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The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!] — Page 42

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EddieDean said:

Yeah. it’s definitely an awkward choice. On the one hand, I don’t like taking things out that are officially good™. But here, maybe pacing and efficiency is gooder™?

It is probably worth preserving if the episode was split in 2, perhaps like the Cad Bane arc. But taking into account the full 3-part arc, I don’t think the overall action or pacing of the story is any worse by cutting it. Personally I’m fine whether it’s kept or removed, but there are my 2 cents.

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 (Edited)

Taking up Hal’s kind offer of subtitling my Tartakovsky episode, I realised that subtitling gives us the opportunity to change the context of the speech. So I’ve asked for the cat-being, who is now someone other than Ventress, to say:

[Count Dooku lands and exits his ship]
PREVIOUS LINE: Everything has been arranged precisely as you have requested, most illustrious Count Dooku
NEW LINE: The fallen Jedi apprentice seems likely to win your gauntlet, noble Count Dooku.
[Count Dooku: “Indeed”]
[She leads him in, they overlook the arena]
PREVIOUS LINE: I trust you will find what you seek.
NEW LINE: Watch her destroy these mighty warriors.
[We see fights, we focus on Dooku and the cat seated]
[//Removed shots of Dooku talking to Cat-Ventress//]
[Ventress lands in the arena]

That gives us a little context for Ventress, who is the main new takeaway of this prelude episode, so I think it’s useful. “Fallen Jedi” gives her acceptable backstory even if we’re sticklers for the rule of two, and an “apprentice” defeating these (presumed) top-tier combatants shows that even a Jedi padawan is formidable - helpful in justifying Ahsoka’s early seniority. Having Dooku agree (“Indeed”) that Ventress is likely to win also justifies him having two convenient lightsabers ready for her later, and ties in to the later angle that he respects Dathomiri ‘stock’.

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Needless to say I’m on board with this new dialogue, is way more helpful.

As a marginal note, the cat-like alien was never supposed to be Ventress. She sneaks behind him and silently murders him, that’s why Dooku later says to her ‘My host would applaud your abilities posthumously’.

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Ice said:

EddieDean, in the Tartakovsky series at 16:59 there is a super fast cut which I think is not intentional

Thanks Ice, I’ve fixed this now and it’ll be in the next upload. That cut was already very quick in the original - one of the cuts between two episodes originally - but I’ve smoothed it out a bit now, so it’s not quite as sharp. It still cuts quickly, but now it’s no quicker than the original was, and I think Obi-Wan’s landing works as the final ‘beat’ a lot better.

Hal, I also took your suggestion for the fadeout/fadein for Ventress’ first mission.

I think this whole episode has popping audio so I’ll also fix that before inserting Hal’s new dialogue and uploading what should be a worthy full-polish version of this episode.

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Knight of Kalee said:

Needless to say I’m on board with this new dialogue, is way more helpful.

As a marginal note, the cat-like alien was never supposed to be Ventress. She sneaks behind him and silently murders him, that’s why Dooku later says to her ‘My host would applaud your abilities posthumously’.

OHHHHHHHH

Edit: I think I’ll stick with the way I’ve cut it, but OHHHHHHH. Guess I’ve misinterpreted that scene for, oh, eighteen years. Part of me is tempted to keep it but add a quiet stab sound, but I think this new way is a bit cleaner.

Still, OHHHHHHHH.

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Haha, I should’ve said chimed in about that earlier too. I was like, “cat disguise”? Yeah, Ventress sneaks in, kills him and takes his seat. But I can see how that would be confusing so I’d understand why you would change that.

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I don’t really know what that means, but does that spell any implications for those subtitles? lol

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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an fabulous idea eddi, i dig the dialogue change!

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Knight of Kalee said:

Needless to say I’m on board with this new dialogue, is way more helpful.

As a marginal note, the cat-like alien was never supposed to be Ventress. She sneaks behind him and silently murders him, that’s why Dooku later says to her ‘My host would applaud your abilities posthumously’.

I’m still laughing about how wrong I was about this scene.

You let me down so gently there too. “As a marginal note”. Haha!

My host would applaud your abilities POSTHUMOUSLY.

What did I think that meant? I was always like “Oh, I guess the real host would kill cat-Ventress for pretending to be the host instead of getting on with the fight like she was clearly supposed to, bit weird to mention that, but fine.”

