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The Clone Wars: Refocused [2 episodes upgraded to v2.0, 3/5 seasons released to v1.0] — Page 37

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Eddie, there seems to be a brief editing mistake near the end of “Massacre”…in your version Grievous is supposed to “kill” Talzin’s physical form and this causes the defeat of the Dead Army, right? Because there are a couple of rogue shots of Grievous throwing away the old witch’s corpse and Talzin’s reaction to it. Other than this the episode was lit!

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Oh! That’s really weird. Perhaps it rendered before I’d saved, or something. First chance I’ll get back to that is Saturday night, but I’ll fix it as soon as I can.

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That was a weird episode. What were those random zombies? lol

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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They’re the dead Nightsisters. That’s one of the ways they manifest the force, they can use it to temporarily reanimate their ancestors’ corpses.

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Personally, that’s one of my favorite things about the Clone Wars and Rebels, is how it shows us the Force is way more than just what the Jedi and Sith say it is/understand it as. Sure the Jedi recongise that it binds all things, but they have no conception of its magnitude. The Mortis arc, the Nightsisters, Yoda’s final arc, the Wolves and WbtW in Rebels - I love how wild and weird it gets.

On Hold
Legacy of the Force-RoS WIP

Completed:
Fall of the Republic (RotS-NCC)v2

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Knight of Kalee said:

Eddie, there seems to be a brief editing mistake near the end of “Massacre”…in your version Grievous is supposed to “kill” Talzin’s physical form and this causes the defeat of the Dead Army, right? Because there are a couple of rogue shots of Grievous throwing away the old witch’s corpse and Talzin’s reaction to it. Other than this the episode was lit!

I’ve just fixed this, that’s up in the link.

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Hal 9000 said:

That was a weird episode. What were those random zombies? lol

Just thinking about this, you may recall my arguing that green smoke around Palpatine in TROS could help explain part of his resurrection… now you know why 😉

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So it’ll be the weekend of March 6th where I take a proper crack at the Holocron arc, which requires more brain than usual edits. And while the credits music is being refined it’s still a little early to go back and polish prior episodes.

So, forward to planning my (production number) S02E06 Lightsaber Lost, another extremely straightforward edit. I know there’s not much value add here, but I have to do them for consistency. It’s neither an amazing episode nor an offensive one, sitting firmly in the middle, but after having Ahsoka boldly charge about and fail so much it gives us a nice opportunity to both have a slow episode, and teach Ahsoka to slow down. I was never a fan of the character designs in this episode but they can’t be avoided, and other than that the episode actually looks pretty great, and it’s nice to revisit Coruscant and begin Ahsoka’s journey in the underworld. I’m going to trim the ‘fishy’ joke, and a handful of lines. Nothing major at all.

After that it’s on to a much more exciting arc, the three-part RETURN OF MAUL arc, comprising Bounty, Brothers, and Revenge. That episode will end with our Maul bros drifting in space, the scene of theirs which precedes TCW:Refocused’s cold open. (So maybe this episode would best be numbered as the season 1 finale.)

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EddieDean said:

So, more thoughts on the Holocron arc. This episode I think is a good example of why aggregation of episodes isn’t always a net gain, because it’s weirdly paced. It’s a good episode, but there are a lot of variables here to think about, so I’m not settled on my approach yet.

  • A few trims for cringe/silliness throughout, and to make the episodes flow better.
  • The first episode, Holocron Heist, is well structured and good fun throughout. I might trim a bit of TODO-360’s dialogue where it gets a bit too silly, and I might trim some of the breaking in sequence which isn’t so interesting.
  • The second episode, Cargo of Doom, covers LOADS of plot in the opening narration, which is a challenge. I might need to end up cutting there just so I can put in my own intro text alternative, if I can’t find a clean way to bridge them. Smudger had an idea for this I might check in case it makes sense to steal it.
  • Also, there’s this weird thing where Bane needs both the Holocron AND the “Kyber Crystal”. Firstly, in the canon now, Kyber crystals are more explicitly lightsaber crystals and/or Death Star laser things, not data storage devices. And secondly, having the Holocron and the Kyber crystal just makes it a bit overcomplicated, especially since Bane gets the crystal offscreen. I’d like to remove all references to that as smoothly as possible.
  • The first episode ends on “find master RuPaul who has the Kyber Crystal”, then the second begins on “Bane’s got the Kyber Crystal from RuPaul and is torturing RuPaul to open the combination Holocron/Kyber crystal”, which is too complex. I think I’d rather that they’re just chasing Bane in order to get the Holocron back, which is the only thing with the Children’s names on it.
  • The second episode has some good moments, especially a cool zero-G climax and some good scenes with Ahsoka (points in favour), though it’s very slow and action heavy, so even after finding a good transition into it, it would need some heavy trimming.
  • The third episode, Children of the Force, really whips by, in contrast to the prior episodes, and a lot of plot happens. You could probably skip Rodia entirely, and just have the visions of the kidnapping be Naboo, and have Anakin and Ahsoka ready to capture Bane there more quickly, before moving onto Bane’s base and then the Mustafar finale.
  • I’d trim Sidious’ motives to make them less explicitly about making ‘force spies’ and more implicitly whatever he’s now been seen doing in Rebels and the Mandalorian.

