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The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!] — Page 38

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EddieDean said:

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

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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For Part Two of “A Strike at the heart” i get the access denied screen.
Would summarize my thoughts after watching both of them.

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A change of presentation

So, as I’ve been producing these episodes, in my mind I’d been working towards eight ‘production seasons’ of about six episodes each. That was always fairly arbitrary - it really came about because I wanted to draw the Mauldalore plotline out throughout the show in order to have it behave like a bit more of a coherent spine and to build anticipation towards that awesome finale. And just because of the maths of that, keeping the Mauldalore episodes on a relatively regular cadence gave me eight blocks of six.

I never intended to actually have the final output of the show be eight seasons of six episodes, and I never thought that season breaks were particularly important, but I thought I’d work that out as I went along, based on my feelings and on your feedback.

Now, TCW in its original form never really had season premieres or finales. At least not in the traditional sense of episodes which re-establish the character and world to open a season, and episodes which bring the plotlines together and punctuate character arcs to end a season. Its production codes don’t even align to its release numbering. What TCW did sometimes do was shift episodes of interest toward the start or end of a release season, but this was clearly more of an afterthought than a forethought.

That said, that shuffling can give us some indication of arcs that they considered worthy of bring premieres or finales - Boba Fett, Mon Cala, Return of Maul, Maul Piracy, Ahsoka’s Fall, Order 66, Yoda.

Anyway, since the production of my Holocron Crisis two-parter, and feedback in this thread, I feel like having slightly-more-special premieres and finales is a sensible thing to do, with the Holocron Crisis (my “A Strike at the Heart”) being the end of season one (for reasons specified above).

That would suggest about five seasons of about ten episodes each, which I think feels inherently right, in terms of making the whole show feel approachable and digestible. It also gives me a small enough number of episodes to make feel special, and the flexibility to shape and flesh out a season to ensure all the necessary beats are hit, including the important anthology episodes where our main characters feature far less, while keeping it feeling like more of a serialised thing.

In that case, taking the second season as an example, I don’t think Massacre, Seven Warriors or Lightsaber Lost deserve premiere status, but probably the Boba Fett arc should lead the season, and our throughlines should be the Return of Maul, Corruption on Mandalore, and then those two plots coming together for the Maul Piracy arc in the finale. Anyway, I think it’s best I don’t finalise that plan until I’ve produced all the episodes and felt it out.

But for now, I’ll at least update my ordering as follows:

  • s01e01 - The New Padawan (Christophsis)
  • s01e02 - The Death Watch
  • s01e03 - Malevolence [formerly s01e04]
  • s01e04 - The 501st Legion (Domino Squad) [formerly s01e05]
  • s01e05 - Cloak of Darkness [formerly s01e03]
  • s01e06 - Children of Night (Nightsisters)
  • s01e07 - The Blockade of Ryloth [formerly s02e01]
  • s01e08 - Duchess of Mandalore [formerly s02e02]
  • s01e09/10 - A Strike at the Heart (Holocron Crisis) [formerly s02e03]

I appreciate that changing things up in flight is a little confusing, but I think it’s right to feel it out as we go, to make the eventual final version of this project the best it can be. I’ll still be as clear as I can.

Basically, what this all means is, I’ll need to keep drawing attention to the difference between my PRODUCTION CODE and my EPISODE NUMBER. And if you’re unclear, I’ll keep the TRACKER SPREADSHEET up to date for you.

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Sounds great to me! Even with shows I only watch after they’ve concluded, can’t help but consider the season blocking and infer about the experience if I’d been watching them as they premiered.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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RELEASED - LIGHTSABER LOST - RELEASE VERSION

Production code 207, final episode number TBD (mid Season 2).

Episode is basically untouched from the original, except for removing the “something fishy” joke and the Jedi master making a big deal out of “OH so it’s a WOMAN then”. He still uses that info, he just doesn’t spell it out to the audience while Ahsoka’s busy.