Sitting there like “Disguising yourself as a cat is a bit of a weird force power. Oh well, carry on.”

Fuck’s sake, Eddie… 😄

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 (Edited)

Right, my s01e00 - Dark Force Rising (Tartakovsky prologue) is all fixed up ready for its fully polished release, pending Hal’s subtitle change.

It’s so weird that an audio track can contain hidden ‘pops’ which don’t play in VLC or audacity, but which my Magix Vegas movie editor picks up and writes into the episodes. And that running the file through audacity with no changes sometimes doesn’t remove them, but sometimes does. This time I had to run the audacity output back through audacity again to get a clean version. Super odd.

On to Christophsis’ polish.

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Assuming the titles are still up for criticism, I think that the Clone Wars title card would benefit from a cut in rather than a fade in, sorta like how Mandalorian does it. The opening crawl/words can still fade out, but to me the title card is losing a bit of its impact as it is right now.

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OK. Well I’m about to re-render my whole Christophsis, so I’ll do it that way, and you guys can see what you think.

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Thanks for humoring me, and sorry if that came across too harshly! Everything else I’ve seen so far has been super great!

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No no it’s good! I wish more people would jump in with things like this - I don’t want anything to be above criticism, including the things people may assume are already “settled”!

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That’s my S01E01 full polished release version rendering now.

As it does that, here are the notes for what I changed:

  • Full replacement of the video with the correct FPS, so all the video throughout is nice and smooth
  • Fixed a bunch of frames that fixing the video broke (off-by-one error, effectively, and a real bastard to fix, but at least it’s isolated to just this episode)
  • Smoothed a bunch of transitions and awkward moments
  • Opening crawl updated for new season one context
  • Let the TCW logo appear rather than fade in, for more punch (let me know if I should do this to all episodes, folks)
  • Cleaned the cold open’s audio a little and followed it with “Many months earlier”
  • Added a single establishing planetary shot
  • Added radio effect to the Bail line which didn’t originally have it
  • Borrowed audio from Smudger to not imply Ventress and Obi-Wan have met before, but reference instead her fight with Anakin (as seen in my S01E00, the Tartakovsky prelude)
  • The above also removes the concept of an informant, which I’ll remove from the later episode which references it too.
  • Trims to a little of Anakin’s anger as he and Ahsoka destroy the shield generator - now he still reacts sharply, but it’s more of a reaction to the heightened tension of the scene and her risky action, than to her honest-but-careless mistake. His quick cooldown I think works fine now - he’s seeing his rashness in her, so understanding her he knows to be softer.
  • Additional new Bail shot to make his appearance right at the ending not a suprise (this one really works, you wouldn’t know it was there if I hadn’t told you), which also serves to show him coming into shadow
  • Colour-correction of the existing Bail shot at the ending, so the light on his skin looks right for the time of day as seen in the surrounding shots (but he’s in shadow, which is fine as we just established that)
  • Smoothed out the ending transition to music
  • Blurred/softened some of the low-res images so they look less pixellated as credits

This is incorporating all feedback to date - so if you guys see anything that I should still look at please mention it - as once I’ve released this I should be putting it down for good, only picking it up again in response to feedback.

There’s still a chance that I’ve missed the odd broken frame, even though I’ve combed through this multiple times now, so apologies if that happens, and if so please just let me know.

I’m glad I went through this and the previous episode’s grind. I’ve learned some decent audacity and GIMP skills which will help as we move forward. And it’s good to know that I know how to make both video and audio behave properly when they error up.

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 (Edited)

Re-released - S01E01 - The New Padawan v1.5 - Fully polished release version

Comprising my Christophsis episode, new changes as above.

V1.5 link is in the spreadsheet, PM for access.

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Thoughts about Malevolence

Disclaimer: I watched the original episodes a while back, but I don’t remember these ones well at all. So if any problem points below are in the regular episode, sorry! Also, apologies if any of this has been said before!

I like that there’s still tension between Anakin and Ahsoka, her outburst and Anakin’s chastening after feels right, especially with having this episode pretty early on. The pacing worked well for me, I liked that it was faster. I also liked the humanizing moments of the clones and how that contrasted with the general opinion that clones are “expendable”.

The cut between Anakin and Ahsoka rescuing Plo Koon and the Malevolence coming out of hyperspace at 16:46 felt abrupt to me. I don’t have a surefire way to fix this, but if there are any establishing shots of the Republic ship to bridge the gap that might help. Otherwise, letting it fade to black in between and allowing a couple seconds to breathe in between would also work.

