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The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!] — Page 13

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I’m still working on the ordering. I don’t want to rearrange too much, but I have the following goals, in this order:

  • Pace Maul throughout
  • Pace Mandalore throughout
  • Get a lot of quality up front (to prove the show to the first-time viewer)
  • Highlight Ahsoka’s growth
  • Pepper the best of the rest throughout, making sure it paces OK in terms of both characters and visuals

We are locked to the following breakpoints:
Every early Ventress episode > Nightsisters > All remaining Ahsoka episodes before the model update > Heroes on Both Sides > A Friend in Need > Remaining Mandalore episodes in order

We have about 40 episodes in this new show. Looking at JUST the Maul, Mandalore and Ahsoka ones (the ones we need to pace well), we have eight Maul ones, which means about four episodes between each Maul. If I then evenly spread the remaining Mandalore ones, and then spread Ahsoka’s arc across the whole in the current chronological order (about two episodes per Maul, though more Ahsoka earlier), we end up with the following.

(Bear in mind there’d still be four episodes per Maul, so where the Mauls seem close together, they’d be spaced with other non-Mando/non-Ahsoka episodes)

  1. Christophsis (Ahsoka’s intro part only) - mandatory
  2. Mandalore Plot - Deathwatch intro and a new layer to Kenobi early
  3. Rising Malevolence - tension between Ahsoka and Anakin, intro to Ahsoka and Plo
  4. Cloak of Darkness - Ahsoka with Luminara
  5. Storm over Ryloth - Ahsoka’s first major mistake and lesson
  6. Nightsisters - A hint of Maul
  7. Duchess of Mandalore - Deathwatch back on the scene
  8. Holocron Crisis - Disobedience and discipline for Ahsoka, force sensitive kids
  9. Bounty Hunters on Felucia - no focus on Ahsoka, but a fun episode with her in it
  10. Lightsaber Lost - After a few mistakes, Ahsoka learns to slow down
  11. Boba Fett vs Mace - Boba’s in play, and Ahsoka’s getting competent
  12. Return of Maul - about as early as you could get it
  13. Corruption on Mandalore - A low-level easyish solo Ahsoka mission with the beginnings of her teaching
  14. Senate Spy - Anakin and Padme argue, lead in to Battle of Geonosis
  15. Battle of Geonosis - Competent Ahsoka compares herself to Barriss
  16. Brain Invaders - Ahsoka forced into solo competency and a bit of trauma
  17. Revival - The growing threat of the Maul bros as they turn to piracy
  18. Heroes on Both Sides - New look for Ahsoka (because of the competency/trauma!)
  19. Padme assassination episode - Not much growth for Ahsoka but good Padme
  20. A Friend in Need - More Lux, more deathwatch
  21. Eminence - Maul forms the Shadow Collective
  22. Citadel - Ahsoka disobeys orders the right way, a bit more trauma
  23. Hunted by Trandoshans - A big test of Ahsoka solo and as a teacher
  24. Shades of Reason - Maul takes Mandalore
  25. Kadavo
  26. Jedi Younglings - Ahsoka now given the authority to formally teach younglings
  27. Onderon - Ahsoka now responsible for training an insurgency
  28. The Lawless - Maul rules Mandalore
  29. Ahsoka’s Fall - Followed by some time off as we focus on other characters (those episodes not in this list)
  30. Son of Dathomir Audio Comic - Maul liberated
  31. Martez Sisters - We see what Ahsoka’s been up to, and get more hints of Maul
  32. The Siege of Mandalore - The grand finale to all of the above

How does that feel, read in that order? That would be essentially the Mandalorian Cut of the Clone Wars: Refocused project. Does it feel like this meets our stated goals? (Are those goals sensible?)

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EddieDean said:

I’m still working on the ordering. I don’t want to rearrange too much, but I have the following goals, in this order:

  • Pace Maul throughout
  • Pace Mandalore throughout
  • Get a lot of quality up front (to prove the show to the first-time viewer)
  • Highlight Ahsoka’s growth
  • Pepper the best of the rest throughout, making sure it paces OK in terms of both characters and visuals

We are locked to the following breakpoints:
Every early Ventress episode > Nightsisters > All remaining Ahsoka episodes before the model update > Heroes on Both Sides > A Friend in Need > Remaining Mandalore episodes in order

We have about 40 episodes in this new show. Looking at JUST the Maul, Mandalore and Ahsoka ones (the ones we need to pace well), we have eight Maul ones, which means about four episodes between each Maul. If I then evenly spread the remaining Mandalore ones, and then spread Ahsoka’s arc across the whole in the current chronological order (about two episodes per Maul, though more Ahsoka earlier), we end up with the following.

