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The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!] — Page 49

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EddieDean said:

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.

This is something I think you do really well; repurposing characters to better serve the plot. I already liked these episodes, but I can’t wait to see how you tie them all together!

I am no Jedi

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 (Edited)

Thanks! I’m ultimately not going to be reframing Onaconda, but I’ve reordered some scenes and cooked up some dialogue to achieve the following:

  • Padmé, Bail, and Mon Mothma are now more of a team. There’s a feeling that they’re competent strategists - deliberately drawing the Senate conversations into a particular direction so that essentially Bail and Mon Mothma set 'em up, so Padmé (the best speech maker) can knock 'em down. (I did cut a lot of good Bail stuff from the episode, so I’m glad I got to reemphasise him in this capacity.)
  • The two thugs are now not mere thugs used for hassling senators, but assassins who specialise in killing them. What was dialogue where they talk about how many senators they’ve just intimidated is now them giving Dooku their senator-killing credentials because they expect to be asked to put a hit on her. But Dooku now references “my master’s plan” - which now refers to (1) the now-preceding conversation where Padmé spilt the beans to Palpatine, making Dooku’s use of the assassins an immediate reaction to this suprise threat, and (2) the fact that he CAN’T have them kill her, implicitly because Padmé is necessary to the corruption of Anakin to the sith. (Why Dooku would allude to this to some assassins is a little stretch, but I think it’s important for him to tell the audience, and the Sith in TCW do have a history of oversharing with their assassins, so I think it’s fine.) So now their plan is simply to harm Onaconda to draw Padmé out, and then to only injure Padmé enough for her to not be able to deliver her speech, which fails due to some lucky police presence.

Edit is coming along nicely, I’m really excited to share it!

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 (Edited)

Right, I’ve got the first two thirds fully edited with transitions complete. The last third is a little trickier than expected while I play around with a few options for scenes which transition us from seeing Onaconda’s injury to Padmé being out alone to get jumped by the thugs. I want to get in something realistic - though I know Padmé’s a little careless with this sort of thing so I do have some leeway. Ideally I’ll be able to use the scene I’m working on now, taken from Senate Murders, where she and Bail and Mon Mothma discuss what was Onaconda’s murder but is now his assault (plus references to Mina’s murder) to make Padmé seem like she’s going to brashly start knocking on undecided people’s doors because she’s pissed, though I might have to settle for something more minor like her just checking in on Onaconda, or maybe even just leaving the senate building to go home (in which case the street where she’s jumped is just a far lower level of the senate block). Mainly I want to minimise the chance that someone would accuse Padmé or her retinue of outright stupidity. We’ll see where it ends up.

That said, I’ve spent my edit-brain for now, so I need to take a break, so I probably won’t get this done today. Not far now though!

Edit: Hm, I just had another idea. I could go straight from the news of Mina’s death and Onaconda showing he’s injured to Padmé wandering alone in the undercity. There I’d play some echoing audio of both Mina and Onaconda talking about their desire for peace, to show that it’s filled Padmé’s mind and she’s taken herself for an unsafe walk. I’ll give this one a try too.

Dammit, I really want to keep going, but I know I’ve spent my energy for today.

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 (Edited)

OK, I really want to make that last idea work, because it’s way more emotional.

I want it to play out as:

  • Dooku announces to the Republic: “Fuck you, and also Mina Bonteri is dead”
  • Padmé and team desperately try to rally senators, to find Onaconda has been attacked
  • Padmé goes wandering alone, to echoing voices in her head, something along the lines of:
    ** Onaconda: “I just want peace”
    ** Mina: “To peace.”
    ** Dooku: “Mina Bonteri is dead”
    ** Mina: “To peace.” (again)
    ** Padmé: “To hope.”
  • Padmé gets jumped, but gets away. This is Dooku’s plan succeeding - she now can’t rally the senators and heads back to her apartments to recover.
  • Whilst being tended to by Tecla, she really listens to a real citizen’s problems
  • Padmé makes the speech - she didn’t need to nudge potential on-the-fence senators into supporting her since her impassioned speech created a groundswell of support
  • Padmé’s team celebrate. I realised that in order to pay off my idea of going a bit emotionally deeper with this one, that Mina Bonteri deserves a bit of payoff at the end (which she never got in the original episode), so as they celebrate I’ll try to have the team toast Mina, something like- Bail: “To Senator Bonteri.” Padmé: “To Mina.”

This is going to take some time!

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I’ve not seen your deserter clone anthology yet but there’s a possibility it might have a tie-in in a few days.