Scratch that, the whole section (up until 17:33) feels a bit wonky. I wasn’t sure when the cuts to the other Republic ship were taking place chronologically (are they flashbacks or happening simultaneously?) And the iris transition after Ahsoka says “I’m sorry Master Plo” also had a split second where the shot with Ahsoka and Plo Koon reversed? Other than that center section, everything else flowed well and was paced perfectly!

EDIT: I just finished looking at the most recent version of The New Padawan, and I think having the Clone Wars logo just appear adds that extra bit of punch which feels great. The added Bail Organa shot definitely helps to sell his inserted line to Anakin too.

I am no Jedi

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Noticed in the opening crawl, the third sentence ends in a comma when it probably shouldn’t. (“…whose crystal factories produce ray shields,”)

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*Rey shields

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Hal 9000 said:

*Rey shields

I always liked the version:
Desert woman: “Who are you?”
Rey: “None of your business, that’s who!”
Iris to credits

ildiem said:

Noticed in the opening crawl, the third sentence ends in a comma when it probably shouldn’t. (“…whose crystal factories produce ray shields,”)

Goddamn it, I removed that comma so many times, but I kept going back and forth on the credits. Somehow, comma survived.

sonofabinadi said:

Thoughts about Malevolence

Disclaimer: I watched the original episodes a while back, but I don’t remember these ones well at all. So if any problem points below are in the regular episode, sorry! Also, apologies if any of this has been said before!

I like that there’s still tension between Anakin and Ahsoka, her outburst and Anakin’s chastening after feels right, especially with having this episode pretty early on. The pacing worked well for me, I liked that it was faster. I also liked the humanizing moments of the clones and how that contrasted with the general opinion that clones are “expendable”.

The cut between Anakin and Ahsoka rescuing Plo Koon and the Malevolence coming out of hyperspace at 16:46 felt abrupt to me. I don’t have a surefire way to fix this, but if there are any establishing shots of the Republic ship to bridge the gap that might help. Otherwise, letting it fade to black in between and allowing a couple seconds to breathe in between would also work.

Scratch that, the whole section (up until 17:33) feels a bit wonky. I wasn’t sure when the cuts to the other Republic ship were taking place chronologically (are they flashbacks or happening simultaneously?) And the iris transition after Ahsoka says “I’m sorry Master Plo” also had a split second where the shot with Ahsoka and Plo Koon reversed? Other than that center section, everything else flowed well and was paced perfectly!

EDIT: I just finished looking at the most recent version of The New Padawan, and I think having the Clone Wars logo just appear adds that extra bit of punch which feels great. The added Bail Organa shot definitely helps to sell his inserted line to Anakin too.

YES! This is the kind of meaty feedback I like.

On Christophsis, that’s good to know. I’ll stick with punchy CLONE WARS logo if nobody else objects, and match that timing for my future episodes. I was really pleased with that Bail shot. It’s from the Hidden Enemy newsreel, but it’s awesome that Bail even looks up to the sky, as if he’s watching the transport ship come in.

On Malevolence, this is super useful, thank you. The scene of Plo discussing the ion cannon intercut with the Malevolence destroying the medical transport was experimental - and the main reason the episode was released as a review cut as opposed to a release cut - and I agree it doesn’t work and needs to go. I’m going to remove the intercutting entirely, and just return to Plo explaining it’s an ion cannon to Ahsoka and Anakin (also a fabricated scene, but a far easier one to make work).

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Huge thanks to Eranjello for the production of this absolutely perfect poster, which is exactly what I had in my head but hadn’t thought to ask anyone for yet:

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So I’ve just been looking a little forward to ensure I’m structuring the future phases correctly.

Since I’m wanting to bring Revival forward, the major impact as highlited by Knight of Kalee is on the Younglings arc, so I’ve just checked over both.

Revival only needs one trim - the removal of smirking Palpatine at the end. Sidious gets to be ominous, but Palpatine shouldn’t.

For Younglings, the arc is shot beautifully, with gorgeous animation and lighting, and really good direction. The Obi-Wan/Grievous encounter, especially the space battle, is very Original Trilogy in the best way. It’s not super relevant to the plot but it’s lovely. Grievous is great in this arc too. If I can’t find somewhere better for the space battle / ship fight part I’ll keep it where it is.

