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The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!] — Page 48

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smudger9 said:

Definitely worth taking a break. The amount of work you’ve done is phenomenal, but the best way to keep the enthusiasm is to take a time-out! I havent started watching the episodes yet, but I do love the intro.

Thanks Smudger! Really lovely to have you here. Yeah, I’ll take a couple of weeks to breathe, but I am champing at the bit to get stuck in to season three! Please, if you watch my edits, feel free to challenge and critique any element. And if you’re wondering why I made a particular change or format choice, I’ll do my best to explain!

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Hey, I’ve watched through a few of the recent episodes, and have made notes on anything that stuck out to me, but take or leave them as you like. Your work so far is great, and I’m keen to see how the remaining seasons play out.

I try and keep up to speed with the thread, and do enjoy reading your analysis and explanation of your cuts, but haven’t got around to commenting anything until now.

The general crawl format is good, having the first line as an overview of the war for multiple episodes works well.

s2e5, Tales of the Lost Clones:

  • A great concept episode.
  • In the crawl consider: ‘obedience is instilled from birth’ instead of ‘obedience is in their blood’; ‘on another path’ instead of ‘on other paths’.
  • I wonder if the scene with Rex and Cody in the control room (beginning at 10:00) would play out better if Rex/Cody planned this out beforehand instead of during the scene. If so, then consider cutting Rex and Cody’s reaction shots to Slick being in the ceiling vents at 10:25 and a few other shots of them puzzling this out, so that the audience doesn’t know that Rex/Cody know Slick is there until they have him at gunpoint.
  • Perhaps the amnesia plot point could be removed from the Gregor episode, to give the character more agency, and make it a more effective foil to the other two episodes.
  • The intertitles are a little too short for my liking. As for the crawl, the last slide has too much information that isn’t relevant until later on. Perhaps you could split the final 3 sentences, having just one sentence added to the intertitle before the relevant episode? This would also help lengthen the intertitles. If you can find appropriate music for a longer intertitle, of course.

s2e7, Shadow of Geonosis:

  • The new title serves well to recontextualise the episode within the Geonosis arc.
  • In the crawl (on the second slide) consider: capitalising ‘Council’ and ‘Senator’; ‘aim’ instead of ‘intend’; ‘enjoys a brief reprieve from battle’ instead of ‘has a brief reprieve from battle’; for the last line consider ‘But the Separatists conspire to restore their lost power…’
  • Consider trimming dialogue around 8:10 that implies the Jedi know Padme and Clovis were romantically involved, as it’s a weird take for apparently celibate monks.
  • At 13:15, I’d suggest cutting Lott Dod revealing his plans to the audience, to retain some actual surprise later in the plot.
  • At 19:25, cut Clovis’ line ‘she must be saved because I love her’, it seems too much?

s2e8, Assault on Geonosis:

  • The changed episode title is good.
  • In the crawl: perhaps ‘Clone Army’ should be capitalised; consider ‘a guerrilla campaign waged by the insurgent Geonosians’ instead of ‘a costly guerrilla campaign fought by the fierce natives’; ‘massive new factory’ instead of ‘huge new factory’; I am unsure about the last line of the crawl, as it seems unnecessary to note Luminara’s absence in this way, perhaps this last sentence could be replaced with something that better leads into the meeting before the assault?
  • Your cuts are good in this episode, they help keep things moving and focused on character.
  • The cuts to remove dialogue at 16:00 felt unnatural, like too many reaction shots cut together. I’d suggest either restoring some of the dialogue or cutting some of the reaction shots.
  • I wonder if the fade to black at 32:55 could be extended, to add a little suspense before the lightsabers ignite?

The overall pacing of the episodes is excellent. From what I recall the key moments are preserved, and the Mandalorian style bookending of the show serves your edit well. I’m looking forward to season 3, but it’s a well earned break with all your work so far.

I’ll try and write up something for the other episodes when I get to watching the most recent versions, hopefully soon!

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Imhotep, thanks very much for this feedback - that’s all really useful.