(Bear in mind there’d still be four episodes per Maul, so where the Mauls seem close together, they’d be spaced with other non-Mando/non-Ahsoka episodes)

  1. Christophsis (Ahsoka’s intro part only) - mandatory
  2. Mandalore Plot - Deathwatch intro and a new layer to Kenobi early
  3. Rising Malevolence - tension between Ahsoka and Anakin, intro to Ahsoka and Plo
  4. Cloak of Darkness - Ahsoka with Luminara
  5. Storm over Ryloth - Ahsoka’s first major mistake and lesson
  6. Nightsisters - A hint of Maul
  7. Duchess of Mandalore - Deathwatch back on the scene
  8. Holocron Crisis - Disobedience and discipline for Ahsoka, force sensitive kids
  9. Bounty Hunters on Felucia - no focus on Ahsoka, but a fun episode with her in it
  10. Lightsaber Lost - After a few mistakes, Ahsoka learns to slow down
  11. Boba Fett vs Mace - Boba’s in play, and Ahsoka’s getting competent
  12. Return of Maul - about as early as you could get it
  13. Corruption on Mandalore - A low-level easyish solo Ahsoka mission with the beginnings of her teaching
  14. Senate Spy - Anakin and Padme argue, lead in to Battle of Geonosis
  15. Battle of Geonosis - Competent Ahsoka compares herself to Barriss
  16. Brain Invaders - Ahsoka forced into solo competency and a bit of trauma
  17. Revival - The growing threat of the Maul bros as they turn to piracy
  18. Heroes on Both Sides - New look for Ahsoka (because of the competency/trauma!)
  19. Padme assassination episode - Not much growth for Ahsoka but good Padme
  20. A Friend in Need - More Lux, more deathwatch
  21. Eminence - Maul forms the Shadow Collective
  22. Citadel - Ahsoka disobeys orders the right way, a bit more trauma
  23. Hunted by Trandoshans - A big test of Ahsoka solo and as a teacher
  24. Shades of Reason - Maul takes Mandalore
  25. Kadavo
  26. Jedi Younglings - Ahsoka now given the authority to formally teach younglings
  27. Onderon - Ahsoka now responsible for training an insurgency
  28. The Lawless - Maul rules Mandalore
  29. Ahsoka’s Fall - Followed by some time off as we focus on other characters (those episodes not in this list)
  30. Son of Dathomir Audio Comic - Maul liberated
  31. Martez Sisters - We see what Ahsoka’s been up to, and get more hints of Maul
  32. The Siege of Mandalore - The grand finale to all of the above

How does that feel, read in that order? That would be essentially the Mandalorian Cut of the Clone Wars: Refocused project. Does it feel like this meets our stated goals? (Are those goals sensible?)

I think it reads awesome. Just two questions:

  • right now I don’t know for sure in which arc this takes place: later in the series ahsoka got captured by cad bane and anakin goes after her. There we get the line „I can’t let you die ahsoka“ - if I’m not mistaken, did you include that?
  • what did you decided to do with mortis? Leave it out or dream sequence (for morai)?
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Thanks for thinking it through. I can’t remember which Cad Babe arc that happens in - he’s only in three, and I’m only excluding the Ziro one. I think that line happens in the early Holocron arc, which I’m keeping.

On elements like that good line which may be in the bad Ziro arc, I will be going through (over and over again, most likely) and combing through anything which I’m not using in full, to see what good value I can take and squeeze in elsewhere.

And yeah, I missed off Mortis by mistake. You could imagine it where it currently sits in the chronology, though I’ll probably end up settling it somewhere nearer the end once their bond is stronger and stuff is getting more mysterious, because the development in that episode is more about setting up Morai than growing Ahsoka, so it’s a bit more flexible.

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So I wasn’t even aware that I was being namedropped in this thread until recently (I am NumeralJoker/MechaSalesman).

I just want to make sure you’re aware that I’m actively working on upscaling/recutting the entire show now. I’m releasing the 3rd batch this week, covering 9 more cuts, or 31 more episodes from Seasons 1-6. All that remains now are 12 2 part episodes, 5 standalone episodes, and the 3 arcs from Season 7 (one of which I’ve already used in my 4K Episode III edit, of course). I plan to take some time off and work on those in early 2021, likely next month.

I’m not sure if that info is going to be relevant to your projects, but I want to make sure you’re aware that, hopefully, by early next year, all of seasons 1-6 will have a 4K HDR upscale (and 1080p SDR equivalent) available.

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Oh, you absolute beauty! I had the impression you weren’t going to produce a third batch, but that’s fantastic news! They all look lovely, especially the richer colours you’ve been drawing out.

One thing I noticed while watching your edits which might be challenging for my own, was that in some places where you’ve joined two episodes together you’ve introduced a little overlap, in order to keep the transition smooth. Obviously that’s eminently sensible since you’re aiming to present the arcs as complete units, but it does mean that the odd shot or two that sits around the transition point may not be used in your cuts, and therefore may not have been upscaled? I may find that the ideal case would be to include one such cut shot, in which case I assume I’d have to rely back on the original Bluray rip version rather than your upscaled/recoloured version - unless you are doing your upscaling/recolouring in advance before cutting episodes together and could make those edits available?

One other question: Have you made any changes to the sound mix? Clone Wars is relatively easy to edit in its original form because its voice/SFX and music are in different channels, so you get a lot more flexibility with cuts. Have you passed through the audio unchanged?

Either way, I’m hugely in your debt, so thank you for this! It was your edits which sparked the original idea for this project, so without yours, this wouldn’t exist.

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EddieDean said:
Cad Babe

Damn right. I hope he shows up in Bad Batch.

