Avengers) Dawn of Thanos Re-edit | MCU Refocused

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Time

I felt like the Bad Batch episodes of TCW could behave as a fairly decent episode zero of that show, since they slow down TCW’s important escalating rush towards its tragic conclusion. But they do feature some valuable Anakin/Padmé content that helps in its current placement. That said, I don’t think they’re as good a first episode as Bad Batch’s episode one, in terms of setting up the stakes and themes of that show, nor the state of the galaxy which it delves more deeply into.

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This sounds amazing and exciting

I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.

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EddieDean said:

I felt like the Bad Batch episodes of TCW could behave as a fairly decent episode zero of that show, since they slow down TCW’s important escalating rush towards its tragic conclusion. But they do feature some valuable Anakin/Padmé content that helps in its current placement. That said, I don’t think they’re as good a first episode as Bad Batch’s episode one, in terms of setting up the stakes and themes of that show, nor the state of the galaxy which it delves more deeply into.

Definitely have a point there about the intros. After reviewing TCW episodes of them it’s just… rather boring as a movie opener. Very generic battle scenarios, no drama, no tension, whereas TBB pilot episode is intense. I will probably reformat TCW episodes into an abridged Bad Batch focused prequel episode 0 as optional viewing like you suggested, but I don’t think it will work as part of a full Bad Batch film.

To give an idea of how I’m going through and cleaning up the content in terms of basic storytelling elements, here’s the changelist for the Aftermath episode.

  • Cut some of Captain Grey and Kanan’s back and forth where they are either overly depressed or showing baffling confusion
  • Cut the rolling snowball from Bad Batch’s debut scene, now they appear as though they ARE the wrecking ball mopping up the droid forces down the side of the mountain
  • Cut battle droid tank commander’s “Huh? Hey, stop that!”
  • Cut Tech throwing grenade to tank commander, doesn’t accomplish anything since the tanks are already falling off the cliff and I want to reduce as much battle droid nonsense as possible
  • Cut battle droid, “Hey, what’s that?” to Tech’s sticky grenade on its chest
  • Cut a Wrecker, “yeAaAhHHH!”
  • Cut Tech’s overly nerdy time explanation and Wrecker being a doofus not knowing how many days are in a galactic standard year. Now transitions with, “Kamino… How long’s it been?”
  • Cut Wrecker’s, “Awwww man, what did we miss noooowww?”
  • Cut Wrecker’s, “Ooooohhh, it iiiisssss just like you said!”
  • Cut Wrecker’s, “We sure don’t!”
  • Cut Wrecker’s, “You can say that again!” Filled the gap in the speech with a shot of Omega not on the balcony, so it’s more of a genuine reaction when Hunter notices her the first time, and then sees she’s soon gone.
  • Cut Tech’s nerdy analysis of Omega’s age and species
  • Cut Wrecker and Tech’s back and forth about him loving to blow things up
  • Cut Wrecker forgetting who Omega was 5 minutes later
  • Cut some of Tech and Wrecker’s confusion about Omega sitting with them. Replaced it with a shot of Tarkin watching the squad
  • Cut some of Omega’s tossing her food up and down
  • Cut Wrecker’s, “Oh, I like this kid!” It is an extremely unnatural pause in the conversation, and it makes his standing up to support Omega much more surprising and impactful
  • Cut Clone Trooper’s, “That’s it!” and Wrecker’s, “Ohhhh yeaaahhhhh!” Keeping Wrecker as much of a strong, competent warrior as possible is really benefiting his character. He is actually intimidating instead of a total moron.
  • Cut Wrecker’s WWE table jump
  • Cut Wrecker’s, “You owe me two credits!”
  • Cut Wrecker’s utter shock and awe at the medical droid saying he is genetically defective. They are all already well aware of that fact.
  • Cut some of the Squad’s goofy comments about Echo’s condition
  • Cut Wrecker talking about how much he enjoys food fights
  • Cut Wrecker getting childishly excited about getting to be combat tested
  • Cut Wrecker’s, “Come oooonnnnn, give us a real challenge.”
  • Cut Wrecker’s whining about hating hand signals
  • Cut Wrecker’s “Incoming!” and overly drawn out WWE tackle
  • Cut Tech’s, “… not going anywhere.” So now it actually appears for a bit that he was legitimately injured in the battle instead of being a joke.
  • Cut Wrecker’s, “Whoooaaaaa…!”
  • Cut Tech and Wrecker’s back and forth about not liking being used as dummy droids. Now it appears as though Tarkin barges in, agreeing with Crosshair’s statement that they get shot all of the time and it’s no big deal.
  • Cut Crosshair talking about how Wrecker cried when he saw the new Imperial armory
  • Cut Wrecker’s, “Oh, I’ll make room for it!” Now it appears as though he just ignores Tech and loads up the equipment anyways.
  • Cut the whole bit of everyone trying to calm Wrecker down because he is whining about how he hasn’t blown something up in days
  • Cut Wrecker almost in tears about not getting to blow up droids
  • Cut Wrecker not believing Tech about Omega
  • Cut Echo and Wrecker not understanding Tech
  • Cut AZ loooooving research assignments
  • Trimmed AZ’s exaggerated scream
  • Cut Wrecker sniffing the brig cell
  • Cut Wrecker acting clueless about how they can get out
  • Cut Tech, “Oh, why didn’t I think of it before?!”
  • Cut the whole loud explanation of the cell escape. Now it seems like Tech begins to suggest an idea and Hunter picks up on it without having the redundant explanation to the audience.
  • Cut Tech’s “ackshually” answer to Wrecker being too big
  • Cut Wrecker spilling the beans on the entire plan to the prison guards
  • Cut Wrecker, “Hey, friend!” before the punch.
  • Cut Wrecker whining about not being able to find his stuffed animal
  • Cut everything to do with Wrecker’s wound treatment on the ship. He truly acts like he is 6 years old and snuggles a stuffed animal. It’s horrible.
  • Cut Wrecker talking about how tough he is.
  • Cut Wrecker’s,”OhhHHhhh yeaAAhhh!” It’s pretty crazy how many times they make him say that…