This episode is one I could very nearly not have included - it’s fine, but not super great. Its main selling points are the “slow down” lesson for Ahsoka, some fun-ish Coruscant parkour, and giving Ahsoka a little Coruscant underworld experience. I don’t think any of that is particularly vital, but maybe other people see a little more in this episode than I do. Bear in mind I’m still very eager to hear everyone’s feedback - not just on the cuts I’m making, but on whether the episodes belong at all, and where they belong in the ordering. We’re all fairly tolerant of Star Wars’ flaws but I’m certainly intending this show to have a much higher quality bar than the original. I want every episode to be worth the audience’s time.

Anyway, PM if you don’t already have access to the tracker.

Onward to THE RETURN OF MAUL!

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I have opened up your Holocron episode and with any luck, I’ll watch the edits you’ve made from that point on.

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Merging Holocron Heist and Hostage Crisis was a great idea and well-executed. It makes for a much more exciting and fast-paced conflict, besides improving some aspects like why does Palpatine seem so complacent during the Senate crisis.

Maybe the bit where Cad Bane is reaching Cato through the comlink could be trimmed further cutting the shot where we see Bane calling to her, mostly because in retrospective it becomes more noticeable than a shot from the later Jedi Temple sequence is used (and TODO is not present during any other Senate scene) and I’d say the scene would work and flow fine without that brief shot.

The only technical issue I noticed was a rogue frame of the fish bounty hunter laughing before it cuts back to Bane.

Now moving on to Part 2, great work as always Eddie, keep improving 😄

I got time to help with translated subtitles or closed captions if you want to

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Very useful Kalee, thanks as always! Do you mind giving me rough timecodes for notes like this?

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EddieDean said:

Very useful Kalee, thanks as always! Do you mind giving me rough timecodes for notes like this?

Sure!

The Bane shot I mentioned is at 21:47. The fish guy frame is at 22:37.

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Wow, lots has happened since I last checked the forum! Been absent due to school but I’m going to make time today to catch up on some of the episodes and post thoughts on them. Hope it’s not too late for feedback on some of the earlier ones!

I am no Jedi

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sonofabinadi said:

Wow, lots has happened since I last checked the forum! Been absent due to school but I’m going to make time today to catch up on some of the episodes and post thoughts on them. Hope it’s not too late for feedback on some of the earlier ones!

It’s absolutely not too late for feedback, don’t worry! Just to be super clear to everyone -

Please always feel free to give feedback on earlier episodes!

It doesn’t matter how long ago they were discussed.

I really don’t want to ever have an episode be locked into a mistake just because time has passed or the discussion seems to have moved on. And even when an episode seems fine, that’s useful feedback too, because it affirms the decisions I’ve made. Even stuff about the standards I’m using, the episode title, or the intro text. It’s all useful. Sometimes throughout the process for the more complex episodes I lose my ability to judge an episode’s quality, so I’m not sure if I’m outputting something good. My Ryloth arc is a good example of that - did it work, in the end?

Also please feel free to challenge the ordering/pacing of the whole, not just the episodes. Do they feel good in this order? Does it tell a story? Does it improve on the original? Etc.

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‘Seven Warriors’, at 7 mins in has a really weird transition where Ashoka is surprised when Obi-Wan says they can’t help the farmers, followed by a scene cut that directly returns the same conversation. They move outside during it tough so there’s not really much that can be done, except possibly remove Ashoka’s line inside and just join the conversation outside after.
I really hope Hondo turns up in The Mandalorian or one of the new live action spin-offs, he’s just so fun.

Ashoka takes charge in most of the early parts of this episode and is focused on her job when they crash whilst the other two bicker, it shows she’s learning from the events of the Holocron episodes. On that note I wonder if it’d be better after ‘Lightsabre Lost’, show she’s picked up on the patience lesson there because she feels a lot more like later series Ashoka in ‘Seven Warriors’.

I see your link to Hondo and the Underworld in the opening of Lightsabre Lost, but Hondo, and pirates in general, aren’t really connected to the Underworld. I think a better link would be investigating the crew of Bane and set it before ‘Seven Warriors’. There was a Weequee in Bane’s crew after all. Also, it follows Ahsoka’s relationship with Jocasta and essentially looks like she’s been in the Temple continuously since the disaster on Felucia.