That series of episodes looks good to me, but obviously it’s hard to get a feel for any of it (especially as I haven’t seen the show in a while) until the weekly episode watchings actually begin, at which point it will become very apparent when something kills the pacing.

Moving the Mandalore Plot up front is definitely a good idea. Having Nightsisters so early might make it seem like Ventress barely spent any time as Dooku’s assassin, but I understand that’s a necessary move to get Maul rolling sooner. There’s a few episodes in there which seem like they’d be noticeable dips in pace (e.g. Lightsaber Lost) compared to what comes next (Boba Fett, Maul) but it is good for us to spend as much - actually valuable - time with Ahsoka as possible, to solidify her as that primary PoV character and to give her development the space and focus it needs. Having the Second Battle of Geonosis arc spread over three episodes while other arcs like Slaves of Kadavo get compressed down to one seems a little odd (unless that’s just an inconsistency in how you’ve listed them) but I trust that you’ll find the right length for things when you come to edit.

It’s unfortunate that Maul literally only appears in 6 episodes (of the original show) prior to Season 7, because just looking at the episode list it concerns me that he may wind up spread a little thin. Obviously it’ll be easier to judge that when we view the series. This is especially apparent since you have just one episode separating each of The Lawless, Son of Dathomir, and the Siege of Mandalore - seems a little bit like getting a super-strength dose of Maul right at the end there, but I suppose that’s the point. It’s definitely preferable to the original show where he has zero presence from S05E17-S07E07. I imagine you’ll be bulking that bit more in the ‘Quality’ cut, with the Biochip Conspiracy, Yoda’s Journey etc. right?

Edit: Oh, and one other thought. Have you considered a Mando Season 2 style tick-tock of filler/not filler? Obvious what is “filler” is up for a lot of debate, so perhaps a better way to put it would be alternating between slower, character focused episodes (like Chapter 15 of Mando and Lightsaber Lost) and episodes where the main plot - or in this case, one of the various main plots - gets meaningfully advanced (like, presumably, Chapter 16 of Mando, and something like The Lawless). Nevermind, I just realised this actually breaks around halfway through Mando Season 2. Still, I felt Chapters 9, 11, and 13 of Mando were less fillery than Chapters 10 and 12.

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Yeah my biggest concerns with this list is spreading Maul out just a bit too thin and starting Nightsisters too early for Ventress.

I totally see what you’re doing. Planting seeds is definitely important. I just think that it might mess with the pacing a bit too much, although it’s hard to really get a grasp on that without seeing them.

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Agreed with you both.

Ultimately we have the Maul episodes we have, so either it’s chunked together (in which case we don’t get it very often) or it’s spread thin (in which case we only get smaller doses). On my recent rewatch I did feel like each later Maul episode, while short, packed a lot into those 22 minutes, so I think it’ll still feel ‘meaty’ enough. Of course, when it’s watched through, if we feel like we lose something it can always be shifted around. Bear in mind Sade that it’s not a ‘super dose’ of Maul near the end - there will be other episodes in between those, just not those which are Mauldalore or Ahsoka, so the frequency of Maul episodes should be equal throughout. (I might release a different order for the Mando cut but right now my main focus is Quality)

Similarly, with Ventress, we lose that impression that she’s a present threat for longer. Unfortunately, due to the way the story plays out, you either have Maul for longer or Ventress, and ultimately Maul is the larger part of this series and the wider franchise, so I think she’s a necessary sacrifice. It does make me feel like it’s probably worth keeping her Bounty Hunter episode though, just so she’s not forgotten. One advantage of this though, is that it makes Sidious’ ‘correction’ of her presence come a lot sooner, which works nicely with the theme of him being pretty proactive against wildcards, third parties, and known threats in this show.

Sade, I’m glad you think moving Mandalore Plot up front is a good idea. It was floating around that area for a while until I realised that it was an option to just have it right after Ahsoka’s intro. It might suprise the familiar viewer but it doesn’t seem unwise. It doesn’t actually feature Ahsoka so it could almost be our episode one. One other option I’ve considered is even merging it with her Christophsis intro. Episode one would be Ahsoka meeting Anakin whilst Obi-Wan investigates Deathwatch, then episode two could be Obi-Wan and Anakin bringing Satine to Coruscant while Ahsoka spends some time with Luminara on her own escort duty. This is probably a far later (second pass) option for if I do start merging episodes to make whole seasons flow like more of a typical drama than an anthology show, which I’ll only do if the whole show can work this way, which is unlikely. It would also let you do things like wrap Lightsaber Lost into an Anakin/Obi episode, to give each a bit more character balance and allow everyone’s presence to average out a lot more. Like I say though, that’s for a ‘phase two’ I’d only consider after the current project is complete.

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EddieDean said:

Oh, you absolute beauty! I had the impression you weren’t going to produce a third batch, but that’s fantastic news! They all look lovely, especially the richer colours you’ve been drawing out.

One thing I noticed while watching your edits which might be challenging for my own, was that in some places where you’ve joined two episodes together you’ve introduced a little overlap, in order to keep the transition smooth. Obviously that’s eminently sensible since you’re aiming to present the arcs as complete units, but it does mean that the odd shot or two that sits around the transition point may not be used in your cuts, and therefore may not have been upscaled? I may find that the ideal case would be to include one such cut shot, in which case I assume I’d have to rely back on the original Bluray rip version rather than your upscaled/recoloured version - unless you are doing your upscaling/recolouring in advance before cutting episodes together and could make those edits available?