TOTLC:

  • Noted on all of the text, I think those are some good suggestions and I’ll do a little polish pass soon.
  • I think I’ll stick with Rex and Cody in the control room working it out, because it’s kind of cool how, unlike a lot of TCW, it’s shot in quite a subtle way, and you have to watch the eye movements, rather than it being an explicit verbal thing. I think it’s a nice touch. Good idea though!
  • I don’t think I can trim Gregor’s amnesia either, since that would make it hard to get from A to B in this storyline. Also, I think this helps his later appearance in Rebels. Since that appearance has a mental health component, I think it’s worth maintaining evidence of the mental damage here too.
  • Agreed on the TOTLC intertitles. They’re still unfinished. I’ll have a think about how better to open into each episode, without front-loading all of the text too.

Shadow:

  • I’m not certain what to do about the Jedi order essentially pimping Padmé out or using her as a Honey Trap. I think it helps to lean into the angle that they’ve kind of become tools of a corrupt Senate and continue to drive a wedge between Anakin and the Jedi, though agreed, it is a bit weird.
  • I’ll look into Lott Dodd’s plot reveal. I had thought about removing that before, and can’t quite remember why I decided it should stay. I think perhaps because having it be mysterious took away from Clovis’ selfishness. But I’ll check this one again.
  • I’ll also check Clovis’ ‘I love her’ line. It is very strained. This one’s kind of a decision between making Clovis more of a legit creep (which I’m fine with), versus making him a bit more of a serious threat to Anakin because he genuinely loves Padmé and he’s the jealous type. I might check the Scipio arc soon and see which best serves his character.

Assault:

  • The only reason I highlight Luminara’s absence is because she shows up at the halfway point of this story and some of the characters comment on it there. I figured having one Jedi implicitly absent might increase the stakes and make the plan feel a little more scrappy. Does that land, or do you reckon I should switch that line out for something else?
  • I’ll review the cuts at 16:00 and the fade at 32:55, thanks!

Great feedback and much appreciated, thank you! Please keep it coming!

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Hey guys, I’ll be back with the start of Season 3 soon, I’m just wrapping up the book I’m reading and have dropped 50 hours into Hades, which is an incredible game by the way.

Either way, I keep coming back to my idea for the Scipio episodes, and thought I’d see if you guys have any ideas/technical knowhow.

If you recall, my plan for the Scipio trio of episodes is to cut it down into one single episode, but include the fireside chat from the Utapau unfinished episode reel. The intention is to use the fireside dialogue about the loss of Ahsoka) as some kind of memory segment, which might enhance Anakin’s harsh behaviour towards Padmé and Clovis to make it feel like his rash actions are a response to losing Ahsoka.

(The main reason I think this is worth doing is because we don’t really get the opportunity to see how Anakin responds to the loss of Ahsoka in the show the way it was originally released, due to the way the last couple of seasons were cancelled and released.)

In that case, I’ll need some kind of effect/visual to accompany the audio, I think. I was thinking either lightly wafting fog (to hit the ‘memory’ angle) or perhaps a fire animated in the same style. Does anyone know where I might get a good simple shot of ‘dream sequence’ stock fog? Or if there’s a good animated shot of a fireside in any TCW episode?

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I think Cinematic Captures is working on restoring the fireside scene but the style is more battlefront than clone wars.

As for a force vision effect I found this video by JXEditor that could be useful for you https://youtu.be/2VT5DxUvOso

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I saw that! Incredible design, it’ll be great to see these episodes properly realised.

I’m getting more and more antsy to return to this project now, and nearly span out the next easy episode before realising it’d be a bit more of a complex one. Must finish my book though, otherwise I never will…

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I think Cinematic Captures is working on restoring the fireside scene but the style is more battlefront than clone wars.

Wow, and what an excellent face texture he is using for Anakin 😉

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WitchDR said:

I’m currently watching through your edit now Eddie and it’s great so far. Just started Malevolence and noticed a stray frame during the transition at 3:21.

Just fixed this now as v1.3.

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So, I’m back on the horse, having got my teeth stuck in nicely to my season three premiere episode, taken from Heroes on Both Sides / Pursuit of Peace / Senate Murders. My earlier analysis is here if you want a reminder.

I was hoping to release this one as a suprise, but I’ve run out of edit-brain for today, and I wanted to write up my thoughts.