None of this stuff is egregious, though, so if I can’t achieve it all that’s fine.

A breakthrough! I took a look over how Smudger handled these and actually stealing his ideas (thanks Smudger ❤️) gives us the best of both worlds. He merged Hostage Crisis (from the horrible Ziro arc, which I’m discarding) with Holocron Heist, to make the hostage story in the senate building essentially a massive distraction to enable the heist of the Jedi Temple. Using this actually achieves us a whole bunch:

  • Firstly, it means I can split this now-quadrilogy down the middle, to have one ~30 minute episode about the heist and then one ~30 minute episode about chasing Bane, without it feeling unbalanced and making the EXTREMELY wobbly pacing a lot more moderate.
  • Secondly, that split means we can use the second part’s intro text to deal with the RuPaul issue. (As an aside, I’m certain that there was a planned episode that got cut here. The second episode refers to a lot that happens offscreen with RuPaul, whilst the first ends with an implication that Obi-Wan is going to track Bane on Coruscant.)
  • And if a better paced duology that has time to breathe wasn’t enough, we also get not only some good Padmé but also some good Anakin/Padmé scenes, right up front in the show.
  • This also lets me produce some trims above what I had originally planned and above what Smudger had achieved, most notably around the removal of the unwelcome ‘Kyber Crystal’.

I don’t know how long it’ll take to execute this two-part edit, but I’m getting started now.

Edit: I’m not sure what to call this two-part episode, but it’s cool because it gets us right to the heart of the Republic (the Senators) and the Jedi (the force-sensitive younglings). So ‘A Strike at the Heart’ or similar might be a thing. Or I could go campy - Holocrons and Hostages, for example. It’s about Sidious directly attacking these fundamental Republic institutions, so maybe there’s something there.

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After well over a year I’ve finally been remembered as existing and I’m now able to work from home so I’ve not really had much chance to catch up on these. I do still intend to and want to do so before the first series is over.

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EddieDean said:
Edit: I’m not sure what to call this two-part episode, but it’s cool because it gets us right to the heart of the Republic (the Senators) and the Jedi (the force-sensitive younglings). So ‘A Strike at the Heart’ or similar might be a thing. Or I could go campy - Holocrons and Hostages, for example. It’s about Sidious directly attacking these fundamental Republic institutions, so maybe there’s something there.

Bane’s Eleven could do it 😄

On a more serious note, A Strike at the Heart sounds fitting and Clone Wars-like. Or maybe something with “Bane” on it.

A side advantage of including Hostage Crisis is that its events are later referenced in the Martez sisters arc.

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Knight of Kalee said:

On a more serious note, A Strike at the Heart sounds fitting and Clone Wars-like. Or maybe something with “Bane” on it.

There’s a Bane’s Heart reference to be made in there somewhere, but I can’t put my finger on it.

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A Bane of the Heart? Heartsbane? I’ll default to ‘A Strike at the Heart’, I think. It covers a lot of ground.

Anyway, today’s session was really good, I’ve finished all of the intercutting of Holocron/Hostage and done its full polish pass. Trimmed a good amount for pacing so it’s coming in at 37 minutes without credits.

I haven’t copied Smudger’s cuts directly because I always like to run an edit through my own process, so I’m sure there’re differences even though the core idea is totally stolen. I’ve kept Sidious in (because it makes Bane badass if Sidious calls him directly, and it makes Sidious badass when we know he’s calling all of the shots on both sides - this is kind of a micro version of the Clone Wars), cut out a lot of Todo’s banter and the fish’s goofiness, made some nice audio edits so the intersplicing is quite tidy but carries all the necessary plot, made Anakin just a tad more Die Hard when he’s on the run, and trimmed the boring vents scenes. Padmé and Ahsoka both come out really nicely in this cut.

