HOW DO I GET THIS?
Please PM me for access to the TRACKER SPREADSHEET, which details episode progress and provides the download links. The tracker spreadsheet also has links to the historical working discussion for each episode, to give you extra context for the decisions made.
WHAT’S THE CURRENT STATUS?
Available now (expanded detail lower in this post):
- Season One - ten episodes (covering Christophsis, Death Watch on Mandalore, Malevolence, Cloak of Darkness, Domino Squad, Nightsisters, Ryloth, Duchess of Mandalore, Holocron)
- Season Two - nine episodes (covering Bounty Hunters, Massacre, Boba Fett, Corruption on Mandalore, a ‘Lost Clones’ anthology, Return of Maul, Geonosis)
- Season Three - nine episodes (covering Heroes on Both Sides trilogy, Revival, A Friend in Need, Rako Hardeen, Trandoshans, Umbara, Eminence, and Onderon)
- Plus some extra bonus episodes (optional, not part of main cut)
– s01e00 - Dark Force Rising - A prelude episode made from the Tartakovsky microseries
– s03e00 - Tales From the Clone Wars - aggregating supplementary Tartakovsky content plus Forces of Destiny
– Lightsaber Lost
- A bit of Season 1 and 2 polish
- Season 4
WHAT IS THIS?
The Clone Wars: Refocused presents the most important and most enjoyable elements of the entire Clone Wars as a five-season series each of about ten TV-length episodes. Episodes have been refined, refocused and reordered to maximise quality and enjoyment, both as its own complete end-to-end story, and for those seeking a supplement to new canon like the Mandalorian and Bad Batch.
WHAT ARE THE PROJECT’S PRIORITIES?
Importantly, I want quality of experience to be the most important metric. Taking its cue from the current streaming Star Wars TV series, episodes are as long- or as short- as they need to be (ranging from about 20-60 minutes), in order to pace each story in the best possible way to enjoy the most emotionally resonant and exciting moments in a coherent digestible narrative without filler or cringe.
Similarly, the show as a whole presents the episodes in a new, more compelling order - which doesn’t break canon - but which gives the best pacing and variety, while allowing some of the more important elements of the show to remain in focus, building in anticipation and excitement over time. Specifically, I kick off two of the best running storylines (Maul and Mandalore) far earlier, and pay attention to how each group of episodes presents itself as a coherent season.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
- MANDALORIAN (and Filoniverse) fans will enjoy a strong focus on Mandalorian culture throughout, the journey of the Darksaber, Ahsoka Tano’s character growth, some important development for Boba Fett, and an exploration of Sidious’ interest in force sensitive younglings - I’m making a special ‘Mandalorian cut’ for people who want to focus on just those elements.
- Existing fans of THE CLONE WARS will enjoy a tighter cut, with bad episodes and bad scenes minimised, the fat trimmed, the structure of the whole made more compelling, the pacing improved, and polish throughout - but all of the important and good stuff preserved.
- PREQUEL fans will enjoy a deeper exploration of Order 66 and Anakin’s fall, new layers to Obi-Wan, Sidious’ scheming, and the shades of grey and introduction of third parties which make this predictable two-faction conflict anything but.
- WIDER CANON fans will enjoy the constant threat of Darth Maul, and closer looks at Saw Gerrera, Moff Tarkin, all your favourite bounty hunters and the force itself, and a deep exploration of Clone identity and culture, including Delta Squad and the Bad Batch
- Fans of having all the meat with no filler will be well served by my main cut, as I’ll be cutting a lot of unnecessary episodes. But fans who enjoy more of the ‘fringe’ episodes will be pleased to know I also intend to release these episodes to an improved standard as part of my ‘Complete Cut’ (see below.)
- Fans of goofy humour, villains losing their menace, childish moments, and the bland CG of the early seasons will regretfully find themselves poorly served by this edit, since there will be some limited removal of episodes which are both not important and hard to enjoy.
- IMPATIENT fans who want an improved and accessible Clone Wars as soon as possible but don’t mind a little lack of polish and a few weaker episodes later on should know that you can watch the whole thing NOW. Click here for more details.
WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH?