This episode is yet another fantastic example of Clone Wars being goodbad and badgood, and why the episodic 22-minute structure often worked against the show’s good ideas BUT that pure aggregation also wouldn’t serve it particularly well. Taken as it stands, as this chronological trilogy (originally with the third part released long before the first and second), it’s such a weird story, even though it does have really great bits:

  1. Padmé, Onaconda, Bail and Mon Mothma try to convince the Senate to vote against taking out a huge loan to buy more clones, and manage to put the vote off temporarily as there’s no immediate emergency.
  2. Padmé illegally (but don’t worry about it) uses Ahsoka to make contact with a Separatist friend, Mina Bonteri, in the hopes of forcing peace talks, which very nearly go ahead.
  3. To subvert this, the corrupt Republic forces who are in league with the Separatists arrange for a bombing on Coruscant, so that the Republic’s fear will shut down the peace talks and they’ll take out the crippling clone loan.
  4. As the Republic Senate returns to the vote in an emergency response to the bombing, the Separatists kill Mina Bonteri, doubling down on shutting down the peace talks (though this does postpone Senate activity for a few hours).
  5. Bail, seen as a respected moderate, plans to convince the Republic to stay their hand, whilst Separatist-paid bounty hunters intimidate and beat up Senators including Bail, Onaconda and Padmé.
  6. Bail is injured by his bounty hunters, leaving Padmé (seen as more of a separatist sympathiser) to speak in his stead, making an impassioned plea (based on listening to her constituents’ needs) which successfully wins the vote against the loan.
  7. Padmé later makes a further, simpler plea, again to applause, though some other corrupt Republic forces (who are NOT in league with the separatists, and one of whom is a very obvious red herring) object and act very shadily.
  8. Onaconda is poisoned by his Rodian aide in a matter unrelated to the conflict, which causes an investigation which Padmé solves.
  9. The chaos of that murder again makes the Senate uncomfortable, and they ultimately change their votes (even though the vote already happened an episode ago?), instead voting in favour of the clone loan.

So, all of that is pretty much fine, and indeed really decent politics both for Star Wars and as general drama. It’s just a real mess when it’s all mashed together, and the ending kind of flops. Either way, you couldn’t ask someone to watch an hour of that. And what a crazy arc. Taken as a three-act structure, it’s about Postponement > Success > Failiure, which is an extremely weird arc, which undoes the strongest moment - Padmé’s speech. And in that trilogy of episodes there are about four different groups of antagonists, all with different motives, some of which are proven irrelevant.

So in editing this, I had a lot of decent content to use, but the challenge became which elements to preserve and which to drop, and which were necessary for each narrative part. This was especially tough as almost every scene is chat in and around the Senate building, and I didn’t want to pad it with action just for the sake of it. (Fun fact: You don’t need action if the drama is good! And there’s lots of good tension here.) As always we must identify the strongest emotional core of the episode, which is of course Padmé’s speech in Pursuit of Peace. To maintain that, the plot therefore must be structured around that being the victory moment, which means dropping most of Senate Murders (fine, as that was the weakest and most convoluted). To best support that moment then, the plot would be most enhanced by Padmé facing as much adversity as possible, making this a success of her heart and perseverance. Therefore, the plot simply needed to become:

Padmé, in spite of corruption, doubt, and the murder and assault of her friends, persists in smartly and successfully making a political move which will improve the lives of billions of citizens.

We must also preserve the Mina/Lux content, since that’s the most important to the overall plot, although it doesn’t serve our new ideal plotline quite as tightly as we might like.

This way, the new episode plays as follows, the whole running to about 35 minutes:

  • Padmé buys extra time to put off the vote.
  • Padmé works on plan A, spending about 15 onscreen minutes making peace with the Separatists.
  • Separatist extremists counter, causing the bombing to trigger Republic cowards and intimidating Senators.
  • Padmé persists, reverting to plan B, making good political moves, finding the heart of her message, and winning the day.
  • The good Senators celebrate while the corrupt folk begrudge their loss.

Further changes and musings:

  • Though this is an episode which ends in victory, it remains bittersweet since while Padmé got what she wanted, we know there’ll be more pressure on the clone army now (which naturally I’ll play up in the crawls). This is pretty nice since Padmé (who represents peace through diplomacy) has come into conflict with Anakin (who represents peace through war).
  • This is a nice season opener as it gives us a well-earned mature Ahsoka, but contrasts her nicely with both Anakin and Padmé, so we get an early insight into the ideological differences between the three.
  • Loads of great corruption in this episode, really showing why the Republic sucked independently of the war with the Separatists. It’s one of the best themes of TCW.
  • I kept all the Mina/Lux stuff, except for Lux ogling Ahsoka and her tutting about ‘boys’. I took out a little of Padmé’s response to Mina, but borrowed some audio from Senate Murders where Padmé’s talking about her “dead friend” Onaconda to keep her dead friend Mina in mind instead.
  • I did get some good value out of Senate Murders, notably a couple of repurposed scenes. Since Dracula and Halle Burtoni both appear in all episodes, we can have their appearances from Senate Murders shift to early in my episode to give our characters some adversity, and then the bad guys’ negative reactions as Padmé succeeds at the end seek to still give a satisfactory conclusion to their now short arcs. (Halle Burtoni’s arc also hints at the future developments regarding Kaminoan allegiances.)
  • Senate Murders also gives us our closing scene, showing Halle Burtoni being petty whilst the pre-Rebels celebrate together (which was previously merely a false sense of happiness before Onaconda’s death).
  • I cut Grievous out entirely, plus most of the scenes of the bomb droids, and all references to Dooku coordinating the attack. He’s aware of it but we assume that the attack has been set up by the corrupt Republic guys instead, which makes them more threatening and individual.
  • Ahsoka now disappears halfway through. She had to, because she’s handed back to Anakin in a scene where the Senate has its emergency lighting on. I moved a few things around to emphasise this, so that it feels like Padmé knows she needs to get Ahsoka back to Anakin while there’s an unexpected situation happening.
  • I skipped over a lot of Padmé’s action scene with the bounty hunters. Now, when it appears that the bounty hunters have been arrested (but before they escape to chase Padmé), I cut straight to her meeting Tecla, implying that they were indeed arrested. (I would have skipped the action scene entirely but she’s got the injury on her face later.) I also didn’t show Bail’s assault, instead just showing the effects of it. (Though I might remove this scene if I can remove injured Bail later.)
  • The one bit of adversity I cut entirely was Bail being the one who was expected to make the speech, with Padmé only standing in once Bail was injured. This wasn’t really necessary - she’s a successful Senator and former Queen, and definitely a competent orator. We didn’t need the self doubt here, and this way she’s kept in focus through the story. Yes she’s a bit of a softie but I think that works well here - she wins because being soft is her strength. The political middle ground wasn’t required.
  • Pursuit of Peace originally had Onaconda beat up during a “mandatory blackout”. But seeing as we’d literally just had a power station bombing cause a regular unintentional blackout, I felt I had to shift Onaconda’s assault to immediately after the explosion, while everything was chaotic, which also made the whole attack look more coordinated. I had to cut Onaconda out of some shots in the Senate chamber to achieve this, but there were so many Senate scenes in this trilogy that I had plenty of alternate reaction shots to use instead.
  • Onaconda survives this story! He’s boring though and I didn’t care either way. I think in TCW:R he’s not even a senator, potentially just a political friend or part of Padmé’s retinue. I haven’t actively cut references to him being a senator though so who knows? But more importantly, who cares?
  • We don’t see that horrendous investigator character in this episode (or indeed anywhere else in TCW:R).
  • I haven’t done this yet but if I can find good sources to use I’ll use some scenes of destruction from Zillo Beast Strikes Back, to maybe imply that the bombing on Coruscant was more widespread.

I wonder what to call this? HEROES OF PEACE would respect the original names, though in this context it would feel like it was referencing the Rebel leaders more than Mina Bonteri / the Separatist side I think. SHADES OF GREY might hint nicely at the fact that you’re about to get a big mess of politics, or THE POLITICS OF WAR might tell the audience that while they’re getting a politics episode we’re going to keep it a little spicy. Maybe I’d even go with the Yin/Yang imagery and something like DARK WITHIN, LIGHT WITHOUT.

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I have nothing to add really, just that it is clear you have thought this through and I trust your judgement 100%.

I like ‘politics of war’ personally

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Thanks baby ❤️

It’s good to be back!

Yeah, THE POLITICS OF WAR might be a good one, because it also sort of implies that this is the ONLY politics focused episode, which is mostly true.

I’ve just rewatched a couple of episodes from season two:

  • I’m going to rename ‘The Return of Maul’ to ‘Monsters’ as an homage to the earlier episode ‘Monster’ and since Maul is, in this episode, also referred to as a ‘monster’ like his brother was before him.
  • I’m going to flip the order of 204 Corruption on Mandalore and 205 Tales of the Lost Clones, because (1) in 206 Maul is also lost and his plot echoes some of the Lost Clones a bit too closely, and (2) to avoid having two no-Ahsoka episodes back to back. This way, we’re only ever one episode away from Ahsoka.