One other question: Have you made any changes to the sound mix? Clone Wars is relatively easy to edit in its original form because its voice/SFX and music are in different channels, so you get a lot more flexibility with cuts. Have you passed through the audio unchanged?

Either way, I’m hugely in your debt, so thank you for this! It was your edits which sparked the original idea for this project, so without yours, this wouldn’t exist.

In almost every single episode I try to ensure every new shot is used, with a few rare exceptions…

Off the top of my head…

  1. The number of shots I don’t upscale in the opening of each episode is extremely small. A few shots were cut from the opening of Season 1 Ep 16 and Season 2 Ep 16 since they both were prequels to the film and I had to get creative to make the film’s new longer “opening” seem more coherent. I rearranged the order of these shots to make it work, but kept most of them. Senate Murders is missing one or two shots of Padme’s crew in the opening since it would be redundant, but I used the rest (like the shot of Senator Burtoni showing clone Phase II armor). A few shots are missing from the intro of the 3rd Umbara episode, if I recall, and Landing at Point Rain I had to cut new shots of Mace and Kenobi talking since I couldn’t find appropriate voice clips to fill them with. Beyond that, I can’t recall any other bits with missing footage. If I had to guess, the entirely of shots I have cut from 90+ episodes of content so far comes down to less than 30 seconds of footage.

  2. I use music and SFX to replace the narrator whenever possible in order to extend and preserve these extra scenes. (my favorite trick is pulling from the KOTOR I and II OST, though I use the show’s own OST a few times.

Here’s a sample of how I’m doing it in the upcoming ROTS v3 edit. Every new scene from the opening is preserved, I just update the audio to flow better as the introduction to a “Saga film”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1B-yAzEm58&feature=youtu.be

And here’s a sample clip from the Maul Film where I merged the end of Season 4 with the start of Season 5 and reconstructed entirely new sound to make it work (the lightsaber fights of Savage and Maul killing Jedi were redone from scratch):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmxBk5zTGfk

I do not have unaltered upscaled episodes, as the 4K HDR rendering is done with the edits timelines are already in place, so many episodes will now have Lucas/style wipes in their transitions. Of course, these affect only a few frames of the show each, but a few frames may get cut in some cases to make this work.

I hope that answers some of your questions and gives you a better idea about my process. My intent is to preserve/recut the show as reasonably intact as possible, and I have largely succeeded so far (less than 0.01% of the show is “missing” from these edits). And of course, I don’t yet know the challenges for editing the remaining 2 parters, but I suspect they will be easy as 99% of the time, sequel episode recycle clips from the previous episode through most of the narrator’s introductions. Of course, the first episode of each arc is 100% intact.

Also beware that these edits are encoded in x265 for the most efficient and highest quality compression, and since it’s the standard for 4K HDR streaming, which they look fantastic with and still remain reasonable in size (for 4K files), but they can also be hell to work with in some editing programs depending on the quality of your rendering/editing machine.

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That’s exceptionally useful information, thanks so much for putting all of that to paper.

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Right, I think the ordering is just about nailed. This is for the Quality cut - we’ll forget the others for now, so for the purposes of this post please consider this the project for all intents and purposes.

Why spend so long on just the ordering?

I know I’ve been doing this for ages now. Recall that ultimately, the main challenge that I’m trying to solve with this full series edit is getting us from the variable quality anthology show that it started out as to the powerful and tightly focused show it ended up as. I’ve framed this a few times as “making TCW relevant to the Mandalorian audience”, but ultimately saying that is a shortcut to explaining that Star Wars has always been developed as one coherent whole, and that at its best it’s presenting powerful and emotionally resonant moments against the interesting and ever-changing backdrop of large scale good vs evil conflict, and that with a little refocusing TCW can absolutely deliver what we now recognise as the quality standard for Star Wars.

And one important part of that focusing is allowing the heart of the show to clearly be Ahsoka, the tension of the show to be our third parties and wildcards (Mauldalore++), and the backdrop to be the inevitable galactic tragedy of a manufactured proxy war.

To achieve this, I believe we need to get the Mauldalore plots started sooner and treat them as a slow burn rather than a big bang (because the finale is the biggest bang and totally pays it off), and to trim our episodes around the powerful and emotionally resonant beats. Having the ordering in mind for editing will help identify necessary trims where I have to break the odd bit of referenced chronology (I’ll be gentle, I promise) and also help me write my episode intro text (which will replace the newscaster narrator guy).

The reason that the ordering has taken so long is because I’ve wanted to take input from all of you here, consume other resources like online articles and videos around character arcs, and rewatch certain episodes. Where I disagreed with the majority I’ve gone with the majority voice, since this belongs to you all, not me. I’ll still be largely editing by my own taste (e.g. making Mortis less on the nose), but I’ll continue to keep this as transparent and community led as possible.

Now, just for ease of breakdown, I’m considering this as eight ‘seasons’. I might not release it that way, but it’s helped for the sake of cutting it into chunks and visualising the flow of the show. I’m presenting it all here in this way in case you want to have a think about the pacing, to try to visualise it all as clearly as possible.