Most importantly, I maintain an active dialogue with the community in this thread throughout the project, to gain insight, feedback and ideas, and to challenge and validate my own assumptions and decisions. Your comments are always welcome, and there’ve already been a lot of examples where the community have made the outputs materially better than anything I could have done in isolation.
I first completed a holistic review of all episodes in chronological order, identifying episodes’ importance and quality, and where episodes could be grouped into thematic arcs or where existing arcs could be split. (The early pages of this thread contain those reviews, and I urge you to check them if you’re interested.) I then produced a reordering for the whole. The first priority in the reordering was to emphasise the core plotlines (Maul, Mandalore, and Ahsoka’s development) and to give the full series more of an ongoing serialised feel than the current anthology feel, and allowing the show to build slow-burn anticipation towards the excellent conclusion. The second priority around that central spine was to pace and vary the rest, ensuring no continuity is broken.
I then sorted and presented the reordered whole in an easy-to-understand way for four audiences: Those wanting context for the Mandalorian, those wanting the most high-quality TV show they can get, those wanting the most content that ties to existing continuity, and finally those wanting as much Star Wars as possible. You can see this below.
I then established a set of standards for presenting episodes themselves, with new titles, introductory text, and end credits over concept art evocative of polish and high quality, to package each episode in the most attractive way. Forum member McFibb has produced new musical arrangements, and I’m using concept art over the credits (like the Mandalorian does), in order to help set the new show’s tone. See an example here.
I’m now producing the edits in priority order, based on my ‘Quality Cut’ (see below). This means the very best and most important episodes (about ~50) for a complete end-to-end viewing of The Clone Wars: Refocused, after which I’ll move on to the less important Cuts (about ~16).
For each individual episode of TCW:R, I conduct a further review of its component TCW episodes, identifying the core emotional backbone of the arc, content to highlight, downplay, or restructure, and in the case of more complex episodes I look for opportunities to recontextualise scenes or themes in order to produce more value. I share these thoughts with the community here and then set to work executing the cut. I generally produce either a RELEASE CUT (nearly complete) or a REVIEW CUT (requires a little polish or extra thought) of each episode, after which I incorporate community feedback to refine each episode further.
HOW ARE YOU PRESENTING THE CONTENT FOR EACH AUDIENCE?
I’m producing four ‘cuts’, really four curated lists, to direct viewers to episodes which give them the experience they’re looking for. The tracker spreadsheet uses this colour coding to help you identify the episodes you might want to watch.
Initially I’ll produce the Quality cut episodes (which include the Mandalorian cut), but I’ll follow that up with the remaining ones for those who want the extra material.
WHAT SOURCES WILL YOU USE?
1080p Blu-ray rips of the majority of the Clone Wars CG series, the ‘Crystal Crisis’ unfinished episode, the Tartakovsky Clone Wars 2D microseries, Forces of Destiny shorts, and the Son of Dathomir Audio Comic from Audio Comics / The Lore Master on Youtube (which is necessary to a core plotline, but presented well).
An example of a tricky scene edit is here, showing how I removed the goofy conveyor belt scene from the first Mandalore episode.
An example of the new presentation of the episodes (intros and outros) is here. (Note that this one has a cold open, which so far I only use in my very first episode.)
An example of a neat trim is here, where I cut out much of the Nightbrother trials to allow them to focus solely on Savage and Feral.
An example of a full episode being tightened is here, where I cut the middle episode of the Boba Fett trilogy down from 22 minutes to 8, focusing only on the key beats which move the plot forward or have some emotional resonance.
- Restructuring Overview:
- So naturally each episode itself will be traditionally edited, but this is a full season edit so a lot of thought has gone into reordering and recontextualising some of the episodes themselves. The most significant reordering comes from the Maul plotline, which is very strong and well paid-off in the finale, so I wanted to get that running sooner. I therefore took any episode which introduced or featured Maul and strung those out throughout the show - generally splitting Maul arcs rather than their more frequently fanedited aggregation. This way, Maul gets to act as an ever-present wildcard threat. The only significant impact of this decision was some slight reordering of Ventress as a Bounty Hunter, Adi Gallia’s death (which I work around), and the destruction (and now rebuilding) of Hondo Ohnaka’s base.