Once I’ve got 301 finished I’ll come back and fix the bugs in the latter half of season 2 raised since its release.

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I like the sound of this episode. I’ve always been a fan of the politics in SW and in TCW especially, and it’s always nice to see Padmé doing something other than fighting or getting put in danger for Anakin.

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Yeah, and this is certainly our strongest politics episode.

There’re two things which make people remember an episode as “good”. The first is a good narrative - a good holistic character or story arc which takes you on a good journey. The second is a good moment, which can make an otherwise ungood episode considered good.

There are certainly examples where good moments seek to make people think an episode is good, even if actually the narrative isn’t that great and the experience of watching the episode is a bit underwhelming.

In this case though, Heroes on Both Sides has a good narrative (with the Mina Bonteri plot), whereas Pursuit of Peace is a far less interesting narrative but with one particularly strong moment (Padmé’s speech). The task then becomes crafting a new story which preserves and enhances both, dropping anything which is neither a strong moment or a strong narrative.

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i do also like your narrative and the episode title THE POLITICS OF WAR.
the political side always felt a little drowned in TCW through the structuring of this series (except the last two seasons), in my opinion.

Well thought, well written eddie

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I also like Politics of War. You know exactly what you’re getting into with that title.

It blows my mind how you’re able to go through and look at these episodes with such a fresh perspective.

So, Padmé and the other senators winning or losing this the political battle doesn’t get brought again in the series? Any references could easily be cut, but was just curious about that. I think it is great that Padmé gets a big victory on the political stage. Her slowly watching democracy die throughout the prequels is a bit depressing, so it is nice to show her succeeding for a change. I also like the implication you mentioned that Padmé in a way is making Anakin’s job more difficult by voting against the creation of more troops. This episode will definitely be some nice food for thought.

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I watched the Lost Clones episode again and it really works well as a mini anthology.

I’m wondering there are more parts of episodes that can be used like this in the future, perhaps the citadel rescue (Where Echo is MIA) can be condensed this way, along with another clone “mission” or two? Or with som political stuff that otherwise didn’t work in a full episode?

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Ice said:

I watched the Lost Clones episode again and it really works well as a mini anthology.

I’m wondering there are more parts of episodes that can be used like this in the future, perhaps the citadel rescue (Where Echo is MIA) can be condensed this way, along with another clone “mission” or two? Or with som political stuff that otherwise didn’t work in a full episode?

That’s certainly a good thought, Ice. When I’m reviewing the other clone-heavy episodes I’ll keep that thought in mind, and if they have a strong clone subplot but an otherwise weak body of content, I’ll take note and consider aggregation. Perhaps there’s even good clone stuff in other excluded episodes?

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RogueLeader said:

I also like Politics of War. You know exactly what you’re getting into with that title.

It blows my mind how you’re able to go through and look at these episodes with such a fresh perspective.

So, Padmé and the other senators winning or losing this the political battle doesn’t get brought again in the series? Any references could easily be cut, but was just curious about that. I think it is great that Padmé gets a big victory on the political stage. Her slowly watching democracy die throughout the prequels is a bit depressing, so it is nice to show her succeeding for a change. I also like the implication you mentioned that Padmé in a way is making Anakin’s job more difficult by voting against the creation of more troops. This episode will definitely be some nice food for thought.

Thanks Rogue - it’s always nice to hear that you’re getting value out of the analysis.

I don’t think it gets brought up again in the series. (And if it was, it’d be an easy fix as you say.) A lot of the macroplot of many episodes is really just a bit of flavour to set up the microplot which is the character drama. On the galactic scale, none of this stuff really matters (which is one of the reasons I have the opportunity to weave a bit of a new narrative out of it in my opening text).