Still working on integrating everything into a larger plot, but it at least gives me a much more usable short story to work with.

(The Force Awakens) Heirs of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Last Jedi) Fate of the Jedi | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Rise of Skywalker) Legacy of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Bad Batch) Cinematic Version | A More Mature Edit

(The Avengers) Dawn of Thanos Re-edit | MCU Refocused

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Yeah, it’s probably best to trim what you want to trim in isolation first, then see what you can make from it. Be sure to take a note of any speech you cut that you could repurpose, though.

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This all sounds really awesome! I’d love to see your Aftermath edits when you’re comfortable sharing them.

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No, it’s too dangerous

I’ve haven’t really been too fond of this fucking line in sci-fi/fantasy media myself. 😅

“The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”
-Sheev Palpatine, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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I agree that TCW’s intro are bland compared to TBB’s first episode, but have you considered utilizing some of TCW’s stuff as flashback’s maybe? That could work well.

This sounds like a great idea.

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 (Edited)

arabian said:

I agree that TCW’s intro are bland compared to TBB’s first episode, but have you considered utilizing some of TCW’s stuff as flashback’s maybe? That could work well.

This sounds like a great idea.

I would like to explore the possibility of flashbacks, but aside from stuff with Echo there’s truly nothing worthy of even flashing back to in TCW episodes. And sadly, I think Echo was sorely underused in TBB in the first place so I don’t think there’s any natural place to place flashback scenes.

I took a little break from my edits during the holiday, but at this point I have moved to editing the Episode 0 TCW before continuing the rewatch/trims on episodes after Aftermath. I feel like it’ll give me a slightly better feel for the characters to review TCW episodes first, and also getting that Episode 0 done is a goal anyways so you all don’t feel as much of a disconnect between TCW and TBB.

(The Force Awakens) Heirs of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Last Jedi) Fate of the Jedi | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Rise of Skywalker) Legacy of the Force | A Star Wars Legends Re-edit

(The Bad Batch) Cinematic Version | A More Mature Edit

(The Avengers) Dawn of Thanos Re-edit | MCU Refocused