- Since the show (especially earlier on) didn’t have specific season premieres or finales, I’ve tried to remedy this a little, cutting the seasons into slightly more thematic chunks. This has resulted in some reordering of the major arcs, though with little to no impact on the plot.
- Season One (5h49m, cutting ~8h) establishes our key villains, begins the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka, starts to explore Clone culture, and has the triggering events behind our rolling plotlines:
- s01e01 - The New Padawan (28:17) covers the Christophsis arc from the original movie plus the two Christophsis episodes, interlacing the Ventress plot from Hidden Enemy, the Bail plot from Cat and Mouse, and the Ahsoka plot from the movie into one tight episode that gets us through the key parts quickly, cleanly, and painlessly.
- s01e02 - The Death Watch (35:55) covers The Mandalore Plot and Voyage of Temptation, removing Obi-Wan on the Bond-villain conveyor belt (clip here), cutting the below-decks mystery on the Coronet and the mini-spiders (whilst maintaining the horror element and an assassin spider droid).
- s01e03 - Malevolence (31:19) heavily interleaves a trimmed Rising Malevolence and a heavily trimmed Shadow of Malevolence into one more compelling narrative, and only a couple of scenes from Destroy Malevolence are maintained as a conclusion.
- s01e04 - The 501st Legion (46:32) cuts the whole Domino Squad arc together, shortening Rookies, and cutting quite a lot from Clone Cadets to make the full arc work as one, having the combat test end in failiure and their punishment being the Rishi outpost, allowing their victory there and on Kamino to be what makes them members of the 501st.
- s01e05 - Cloak of Darkness (22:07) is pretty much untouched.
- s01e06 - Children of Night (54:16) cuts the whole Nightsisters arc into one, removing the invisible Dooku fight (which is good but returns us to the status quo), and reducing the recruitment trial to focus just on Savage and Feral.
- s01e07 - The Blockade of Ryloth (34:09) cuts Supply Lines and Storm Over Ryloth into a single narrative where Bail Organa and Ahsoka are the two driving forces trying to get aid to the people of Ryloth. No Katuunko/JarJar, minimal Toydarians. (I’ll eventually produce an Innocents/Liberty episode to optionally follow this, but it’s not necessary viewing for my main cut.)
- s01e08 - Duchess of Mandalore (24:02) is pretty much untouched.
- s01e09 - A Strike at the Heart (Part 1) (35:12) borrows Smudger9’s idea to turn Hostage Crisis into a distraction to enable the Holocron Heist.
- s01e10 - A Strike at the Heart (Part 2) (37:10) covers Cargo of Doom and Children of the Force, removing Ropal and the concept of the ‘Kyber Crystal’, and adding a scene from Lightsaber Lost to bring Ahsoka’s season one arc to a solid conclusion.
- Season Two (5h3m, cutting ~4h) showcases Ahsoka’s growth and maturity, explores more of the galaxy’s scum and villainy, and continues our ongoing plotlines:
- s02e01 - Seven Warriors (24:17) is ‘Bounty Hunters’ pretty much untouched.
- s02e02 - Massacre (22:50) makes Talzin the resurrector and little else.
- s02e03 - Sins of the Father (49:08) tightens the Boba Fett trilogy of episodes heavily for pacing.
- s02e05 - Tales of the Lost Clones (45:00) is an anthology episode focusing on clone individuality. It aggregates the traitor clone plot from Hidden Enemy, the Gregor plot (with a lot less cringe) from Missing in Action, and the Cut Lawquane plot from The Deserter.
- s02e05 - Corruption on Mandalore (26:22) intercuts Corruption and The Academy into a tighter single plot cutting out the poisoned drinks subplot and minimising the kids.
- s02e06 - Monsters (34:40) aggregates Brothers and Revenge, getting us to and through Lotho Minor quicker, with some trims to Ventress to allow this to be placed here in the chronology.
- s02e07 - Shadow of Geonosis (23:45) is Senate Spy, reducing Clovis’ creepiness and a little of Anakin’s more overt behaviour.