There may be further minor shuffling, but without further ado, here’s where I am now:

‘Season’ One - roughly the length of 11 original episodes

(Optional Tartakovsky prologue), COLD OPEN of Mandalorians finding Maul then ‘MONTHS EARLIER’ text, Ahsoka’s intro on Christophsis, Death Watch on Mandalore arc, Cloak of Darkness, Rising Malevolence, Domino Squad arc, Nightsisters arc.

In this season Ahsoka is introduced, and Anakin reluctantly accepts her as padawan. Dropping into Cloak of Darkness we explain that he’s kind of pawned her off on Luminara straight away, and we see her being both competent and flawed - but far less annoying than in the original show. We then hit Malevolence to understand her strong heart, with more good tension with Anakin as they start to grow together.

We get Mandalorians on the scene ASAP for a new layer to Obi-Wan, the Domino Squad arc for new layers to the clones, and finally the lovely darkside conflict of Nightsisters ending with the hint of Maul.

My outstanding question here is what to do with the Domino arc. I could pepper it throughout, cluster it, or merge it with Ahsoka’s intro (like Smudger did). I think I am tempted towards peppering it, since it does feature time skips, and this way most of the episodes this ‘season’ are one or two parters until the Nightsisters finale, which I think makes it a bit more accessible.

‘Season’ Two - roughly the length of 10 original episodes

Storm Over Ryloth, Duchess of Mandalore, Holocron Crisis, Massacre, Bounty Hunters, Lightsaber Lost, Brothers

Ahsoka’s arc in this season is about her beginning to learn and grow. Again we lose the most frustrating episodes and moments, but we still see her mistakes (especially in Storm), and her actively paying attention to her lessons. By the end of this season, we’ve hit the point where the audience started to grow to really like her, with less of the abrasion and cringe of her earlier appearances, but hitting all of her most significant beats. She learns command, more compassion, how to teach, and patience.

We also get more Mandalorians, Sidious’ plan for force sensitive kids, more Sith infighting, the introduction of both Cad Bane and Hondo, and finally, the kickass return of Maul. Hopefully by this point the skeptic is now confident they’re in for a fun and worthy ride.

This season is the shortest, almost all one-parters, but again that gives you a good balanced and accessible bite of the show, and it gets us Maul’s return as quickly as you can without rushing, I think.

‘Season’ Three - roughly the length of 11 original episodes

Boba Fett arc, Corruption on Mandalore, Battle of Geonosis, Revival

Here we see Ahsoka’s relationship with Anakin solidify, and she starts to demonstrate solo competence. We see Boba Fett, essentially ticking off the final subject of interest if we’re fans of the Mando TV show, we get a huge cool land battle, and finally we see the Maul Bros discovered by Mandalorians, bringing us up to speed with that cold open and setting up the Mauldalore threat which will hover over the rest of the show.

‘Season’ Four - roughly the length of 10 original episodes

Heroes on Both Sides, Assassin, The Citadel arc, Trandoshan arc, The Deserter, Friend in Need, Eminence

Ahsoka and the audience get further shades of grey as we encounter Lux Bonteri, and she demonstrates boldness (as opposed to her earlier disobedience) and extreme solo competence and leadership. We get the introduction of Bo Katan and end on Maul really shaking up the underworld and building a power base.

It would be really nice to not show Obi-Wan in any of these episodes, since that way you could imply he’s been tracking Maul down exclusively since Revival, though I’m not sure if that’s doable or if you’d need to shift some episodes into and out of this season.

Here we get our first episode focusing on Rex’s relationship with orders. I’ll be cutting the traitor clone from the initial Christophsis arc because I think it’s not a good idea to have clones turn traitor (for cash, no less) right off the bat. I may return to that episode if I can later on, but it’s also got Ventress as Dooku’s pawn so I think you’d have to cut all that, leaving only ten minutes of meat. Anyway, this is a bit of a late placement for The Deserter, but that’s deliberate. Rex is a presence throughout this show, but his development comes in only three main episodes, so I opted to place them all later in the show so Rex only really ‘emerges’ as a character later, in the run up to Siege of Mandalore. The Deserter also has a B plot it doesn’t need - Obi-Wan versus Grievous AGAIN - so I’d like to cut it down too, but again, that only gives us ten minutes. These both may be candidates to intercut with other episodes; I know I’ve said ‘whatever the length’ is sensible but I feel like there’s a lower limit of diminishing returns.

‘Season’ Five - roughly the length of 11 original episodes

Kadavo arc, Rako Hardeen arc, Umbara arc, Shades of Reason

This is a fairly Ahsoka light season, but we’ve had a lot of her by now. Instead we get a focus on Anakin versus slavery, more layers to Obi-Wan, and Rex’s big challenge on Umbara. We end on Maul taking Mandalore.

Chunks start to get a little longer here, as we have more four-parters, though I’ll likely still cut them down fairly heavily so the pacing will likely remain similar to the prior seasons.