The only key thing I need to add to the intro text I reckon is to emphasise that Bane has a crew, or something to do with him often hiring groups of bounty hunters, to kind of explain why he starts off just chatting to the one changeling but then later appears with a full squad. That and that Ahsoka’s on thin ice with the Jedi Council.

I still need to do all of the credits, then I’ll wait to finalise it until I’ve done the second part, which should be easier. Either way, expect both soon, which’ll mean I’m back in chronological release order without gaps.

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Now turning to planning the second part of this episode, Cargo of Doom / Children of the force.

On review, I don’t think master RuPaul is necessary at all, so I’ll remove him from this and remove his references from Part One. This way the plot’s more streamlined, there’s no Kyber, there’s no intention to kidnap RuPaul, it’s just Bane and the Holocron being chased, then opportunism when he gets presented with two Jedi.

I’ll also trim Obi-Wan’s trip to Rodia, since it’s redundant, and also because I really don’t like the Rodian city’s design. And Battle Droid goofiness, naturally. I’ll do some reordering to make this less of an absolute whip round the galaxy too.

There’s an odd moment where Ahsoka cautions Anakin to be patient, and he acknowledges that she’s right. It’s a good moment, but takes away a little from the future Lightsaber Lost episode, where ‘patience’ is basically the entire lesson. As much as I like it in this episode, I might take it out here, to allow her to learn it in chronological order.

I’ve been trying to emphasise as I’ve gone through this that my episode numbers are just my production order, but I appreciate that there’s still been some confusion there. I figured I’d ‘feel out’ the final release ordering as I went through and in response to your feedback. For someone looking for an actual season finale, this episode would serve really nicely as the end of season one, since it achieves a lot. It’s got all our main characters (Ahsoka, Anakin, Obi-Wan, Padmé, Rex), a compelling villain, Sidious development (which ties in to broader media), a high-stakes plot for both the Republic and Jedi, both Coruscant and Mustafar, and most importantly, it puts a gun to Ahsoka’s head and lets Anakin show what she’s come to mean to him.

I could therefore present the first season as follows:

  • s01e01 - The New Padawan (Christophsis)
  • s01e02 - The Death Watch
  • s01e03 - Malevolence
  • s01e04 - The 501st Legion (Domino Squad)
  • s01e05 - Cloak of Darkness
  • s01e06 - Children of Night (Nightsisters)
  • s01e07 - The Blockade of Ryloth
  • s01e08 - Duchess of Mandalore
  • s01e09/10 - A Strike at the Heart (Holocron Crisis)

Season two might take a bit of reordering then, possibly starting with the Return of Maul arc and ending with the Maul Piracy episode (where he links in with the Mandalorians), which would really cement his presence in the show and that plotline as the central thread. I’d have to shuffle around a couple of those episodes I’ve already produced if I do that though - Massacre, Seven Warriors, Lightsaber Lost, etc.

I really like my show’s cold open as something that presents the hesitant viewer with something that immediately suprises them and tells them they’re going to see interesting things they won’t have expected, but it won’t get paid off till 20 episodes in (of 50) so I can understand if people think it doesn’t work.

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Part one is uploading now, and part two should be finished by the end of today.

Editing part two, I’ve noticed something ridiculous. You won’t spot a seam between my Cargo of Doom and Children of the Force merge, but you WILL spot a seam between them in the original!

In the original ending of Cargo of Doom, we get:

  • Establishing shot of the shuttle approaching the Republic Cruiser
  • Shuttle lands on cruiser
  • Anakin and Ahsoka get off
  • Yularen tells them off for failing the mission, while in the background Bane slinks off

And right at the beginning of Children of the Force, we get:

  • Establishing shot of the Republic Cruiser (no shuttle approach)
  • Shuttle lands on cruiser (exact same shot as in previous)
  • Bane (in disguise) is congratulated by other clones for ‘killing Bane’
  • Anakin and Ahsoka talk about the state of play, while in the background Bane slinks off

They’re properly mutually exclusive scenes! Clearly the Yularen chat was pulled together to give some minor closure to the preceding episode, but in so doing it’s properly established an incompatible continuity.

…well, I found it interesting.

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EddieDean said:

…well, I found it interesting.