In the case of this trilogy of episodes, I’m sure development went like this:

  • First, during the season two production block, the team wanted to make a Padmé-centric politics episode set on Coruscant. Attempting to “make politics interesting”, they made it about a murder which was personally significant to Padmé which she would have to investigate, bookended by some scenes which showed Padmé’s competency as an orator on the senate floor, and showing some of the political adversity she faces.
  • In that episode, Senate Murders, the speeches in the senate are not important to the plot - first she gets support for a clone loan bill (to great applause), then she loses support for the clone loan bill (to great applause). Since these don’t tie in much to the episode at all, I think they’re more to show the ebb and flow of politics, you win some/you lose some, etc. But the speeches aren’t the focus of the episode - it’s still a victory in this context because she solves Onaconda’s murder.
  • Later, during the season three production block, the team wanted to make a Padmé-centric politics episode set on Coruscant. Why? I think, really, because they didn’t really do a politics episode with the last one there (it was more of a murder investigation against the political backdrop), or at least they felt like they hadn’t done the idea justice yet. There was also the opportunity to bring more shades of grey and corruption into the story, and the opportunity to show Ahsoka (but not Anakin) that it’s not as simple as black and white - always an important part of Ahsoka’s character.
  • It being season three, they were deep in the mindset of creating prequels to existing episodes, so opted to make a prequel duology to Senate Murders. Since Senate Murders went from (political) success to failiure, its prequel needed to end in success - and besides, there was a good plot there where Padmé could really work for that success, better showing her strength.
  • So we get the duology Heroes on Both Sides (whose supporting plot is Ahsoka learning of the shades of grey) and Pursuit of Peace (whose supporting plot is the opportunistic evil within the Republic working with the Separatists to intimidate the voting senators), which ends in Padmé’s success.
  • The reason it’s all a bit wonky is because the success gained in the prequel duology doesn’t quite align with the success that Senate Murders begins with. They’re ostensibly about the same thing, but when smushed together as a trilogy the point where they connect has (essentially) one heartfelt hard-won powerful winning speech, followed by a casual easy win which is quickly undone for less well explored reasons. And Pursuit of Peace establishes that that was the vote, but then in Senate Murders they undo it? With another vote? It’s unclear - mainly because that wasn’t the original intent of those scenes. So it doesn’t really work as a trilogy, even though it’s been set up this way.
  • And so, whilst it’s now “officially” three episodes next to each other in chronological order, if you did want to preserve all three you’d actually be best served by spacing them out a bit instead with a bit of extra exposition, so that Senate Murders wasn’t an awkward connection then an immediate reversal of the success. But, in our case, Senate Murders is pretty weak, so it’s best used as spare parts to enhance the other two.

You’re right that the slow erosion of democracy is a bit of a sadness, and Padmé deserves a good victory, and ultimately of course it’s perfectly fine to show that she’s just one of very many politicians and she’s surrounded by a stagnating and corrupt system which was just begging to collapse.

To be honest, adding rich politics to Star Wars in the prequels and Clone Wars is one of Lucas’ ideas which I think was a huge net gain. He added some really complex but important stuff, which he made more accessible, and so much of it is so relevant today:

  • That stability can be an illusion masking corruption and stagnancy
  • That artificial wars (or threats) can be used to encourage a voting population to live in fear and vote against their own interests
  • That war is politically complex - and many can benefit from it
  • That often, neither opposing side thinks of themselves as the bad guy
  • That corruption will always emerge because all it requires is to put personal interests above those nominally served
  • That money is a particularly corrupting force
  • That even the corrupt often consider themselves benevolent
  • That corruption produces opportunities to yield power to autocrats
  • That we are never too many steps away from autocracy
  • That it is the responsibility of all citizens to expose corruption and remain vigilant
  • That the law is not infallible, especially when it serves to protect those in power rather than the vulnerable
  • That sometimes, rebellion/resistance is the appropriate way to do good (OT politics)

And this is all great stuff! Importantly, it’s not too complex for kids. I have a five year old and NOTHING is too complex for her - it just needs explaining in the right way. (I guess that’s why there’s a subreddit called ‘Explain Like I’m Five’.) You can absolutely teach kids this stuff - and present it in a way which makes it accessible and interesting. And it’s fantastic that the Star Wars franchise really dives into it because we do need to give our kids an education in politics which starts early - because, as above, it’s the responsibility of all citizens to remain vigilant against corruption and autocracy. Sure, we don’t need to go too deep into the detail - the Clone Wars goes too far when it talks about 25% interest rates and schools being adequately funded - but the core principles are super and the broad ‘gist’ of this era of Star Wars covers a lot of this stuff really well.

Man, I’m suprised that I’ve written so much over the last two big posts about this particular episode. I guess since I’ve been away for a while I’ve got a big boil of Star Wars analysis which needs lancing.