‘Season’ Six - roughly the length of 10 original episodes

Onderon arc, Jedi Younglings arc, Missing in Action, Overlords of Mortis, The Lawless

So. Two strong Ahsoka episodes - she’s first leading a rebellion, then training the next generation of Jedi. Then we have the Gregor episode of the Void arc, Mortis, and finally Sidious coming to Mandalore to put his house in order.

There’s a lot of editing to do here. Onderon I know I want to trim, Younglings will need some real attention (yet more Grievous and its tone is a bit wobbly), I’ve got to carve the Gregor plot out of the yucky Void arc, and I’d like Mortis to be more mystical and less overt. I might switch some of this with season five to better balance both - interested in opinions here. But the tone of this season definitely feels all over the place.

‘Season’ Seven - roughly the length of 14 original episodes

Ahsoka’s Fall, Scipio, Order 66, The Lost One, Son of Dathomir audiocomic

A little longer than the others, but I’ll be trimming Scipio and O66. But also, we’re in the endgame now. Maul and Ahsoka may be temporarily off the board here, but everything else is escalating very quickly, and we’re leaning into the upcoming tragegy before the rereturn of Maul.

Why Scipio this late? So, firstly, you may be aware that Scipio not only comes a little earlier in the official chronology, but it’s also often put even more early in fan chronologies. The reason for this being that it was originally planned that way, and has an earlier voice actor for Sidious plus implicitly puts some pressure on the war in a particular direction. However, I want to put it here, for what I think is a good reason: As it stands, we don’t see Anakin deal with the loss of Ahsoka. She left the order then the show got cancelled, and when it came back, we picked up closer to the end of the war. I feel like we need to pay off the growth of their relationship and see Anakin reacting to her loss. And there’s no explicit way to do that, but there is an implicit way. We use the Scipio episodes - where Anakin mistreats Padmé, beats up a rival for her affection, and ultimately lets his rival die. But, bonus, I’ll take the audio from the unfinished Utapau arc where Obi-Wan and Anakin discuss her, and play it over black at the start of each episode, as if these reflections on Ahsoka are in his mind as he violently lashes out during this issue with Padmé. I think that’s worth the cost of having it earlier.

‘Season’ Eight - roughly the length of 15 original episodes

The remainder of Yoda’s Quest, The Bad Batch, Martez Sisters, Siege of Mandalore.

The first three arcs will be trimmed to focus on the meat, and in Yoda’s case to keep his journey a bit more of a vision quest than so on the nose.

Again we feel Ahsoka’s absence, before her solo adventure and return. Anakin’s had time to patch things up with Padme, though acts cold bloodedly to a villain in Bad Batch. Then it’s a clean ride to the brilliant ending.

Anything Broken?

While this reorders things, I don’t think it breaks any established continuity (though I will of course check and welcome your input), except for thing I have to actively break: Ventress’ Bounty Hunter escapade. In this ordering, it can’t work where it originally fit. In terms of continuity, two things happen in that episode.

Firstly, Ventress, under Talzin’s guidance, has gone to find her own path, and ended up in a bar where she’s met some bounty hunters. She’s gone on this mission, and on it decided to ‘do the right thing’. In the original placement, she’s then - still as a bounty hunter - gone on to hunt Maul and Savage. However, I don’t think we need to see her choose to become a bounty hunter in order that when we see her and she’s a bounty hunter it makes sense. I think we can accept she’s fallen into bounty hunting without needing to explicitly see it.

Secondly, Boba is featured in this episode. Originally, the first time we see him he’s after Mace Windu (a good first thing to see him doing), then he’s broken out of prison accidentally by Rako Hardeen, then he’s a bounty hunter again in this episode. But in my new ordering, this appearance would be before the other two, which firstly doesn’t work from a story perspective, but also, it’s a different older character model. So it’s just not happening here.

Best solution for inclusion here would be to accept that Ventress became a bounty hunter offscreen in time for her to hunt Maul and Savage, then place this episode later in the chronology but modified to not have it be her first bounty hunt. But I think it should be cut altogether. In all of Boba’s other appearances he’s SUCH A BADASS, but in this episode he’s super soft. I know he’s just finding his feet, but in this he’s scaredy and uncertain, whereas in the other two episodes he’s firstly vengeful and calculating and then unafraid of instigating a prison brawl, both of which are far better ways of portraying him as a badass-to-be.

Other episodes not included

Right, just for reference:
Excluded because they’re actively painful to watch
Huttlet crisis arc, Supply Lines/Ambush, Downfall/Duel of the Droids, Bombad Jedi, Blue Shadow Virus, Sphere of Influence, the Ziro arc, the rest of Droids in the Void, the Disappeared
Excluded because they’re not important and they soften our focus (to be included in Complete Cut)
Cat and Mouse, Dooku Captured, crash on Maridun arc, Trespass, Zillo Beast, Grievous Intrigue, Mon Calamari arc (to be included in Continuity Cut also), Shadow Warrior, Mercy Mission, Bounty, Tartakovsky Nelvaan episode, Utapau arc, Tartakovsky Palpatine Kidnapping episode

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Can’t believe no one replied to this. It all sounds good, though there’s certainly potential for some rearrangement in the late middle ‘seasons’. I’m sure the thread will be gloriously revived once the weekly episode watching commences.