No it is! Now that you mention it, I did remember noticing that in my Clone Wars rewatch, and it definitely stuck out. Glad to see you’re fixing it lol

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While I continue to work, one question’s popped out that’s worth asking the community:

In Children of the Force, there’s a fun scene where Sidious in hologram gets all excited about the force sensitive babies he’s had captured. Obviously, ideally this becomes the first (chronological) hint that he’s interested in collecting/harvesting force sensitives, as continued in Rebels, Mandalorian, and ultimately implicitly used as part of his resurrection.

In the original version of this scene, he talks about turning the kids in to ‘force sensitive spies, capable of viewing the galaxy from afar’, which is both not a very interesting use of the force, and also not really what he ends up doing with force sensitives.

You could maybe argue he’s thinking Inquisition there, but ultimately that’s not how he created the inquisition anyway.

So, right now I’ve got it so instead he talks about dreaming of a ‘force sensitive army, trained in the darkside, and my enemies will be helpless’. I think that’s both more ambiguous and more threatening, and I don’t think it necessarily conflicts with the rule of two since he’s not calling them Sith, and there’re examples of him using many different force users in his various plans.

However, what that version does do is still make it explicit, so it doesn’t leave much room to be interpreted as an investment in his eventual resurrection.

On the one hand, eventual resurrection is a more powerful reason to want force sensitives (and helps smooth out ‘somehow Palpatine returned’), but on the other hand generic ‘force sensitives in my employ’ is fairly threatening and meaty.

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RELEASED - s02e03 - A STRIKE AT THE HEART (Part 1) - RELEASE CUT

Comprising Holocron Heist and Hostage Crisis

Notes above. PM for access to the tracker spreadsheet which contains links.

Part 2 is not far off, I should have it up tonight.

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RELEASED - S02E04 - A STRIKE AT THE HEART (PART 2) - RELEASE CUT

Comprising Cargo of Doom and Children of the Force

PM for access to the tracker spreadsheet which contains links.

Notes above. I also restructured CotF elements quite heavily to pace it better. The original really whips around, but I think I’ve managed to make it much more focused on a single location at a time, and balance out the time skips better than the original presentation. There was a weird lull in the original where a heavy action scene was interrupted by Anakin and Ahsoka doing some chores, but I’ve shifted that so the two chases now run closer to parallel. I also shifted the Anakin/Palpatine scene to the very end where it works as a nice capper to what I’m now thinking of as the proper end of season one.

I’ll update the numbering of my episodes soon and make a post clarifying the new plan in terms of where the season breaks are.

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Cancel your plans and watch the new clone wars epsssssss

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Suckle at my media teat, hungry friends! Let the milk of edited Star Wars nourish your growing forms!

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EddieDean said:

While I continue to work, one question’s popped out that’s worth asking the community:

In Children of the Force, there’s a fun scene where Sidious in hologram gets all excited about the force sensitive babies he’s had captured. Obviously, ideally this becomes the first (chronological) hint that he’s interested in collecting/harvesting force sensitives, as continued in Rebels, Mandalorian, and ultimately implicitly used as part of his resurrection.

In the original version of this scene, he talks about turning the kids in to ‘force sensitive spies, capable of viewing the galaxy from afar’, which is both not a very interesting use of the force, and also not really what he ends up doing with force sensitives.

You could maybe argue he’s thinking Inquisition there, but ultimately that’s not how he created the inquisition anyway.

So, right now I’ve got it so instead he talks about dreaming of a ‘force sensitive army, trained in the darkside, and my enemies will be helpless’. I think that’s both more ambiguous and more threatening, and I don’t think it necessarily conflicts with the rule of two since he’s not calling them Sith, and there’re examples of him using many different force users in his various plans.

However, what that version does do is still make it explicit, so it doesn’t leave much room to be interpreted as an investment in his eventual resurrection.

On the one hand, eventual resurrection is a more powerful reason to want force sensitives (and helps smooth out ‘somehow Palpatine returned’), but on the other hand generic ‘force sensitives in my employ’ is fairly threatening and meaty.

Army. Basically anything that helps answer where the minions of the Final Order and all the chanting weirdos in ROS come from would be more useful than the return of Palps thing.
I really had no issues with Palp’s resurrection from a technical standpoint (from a narative standpoint however…), clones are a thing, Nightsister zombies are a thing, Bane’s essence hanging around is a thing, so I’m not bothered about even more clues to it. But limitless minions from nowhere is just odd.

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That’s a really good point, Artan. It stays.