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This might be a little egotistical here, but I feel quite vindicated by seeing that the lengths of the first three episodes of The Bad Batch will be 75m, 31m, and 28m.

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Ah, YES! I think I’ve cracked this politics episode.

I was having a bit of a problem with two Padmé-Bail conversations, trying to trim them down and combine their audio to streamline the plot a bit, but it was really hard to make that work with matching the lipsync whilst tying it to the geography of the two walking around a room together and keeping the coversation flowing properly. So I decided to take some time to mull this all over, and I think I’ve got the answer:

I realised that, since I’m massively minimising Onaconda in TCW:R, I could reframe him into some other role, in order to emphasise Padmé’s importance and have Dooku recognise her as a very legitimate threat.

Now, instead of being the senator for Rodia, Onaconda becomes Padmé’s liaison with her constituents. Dooku’s hiring of thugs to hassle senators now becomes a specific attack on Padmé’s support network to force her out in the open. They beat up Onaconda, meaning that Padmé now needs to directly spend time talking to her constituents, which lets the thugs catch up with her. I’ll preserve much more of the action scene now to emphasise the physical threat. We drop some of the complexities of the loan etc, and this way the focus is much more on Padmé’s competence as a humanising orator.

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I know I don’t contribute a lot, but your creative problem solving for this project is always a pleasure to read. I can’t wait to watch the final product

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Thanks buddy! I love to hear words like that, I like to share the process. It’s a shame this episode’s taken longer than expected, but I’m glad I paused - it means the end project will be that much better! I’m going to get to work on that idea now - though it’ll take a little while as I need to dig back through what I’ve removed in case I need to re-include it.

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I’m so glad to hear you’re dedicating so much thought and analysis to this couple of episodes. They’re definitely among the strongest political storylines in the series so I’m interested in seeing how you crack them up and make them better.

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I hope I can do them justice. Bear in mind this is mainly removal and reordering rather than addition, so there’s a limit to how much value I can add.

I’m not quite able to use that idea I mentioned above, since Onaconda accompanies Padmé to the talk with an on-the-fence Senator. (I’ll still be able to get some value out of reframing Onaconda though - and I can actually use more scenes from Senate Murders to put Padmé in danger and continue to highlight some more of Padmé’s opposition.) But this bit of work just now has helped me realise I can trim a lot more whilst keeping it focused.

I’ll be keeping the storyline centered on a single political issue (other than the attempt at peace via Mina Bonteri) - the Republic needing a loan to buy clones. I’m vastly reducing the way it was originally split into two parts and the volume of those two elements - firstly the deregulation of the banks, and secondly the loan against huge interest, because those just aren’t emotionally interesting. A lot of their context is still present, it’s just said the once instead of emphasised about three times each, and our main focus is “the clone loan is expensive and war is harmful to our people”.

I’m instead using scenes from Senate Murders to bookend things, because they set up Padmé’s support network, and now the whole episode becomes more of a study of the people around Padmé - both those who support her, and those who oppose her - so it essentially works as a study on the depths and complexities of the political arena, around Padmé in particular.

I’ve also changed the bad guys’ motivations - now, the Separatist-aligned Republic Senators plan the bomb plot, but after Padmé talks to Palpatine, Dooku quickly contacts the thugs to have them specifically target Padmé’s retinue. This way, the thugs’ relative incompetence is explained by the fact that this was a relatively spur-of-the-moment plan to take advantage of the chaos that their plan A was otherwise already going to cause, to specifically target Padmé now that she’s shown quite how competent a threat she is.

(I’m aware this is the third plan/essay I’ve written up on this episode! I had thought it’d be an easy one, but in the end, cutting three different-but-similar politics plots into one single narrative has been quite the challenge!)

The episode is fully planned now. I’m going to chill this evening, but I hope to crack the execution of it tomorrow.

Knight, if you’re up for a bit of homework, I’d be very interested in your review of my episode if it’s watched with the three original episodes which went into it freshly in mind. No obligation if that’s too much of an ask though!

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EddieDean said:

Knight, if you’re up for a bit of homework, I’d be very interested in your review of my episode if it’s watched with the three original episodes which went into it freshly in mind. No obligation if that’s too much of an ask though!

No problem! In a few days fortunately I’m getting a recess week from university so don’t worry about asking me if I can take a look once I get that much-needed free time.