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Yep, I’ve just been doing some final planning but I’m about ready to produce my universal elements and tests. I don’t know how much backlog I’ll want to produce before I kick off the weekly watches but I’ll see how fast I can churn out the easier ones and get a sense for how long the more tricky ones feel. Definitely interested in feedback on any of the outstanding thoughts in that post though!

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Looking forward to this, and I’m sure your strategizing will pay dividends when you get to putting it together.
Looking forward to the new SW show I never got much into before. Any idea when you expect to begin the weekly release?

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Here are my thoughts, having reread the big post:

  • Is it “months earlier”? TCW covers about two and a half years, and you’ve got Eminence about halfway through the show. Then again, there’s definite a time jump between the original six seasons and the revival episodes (as made apparent in Anakin’s hair and Ahsoka’s deisgn), so “years earlier” would imply too much time. Wookieepedia has Christophsis in 22 BBY and Eminence in 19 BBY, which surprised me.
  • My vote is to keep the Domino Squad arc together, even if it means using cheap tricks like “MANY MONTHS LATER” titlecards between the three episodes or something. Helps you remember who’s who in Domino Squad, IMO. It’s definitely an odd one, because ultimately Rookies is a fairly decent early episode for establishing Rex and the Clones, while iirc Clone Cadets is more of a set up for ARC Troopers than for Rookies itself. Having two adjacent Season 3 episodes act as a prequel and then a sequel to an episode from two seasons ago has got to be one of the most early-TCWy things in early TCW. Then again, Echo and Fives go on to be very important pretty much right at the end of the series, so having so much of their stories be told so early may actually cause a theoretical audience to have forgotten who they are by the time the Citadel, Umbara, Biochip Conspiracy and Bad Batch arcs come around… Perhaps you could alternatively just keep Rookies separate, early on in the show, then combine Clone Cadets and ARC Troopers with Clone Cadets being clearly framed as some kind of flashback before ARC Troopers. That lines up with how the episodes were released.
  • Your season 1 and 2 seem like a lot of fun, which is surprising considering the original first two seasons of this show.
  • With The Deserter, could it make any sense at all to combine it with the Gregor bit of the Void arc? Cut is a Clone Trooper who doesn’t want to be, whereas Gregor rediscovers that he’s a Clone Commando and embraces it, so there’s some thematic potential. That or just leave the B-plot in. Your plan to concentrate Rex’s development in the latter half of the show seems wise to me, though.
  • Trimming Onderon is definitely a good idea. I remember feeling that arc dragged when I first watched the show.
  • Any excuse to include the excellent Anakin/Obi-Wan conversation from the Utapau arc is good in my book.
  • It’s a shame that Bad Batch uses the updated Anakin model and thus is forced so late because it doesn’t feel particularly tense or important.
  • I don’t recall Ventress’ bounter hunter chronology well enough to really comment on the changes. I wouldn’t be super concerned about Boba being soft though, because we see in Mando that he’s a fairly chill guy with a moral code of some kind, even if he has done some dirty work for Darth Vader and Jabba in the past.
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I think the ordering you presented is brilliant, especially with the balancing of character development and the thought you’ve given to Ahsoka’s arcs and how each one shows different aspects of her character. I do think the idea that certain Domino Squad arcs could be used as flashbacks could work well, provided the pacing still works. Really excited about all the ordering and where things lie currently!

I am no Jedi

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I believe the only thing hindering your ordering is visual continuity (ex. Obi-Wan and Anakin ditching the armor for Nightsister but regaining it later, or Ahsoka appearing with her updated character model in Brothers which you placed before Heroes in Both Sides. The armor thing can be glossed over but Ahsoka’s physical growth can’t).

Otherwise, this Quality cut is top-notch. It serves as very good and consistent storytelling, the main threads are evenly balanced and seems like a lot of fun overall.

I’ll admit the placement of the Ventress arc bugs me on a nitpick level because I planned to watch your Quality cut plus Bounty. But I can live with it. And I don’t think it affects Boba’s characterisation at all.

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I agree with what sade1212 and Knight of Kalee said. Especially regarding Ahsoka. Though I don’t really know how arrange it otherwise because your chosen order might be ideal pacing for the show/quality cut.

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Oh boy, ask and ye shall receive. There’s nothing quite like waking up to great helpful feedback like this! ❤️

@Hal: on timings: Obviously any indication of release is going to produce a rod for my own back - there are still a few unknowns and a weekly release is a lot more pressure than a one-off. I really want to get it out as soon as possible though - and ideally before any new show starts airing though I think the first season of Bad Batch will hit sooner (though that’ll probably help focus this if needed). There are ~45 episodes, so potentially this ‘TV show’ runs for a whole year. Since you guys seem up for that, I do think it’ll be really useful, as I’ll be able to refine by episode as we go rather than getting much more limited ad-hoc feedback on the whole. Either way - I do have a good amount of free time right now and I’m super motivated, so I’d hope to get the demo episode out by mid Jan, and the first episode of the weekly series out by the end of Q1. I’d rather release without rushing, but also I think the ‘live’ show will be treated as an opportunity to refine, (so bear in mind it may contain the odd issue.)