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Great feedback, cheers Artan. I’ll see if I can smooth out that weird cut. Good thoughts on the positioning too. I think there’s a real chance that all of these ones near the start of season 2 will really shift around. It’d be cool to play up the Bane link and Jocasta continuity, though I think having too many Coruscant episodes back to back may drag a bit. Good point that Ahsoka’s more chill in Seven Warriors, though if the upcoming Boba arc doesn’t work as a premiere I think 7W will need to take that role.

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RELEASED - THE RETURN OF MAUL - RELEASE VERSION

Production code 208, final episode number TBD (somewhere in Season 2).

Comprising Brothers and Revenge.

These episodes I think mark the turning point where this show starts to get absolutely brilliant. This whole plotline is great, so I’m convinced it’s the right move to get it kicked off so early. Great Maul stuff, great Obi-Wan stuff, great Ventress stuff. Peak Clone Wars, great emotion, great action.

I’ve made three changes beyond the episode merge:

  • I’ve truncated everything before Lotho Minor. We don’t need Dooku and Grievous’ discussion because they’re mainly talking about Savage, who’s less focal than Maul. Also, it’s better if this whole Return of Maul series of events is more of a suprise to the Sith, for better impact when Palpatine cleans house. We don’t need Savage fighting through a few locations before Lotho. We don’t need Anakin and Ahsoka having dinner (especially because this has Ahsoka’s older-looking character upgrade).
  • I’ve heavily trimmed Lotho Minor, removing lots of wandering, snake banter, the pendant going faulty, the ‘fire breathers’ (even though they’re cool) and Savage slaughtering Lotho’s scrappers. None of it’s vital. He just meets the snake, who leads him to the right place then tricks him into the trap.
  • I’ve cut the scene of Ventress on Tattooine seeing Savage’s bounty. The main reason for this is because she’s not yet a bounty hunter in my version of events. (This change is the most major canon impact of my restructuring.) Instead, she shows up unexpectedly (though Yoda’s implied there’ll be a suprise visitor), and it’s not a huge stretch to assume she’s felt something in the force. I actually think this works a bit better, and it also makes her now-later journey to Tattooine and decision to become a bounty hunter more of a reaction to her failiure here and fear of Savage and Maul.

PM if you don’t already have access to the tracker.

Phew! I feel all productive. The next episode, the Boba Fett arc, might take a little longer as it’s a three parter. Should be this weekend sometime.

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So in general to your “Change of Presentation”, i agree with your thoughts, but find it pivotal to outline an episode narrative order before actually editing. Otherwise you´ll end up “fixing” or rearranging or deleting scenes in prior episodes and never be satisfied or finished.

A strike at heart Pt. 2:
Never really noticed such things in prior episodes and i´m not a native english speaker but in your crawl text:

  • “…deeply into the force to urgently predict their enemy´s actions” shouldn´t it be “…predict their enemies actions” since you refer to a plural term and not a possessive one?
  • Same for “But the sith lord´s intentions…”, “…the sith lords intentions…”. If you intend to meant a singular person than “…sith lord´s intention…” would be right.

Overall “A strike at the heart” is well put together as Kalee said. Noticed the rouge frame, too.
Otherwise i don´t really have to criticise anything, great work Eddie!

Also i would change the order: “A strike at the heart” after “Lightsaber lost” because of the patience lesson ahsoka receives from another jedi master.

Lightsaber Lost:
I got the impression this episode is overall some kind of useless. It adds nothing despite the reason mentioned above.

Return of maul:
For me, quite perfect. The edited hint from yoda for the surpise visitor is a great idea, even the viewer have to listen and watch with attention to notice this, when Ventress suddenly appears.

General: How it´s looking regarding the credits theme? Any other thoughts for the opening theme from your end?
I find it important to finish the first episodes, because at the end you´ll satck up a pile of minor work that could´ve been finished long ago.