- s02e08 - Return to Geonosis (37:24) aggregates Landing on Point Rain and Weapons Factory, trimming the battle for the sake of pacing and letting Ahsoka and Barriss’ fates linger a little longer.
- s02e09 - Terror of Geonosis (39:54) interleaves Legacy of Terror and Brain Invaders into a single narrative emphasising the mystery and horror of both stories, and makes some trims for focus.
- Season Three (in progress) focuses on a more competent Ahsoka now learning more of the complexities of war, shows shades of grey within the Republic, and has our running plotlines escalate:
- s03e01 - The Politics of War (31:57) aggregates and restructures the peace discussions with Mina Bonteri and the clone loan from Heroes on Both Sides and Pursuit of Peace using some scenes from Senate Murders (but not the plot about Onaconda’s murder)
- s03e02 - Pirates of the Outer Rim (24:06) presents Revival as-is
- s03e03 - A Friend in Need (24:48) is presented as-is
- s03e04 - The Death of Obi-Wan Kenobi (55:45) streamlines the Rako Hardeen arc, removing the first time Obi-Wan is kicked off the ship and the final coda where Anakin defends Palpatine against Dooku, and The Box storyline, keeping the focus on Obi-Wan working with the criminals and Anakin’s emotional reaction to the events.
- s03e05 - Hunted (45:22) presents the Trandoshan arc as-is
- s03e06 - Dissent on Umbara (52:07) stremalines the Umbara arc, making Krell more of a hardliner and less of a cackling villain, and trimming a lot from the start to keep the focus on the Clones’ reaction to Krell’s orders
- s03e07 - The Shadow Collective (24:42) presents Eminence as-is
- s03e08 - Rebels of Onderon (32:50) transitions the training directly into their first insurgent actions in the city, removing a couple of unnecessary combat scenes, focusing on the emotional stories of the rebels.
- s03e09 - Kings of Onderon (36:28) has the rebels flee the city immediately after freeing Dendup, pursued aggressively by Rash, and skipping Hondo’s inclusion in the battle, keeping the focus on our rebels and keeping the jeopardy high and the action more tense.
- Season Four (TBD) will be a journey into darkness for many of our main characters:
- -It will take us through Shades of Reason, Ventress: Bounty Hunter, Younglings vs Hondo, Mortis (turned into much more of a vision than an explicit thing), the Kadavo arc, The Lawless, and Ahsoka’s Fall.
- Season Five (TBD) will focus on the mysteries that abound in the final days of the war, and wrap up all of the remaining dangling threads:
- -It will take us through Scipio (incorporating dialogue from the unfinished Utapau arc to reframe Anakin’s anger more as a response to the loss of Ahsoka), Order 66, Yoda’s investigation of Sifo-Dyas, the Liberation of Maul (via the Son of Dathomir audio comic on Youtube), Yoda’s quest, the Bad Batch, Martez Sisters, and The Siege of Mandalore.
- Extra Episodes (check the tracker spreadsheet to find which cut these belong in - none are vital):
- s01e00 - Dark Force Rising (54:58) is a prequel to this series which covers the Anakin and Ventress plots from the start of the Tartakovsky microseries up to the point where Anakin gets knighted, removing the lancers and Dirge and with some light restructuring.
- s03e00 - Tales from the Clone Wars (20:21) aggregates the remaining content from the start of the Tartakovsky microseries into one anthology episode.
- s02e01b - Lightsaber Lost (24:28) has some minor polish and excludes a scene I’ve used elsewhere, but is otherwise intact and watchable.
- s02e05b - Assassin (21:10) excludes a scene I’ve used elsewhere, but is otherwise intact and watchable.
CAN I CONTRIBUTE?
Please contribute however you like - up to and including editing! In this thread, I try to braindump as much as possible, in order to involve others in the process and for the interest of potential faneditors. If you’re interested in the history of this project I urge you to read through to see the thought processes involved - please feel free to dig any up to challenge any of them! In the tracker spreadsheet you can find easy links back to each episode’s main discussion, if you’d like to continue the conversation.
I’m especially interested in help from anyone who can take a piece of concept art and animate it subtly like those in the end credits for the Mandalorian!
The original first post, including the idea which a few of the posters below are responding to, can be found here.