@Sade: I think ‘months earlier’ for the cold open works best. Originally Eminence was near the middle of the three year clone wars, but I’ve brought it earlier. I don’t want to get as specific as quantifying the months because that’ll just remind people in the know that I’m breaking things. “Months” could be 2, 3, 13, 18, so I think it takes the pressure off the audience to think about it too much.

I think I will keep Domino together then. I think I won’t merge it with Ahsoka’s intro though - I think that 22 minute chunk will just stand alone to get Ahsoka in play soonest and simplest, then give us more fun episodes after to explore her properly. I’ll probably put Domino Squad at the end of my ‘season one’ chunk since it’s a bit less focused on our main characters.

@Sade: REALLY like your idea to merge Deserter/Gregor. It’d split up the visual dullness of Gregor nicely, and bring out the best of both. I had thought Deserter/Hidden Enemy, but they both actively have Rex in so can’t be intercut. This ‘episode’ is one where I think the merge is sensible, since they’re thematically linked and the Deserter bits of Deserter are only 10 mins.

Agreed that Onderon needs a trim, the Utapau conversation has to appear, and that it’s a shame Bad Batch has to come so late, because it really suits earlier in the show. (When that show comes out maybe we’ll see if we’d all prefer to call these episodes just Bad Batch S01E00?)

@Sade, KnightOfKalee, CMMAP: Message received on Bounty. I’ll try to include it, albeit later (so she’ll already technically be a Bounty hunter by the time she joins the Boba crew). We can always find on the watch-through that you all agree with me or vice versa 😉

And regarding Ahsoka’s appearance ‘out of order’, yeah, I’ll totally be cutting around that - it’s an easy cut and I always thought that diner scene was a little out of place anyway. In terms of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s appearances, as far as I’m concerned they become guys who simply have two outfits they alternate. Speaking as a person who changes their clothes daily as opposed to annually, and wears the same outfit more than once, I think this is acceptable. It’s just Ahsoka you can’t have grow and shrink.

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That reminds me though, something I could do with more feedback on from anyone please: I’ve said ‘episodes should be whatever length they need to be’, but swinging from 22 minutes to 90 minutes might feel a bit much. I can solve this mainly by releasing four-parters as new two-parters, which is basically harmless for the binger but helps the person who wants them to be more digestible - plus every episode break is an opportunity to use the new opening text to recontextuailse anything I need to. And I’ve also said that simply laying one episode on top of another in other edits doesn’t quite work for me - HOWEVER, is it worth doing in order to balance our characters across the show? As if we’re always following Ahsoka, Anakin and Obi-Wan even if they’re apart from each other? I think this might help it feel like more of a show with a single unified cast than an anthology show, but on the other hand it might introduce the same issues I’ve found with other movie edits in the past.

Here’s an EXAMPLE that I haven’t put much thought into - so don’t interrogate the logic too much, just the feeling here:

  • Ahsoka’s Christophsis episode / The Mandalore Plot - Anakin meets Ahsoka while Obi-Wan investigates Death Watch on Mandalore
  • Voyage of Temptation / Cloak of Darkness - Anakin and Obi-Wan escort Satine while Ahsoka helps Luminara
  • Rising Malevolence / Domino Squad (2 parter) - Domino Squad as the ‘spine’, while Ahsoka’s with Plo and Anakin first, then Anakin and Obi-Wan are pulled off to Kamino
  • Nightsisters (I wouldn’t intercut the Maul ones probably)
  • Storm Over Ryloth / Duchess of Mandalore - Ahsoka and Anakin fight over Ryloth while Death Watch targets Padme
  • Holocron Crisis (in full, since it features all the mains)
  • etc etc
    Does that make it feel more like a fluid ‘series’ than a set of anthology episodes? If so, is it worth doing? Or does it feel more like merging unrelated content?
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Hmm, I see the appeal of doing something like that but, as you say, it brings back a lot of the problems of movie edits. Personally I don’t think I’d be in favour: unless you can conceive and then execute edits which merge episodes in a way that feels right, every single time, we would just be entering “merging unrelated content” territory. I’d save merging for stuff like The Deserter, where you’ve stripped an episode down below twenty minutes and have no choice but to
use other footage to fatten it back up. That - combined with splitting up longer arcs to keep the maximum episode runtime below fifty or so minutes - would be enough to minimise the length fluctuations, I imagine.

To maintain a sense of it being a series, I’d suggest just trying to wrangle the episode order such that we never have too many episodes in a row without an appearance from Ahsoka, since she’s the main main character. I wouldn’t worry too much about Anakin and Obi-Wan because, as I understand it, one of the goals of this edit is to have Ahsoka emerge as the main character from the start, and time spent away from Anakin and Obi-Wan reinforces that. Besides, we don’t have to see everyone every episode - even ATLA has episodes like Zuko Alone, Appa’s Lost Days, or the Boiling Rock two-parter.

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Yeah, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’d need to land right every single episode, which must be close to impossible. Let’s call it “a second pass at the absolute earliest, if at all”.

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Once again I agree with Sade. I overread that you’ve occasionally a runtime of 90 minutes. Everything till and under 60 minutes would be fine I assume.

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Yeah. I figured that’d be the consensus and I agree, I just wanted to run it through a few more brains.

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And in my mind I’m feeling that episodes should run in the 20-50 minute range, otherwise I should think about restructuring.