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CMMAP said:

So in general to your “Change of Presentation”, i agree with your thoughts, but find it pivotal to outline an episode narrative order before actually editing. Otherwise you´ll end up “fixing” or rearranging or deleting scenes in prior episodes and never be satisfied or finished.

This is a sensible suggestion, of course. The issue with planning it in advance is that there’re still elements I might have missed. For example, I’ve said I’d like to put Boba Fett early in season two, but it features Hondo, who is properly introduced in Bounty Hunters, so maybe it won’t work that way. I kind of need to feel it out as I go. That said, there generally aren’t many references between episodes, and my order is fairly close to chronological, so I don’t think I have to go back and change much. I do expect to be releasing v1.1s of most episodes a little while after my v1.0s, so I don’t mind making tweaks while I’m still in the process of editing the whole.

And as much as I’ve just made a big thing about the ‘change of direction’, one of the big things about my approach with this project is that it’s about NOT forcing myself into a given structure, but just letting the quality of experience lead the production. It’s made a lot of sense to begin and end a chunk we’ll call a ‘season’ with the episodes we have now, but season two is already a bit challenging in that sphere. I’m constantly looking over my options, and modifying plans, but I think some of this just needs me to ride it out.

A strike at heart Pt. 2:
Never really noticed such things in prior episodes and i´m not a native english speaker but in your crawl text:

  • “…deeply into the force to urgently predict their enemy´s actions” shouldn´t it be “…predict their enemies actions” since you refer to a plural term and not a possessive one?

I’m happy with singular possessive here, I think, because it refers to ‘the great enemy’, the Sith, the Sith Lord, the power behind the war. They’re trying to puzzle out the plan of this nebulous force that they know they’re facing but can’t identify.

  • Same for “But the sith lord´s intentions…”, “…the sith lords intentions…”. If you intend to meant a singular person than “…sith lord´s intention…” would be right.

I’m not sure on this one. I think my sentence isn’t great, I agree. I used plural rather than singular because the Sith Lord clearly has many interconnected plans, it’s not just one idea he’s seeing through here. But I agree that this sentence is quite weak as it currently stands. Open to suggestions here.

Overall “A strike at the heart” is well put together as Kalee said. Noticed the rouge frame, too.
Otherwise i don´t really have to criticise anything, great work Eddie!

Great, thanks!

Also i would change the order: “A strike at the heart” after “Lightsaber lost” because of the patience lesson ahsoka receives from another jedi master.

Weirdly it did air in this order, Holocron (“patience, Anakin!”) then Lightsaber Lost (“patience, Ahsoka!”). So it’s almost like Lightsaber Lost was a bit of an afterthought. I think I’d rather drop LL, or edit the line in Holocron, rather than shift LL though, mostly because I think having LL in season one would weaken it.

Lightsaber Lost:
I got the impression this episode is overall some kind of useless. It adds nothing despite the reason mentioned above.

Let’s see what others say. I’m certainly open to losing the episode altogether.

Return of maul:
For me, quite perfect. The edited hint from yoda for the surpise visitor is a great idea, even the viewer have to listen and watch with attention to notice this, when Ventress suddenly appears.

Super!

General: How it´s looking regarding the credits theme? Any other thoughts for the opening theme from your end?

So, I haven’t heard from McFibb for quite a while, I think he’s become busy. I’m sure I’ll hear from him soon, but for now I have the versions I’m currently using and some newer versions which are work-in-progress but that we haven’t quite nailed. I think it’s sensible that I consider the versions I have to be my master versions for now, until I hear back from McFibb, but that I should go back over all of my existing intros and outros to polish them up a bit with what I have. I don’t mind giving them all a bit more love.

I find it important to finish the first episodes, because at the end you´ll stack up a pile of minor work that could´ve been finished long ago.

Yeah, this is sensible. I think I’ll finish the Boba Fett arc, then go back and run all of the prior episodes through the polish pass. I’ve been taking feedback notes so I’ve made the job as easy for myself as possible. I’ll polish up and reissue all of the earlier episodes, keeping the current music but making it as smooth as I can, and I’ll do the Tartakovsky episode as I do this all as well, though it might not be from an upscaled source.