The actual storyline is great too - except for the focus on the Younglings. That’s not to say that they’re bad, per se, it’s just that time spent on them is kind of time wasted, when they’re the sole focus. There’s added value with all the lightsaber stuff, and especially if we play this up as Ahsoka’s teaching, but I think it needs some trimming. But the rest of the storyline is great fun. A little goofy, but in quite a charming OT way.

I’ve always intended to cut the first episode - where the kids find their crystals (and keep it just as a Continuity Cut episode, so it’ll still be there if you want it) - and to start on the Jedi lightsaber ship with the crawl explaining that Ahsoka’s taken an active role in training the kids (since the Holocron arc) and is escorting these ones back from having earned their crystals on Ilum. I’ll trim and tighten what I can, but it’s basically fine. If I do preserve the Obi-Wan space battle in this episode, I’ll draw it out through this arc’s episodes two and three rather than just three, to allow Obi-Wan’s presence to take some attention off the kids and keep the whole feeling a bit more balanced.

Anyway, the main reason I’m reviewing these is to see about the ordering. I had thought about pulling the Younglings arc up really early, but I think I’d rather do Ahsoka alone on the Trandoshan hunt before this one, and then I’d want to leave some breathing space due to the relative similarity between these. So that’s the main motivator for keeping Younglings a little later. That said, I think I can keep their ordering flipped. All that needs removed is Revival’s references to Grievous ransacking it (which we don’t even see in the Younglings episode, it happens offscreen), so I’m happy to write the destruction off as rival pirates or some lesser threat, and then have Hondo have repaired the base (expensively, hence his relative desperation) in time for Younglings.

I think Hondo’s character arc works either way. It’s definitely fine Revival > Younglings, because that way round he’s light with Kenobi, then after the destruction of his base and the Maul bros attack he’s understandably desperate, in time to soften when faced with the reality of the Younglings situation. (For comparison, originally it’s that he’s initially more piratical, then the Younglings soften him up a bit and he gets his ass kicked by Grievous, which makes him light with Kenobi, before losing his base.) It reads fine either way.

That said, I still need to compare Revival to Citadel too.

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Well, that’s Citadel reviewed too.

Adi Gallia is in it for one scene and one line - and both could be removed with no problem, so reordering Revival relative to Citadel is easy to resolve.

However, on review, I just don’t think Citadel is worth keeping in the Quality Cut. For QC, it needs to be either important or great.

Is it important? Arguably no.

  • Ahsoka and Plo get a couple of nice moments, but we’ve seen that plenty and in more depth before.
  • Ahsoka disobeys orders because she “learned it from Anakin”, but we’ve seen that plenty and in more depth before.
  • Ahsoka shows maturity in spite of her rashness, but we’ve seen that plenty and in more depth before.
  • Anakin and Tarkin meet, and clash a little before they soften and hint at their future relationship, but importantly, this stuff isn’t really additive, it doesn’t add value or nuance to that, it’s just a natural reverse progression.
  • Echo ‘dies’, but it’s extremely throwaway, it’s barely a plot point. You might as well take the reaction to Echo’s death and play that audio over the death of any clone. It’s not treated as if Echo was as important as the Domino Squad arc or his appearance in the Bad Batch implies - and the Bad Batch episodes fill you in that he ‘died’ on mission somewhere. We don’t need to see that detail.

Is it great? Arguably no.

  • I mean, it’s fine. But there’s no jeopardy whatsoever - we know that all of the main/focal characters survive.
  • And there’s no emotional stakes, since the Ahsoka/Ahsoka-Plo/Anakin-Tarkin beats don’t add any new emotional components. It’s pretty bland and way too drawn out for an hour’s worth of runtime - yellow/grey/purple for the whole time, with escape/capture/escape, and split/regroup plots meaning that even when stuff’s happening, it doesn’t really feel like the plot is progressing.
  • And there’s stuff you could have issues with - it being very battle droid heavy, the R2-D2 battle droid squad, the commando droids with one-way shields which are never used again even though they’re amazing, and of course the carbon freezing without carbon sickness.
  • I reckon you could cut out almost everything and end up with all of the meat but in 20 minutes instead of 60. Which I’ll do for my Continuity Cut (for the sake of Tarkin etc), but not the Quality Cut.