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Regarding the grammar of the opening crawl for A Strike At the Heart Part 2, I think how you have it is correct. You’re referring to the actions of the enemy (which can be both a countable or a collective noun), and the intentions (which can be countable or uncountable) of the Sith Lord. So both enemy and Sith Lord would appear singular and use the possessive form.

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I noticed one mention of master Ropal early in part 2 (2:48).

Part 2 works nicely, it’s a lot of package but it doesn’t drag. Much like part 2 the pacing is intense and makes for an entertaining duology. I honestly like master Ropal because his death scene is surprisingly dark, but I agree cutting him (and by extension, the second MacGuffin) makes for a more streamlined story.

If I were you I’d keep Lightsaber Lost, and place it after the Bane arc as originally planned (or maybe before Seven Warriors to fit Ahsoka having more maturity and initiative in that episode). LL is filler, sure, but works for me to give the sense Ahsoka is taking time away from the battlefronts, references her relationship with Jocasta and foreshadows both a) Ahsoka becoming more mature and b) teaching/guiding younglings.

Regarding the rest of your planned episode order I think its alright in a narrative sense. Personally I’d probably put the Return of Maul as the s2 “finale” and Maul piracy as a premiere of sorts for s3, much as the original arcs were. The only continuity “problem” that the Maul and pirates episode would cause by being placed so early is that Adi Gallia dies there but later appears in the background of many episodes where the Jedi council is involved (one could possibly pretend she’s her relative and lookalike Stass Allie but then again Yoda in the Voices arc unequivocaly remarks that she is dead).

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Goddamn, how’d I miss that Ropal reference? That’s super sloppy of me. Yeah, I also enjoy a good bit of torture but it streamlined the story (and the Kyber subplot) to take him out, plus it kind of cheapened Bane for him to have always planned to capture Ropal (there was a scene in Holocron Heist about it originally) and travelled to this planet to capture him (alerting the Jedi in so doing) all just to accidentally torture him so much that he died, rendering him useless.

Also good thoughts on Lightsaber Lost. That’s the issue, I think it’s not such a strong episode, but it sets up a few nice things and works well in retrospect. So on your first watch it’s not great, but on later watches you see how it served the following episodes fairly well.

Return of Maul may end up as the finale, although it doesn’t feature Ahsoka and Anakin. I’d hoped to get a bit more Maul in sooner but this one needs to follow Massacre and I think three Dathomir/Maul episodes in ten is probably overdoing it a bit. And I wouldn’t normally put Maul episodes back to back, except if I was presenting them as a finale and a premier, as I may now do.

Good spot on Adi Gallia, that was one of the inevitable conflicts my restructuring was eventually going to have to face, that I couldn’t really spot in advance with this many moving parts. If I remember right she’s quite important to a major fight scene with Obi-Wan and Maul, so I might not be able to do the ideal thing which is cutting her death out entirely, but having a convenient lookalike might do us well enough for handwaving…

EDIT: Just looking over their character bios, Stass Allie is actually super convenient, because they look almost identical (at least they would when downgraded from real life to TCW style) and Stass Allie doesn’t appear in TCW, so in my version, fine, she does. Replacing background Adi with background Stass doesn’t break canon at all outside of TCW, so that works nicely.

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Knight of Kalee, I’ve just fixed those three issues mentioned in Holocron parts 1&2. They’re rendering now and will be uploaded shortly. Weirdly enough the fish frame doesn’t appear in my editing deck even though all my framerates are fine, so I couldn’t have caught it. Therefore there’s a small risk this may happen again in future episodes.

Artan, I see what you mean about the weird cut in Seven Warriors but I think that one’s OK. In my mind, Ahsoka’s shown her initial upset at the dinner table, but then a little later she’s picked up that conversation again in privacy with just Anakin and Obi-Wan. I think I’ll leave that the way it was in the original.

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Just curious… Are you planning on putting something together for s01e00 (the microseries) in this current push, or is it one that will wait until after all the other episodes are complete?