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 (Edited)

New Bad Batch is out, which is great. Let’s not chat plot right now because I’m sure many won’t have seen it, but I have some thoughts on formatting/presentation:

  • First up was the new silver Lucasfilm logo, over silence. Great, as I’m already borrowing that from Mandalorian.
  • Second was not only the silver-blue-red ‘Star Wars’ franchise logo, but it was actually a custom one featuring battle droids and other prequel-era elements! I’d love to swap this out and use it in TCW:R once I can get a good DVD ripped version (or if someone can rip it from Disney+). Even if it turns out that these are specific per show, it’d be best to use Bad Batch’s rather than Mandalorian’s.
  • Third was not only the new Bad Batch logo, but they actually opened on the Clone Wars logo (in red) followed by a burn effect into the Bad Batch logo. They are really leaning into this being a sequel series. Nice! I’d be very suprised if they kept ‘burning off’ the Clone Wars logo for future episodes, though I guess we’ll see on Friday.
  • Fourth was the episode title, in extremely simple red text on black. I wonder if they’ll keep that up too, but it was cool for TCW:R that its sequel series will also put the names front and center.
  • Fifth was, suprisingly, the news reel! Same music and narration as ever. Again, I’d be interested to see if they preserve this for all episodes or just this transitional one. They’d done a very good job at recreating some shots from ROTS in the TCW/BB animation style. If this is indeed preserved, that poses an interesting conundrum - keep my opening text or return to TCW’s newsreel? I think, having now got so much value out of being able to edit my opening text, that I must really preserve it - though it’ll be a shame that I had to break what would have otherwise been nice connective tissue. Ultimately the flexibility that my own text affords me will likely give the most value, especially for my first couple of seasons which do the heavy lifting in terms of improving the worst episodes of TCW.
  • Notably absent was the TCW ‘fortune cookie’, the little moral lesson text preceding original TCW episodes. It was a cute-ish idea, but I’m glad I dropped it and I’m glad to see that Bad Batch dropped it too.
  • The end credits were simple blue-on-starfield, with no attempt to dress them up any further than that. I could choose to downgrade mine back into something less heavy, but I think I’ll retain my new standard of credits over concept art borrowed from Mandalorian. Where Bad Batch doesn’t need the extra polish, TCW still does, I think, to help allow moments to land and be reinforced, and to help sell the human labour of love that went into this.
  • We end on a new Lucasfilm Animation logo, which I might also steal.

So, to summarise, I think I’ll steal the Bad Batch’s franchise logo and final Lucasfilm Animation logo, although I’d be curious to see if they preserve the TCW>BB burnoff logo and the newsreel intros.

I might also steal the TCW>BB burnoff logo for the actual Bad Batch episodes of TCW:R though! (If I don’t just turn those episodes into Bad Batch’s episode zero instead.)

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I spotted the new flashing heads opening and it fits better for the animated series than the live action heads do. Especially as it contains more characters that actually are in the show.

I think the text works better than the news reel. You can get your own exposition out of it.

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I was thinking that if I did shift the Bad Batch episodes in that way, that I’d only do that if I could preserve those scenes with those three characters within TCW:R.

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Regarding that intro, I feel like what Lucasfilm is doing is having one intro for Live-Action material and another for Animated material.

TPM ROTJ ESB TFA TLJ TROS ROTS ANH SOLO RO ATOC
TFA:R https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/TFA-A-Gentle-Restructure-Released/id/50117
TLJ:R https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/The-Last-Jedi-Rekindled-Released-V3-UPDATE/id/61939
TROS:A https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/The-Rise-of-Skywalker-Ascendant-WIP/id/71835/page/1

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I just started watching these (Thanks for the access) and am trying to take notes so that I can provide detailed feedback. What you have done is refreshing and makes this series much more watchable for me. Still, I think there are things that I would try to improve if I were the editor, and I’d like to provide my feedback in case you find any of it helpful.

Episodes 01x00 through 01x04:

01x00 - Dark Force Rising

  • While you did a good job with the material, I still find the differences in art style and characterization between this and the rest of the series distracting. It’s not bad by any means, but this episode is not going to be part of my normal rewatch, especially since 01x01 does such a good job of introducing the characters etc.

01x01 - The New Padawan

  • I love the intro with finding Maul, but there is no relevance for this in the episode, or in the next few episodes. Is this really the best place for that cold open?

  • Ventress talks with ObiWan as if she is an old girlfriend, but we get no context for that here. We also hear her talk about meeting them again, but outside of her mysterious fight with Anakin in episode 0, there is no known background for this ongoing interaction. She also mentions that ObiWan and the Republic were betrayed (as explanation for how the Separatists got there), but since that isn’t included in your series, is it really good to bring up? (Addendum: It becomes clear that Ventress talks with everyone as if she is an old girlfriend, but that’s not immediately clear in this encounter.)

Cutting all of the above dialogue may leave the fight too short, but is this scene even needed in this episode? You could start with ObiWan looking through the binoculars at the marching droids, or even with the battle in the street where Anakin jumps onto the turret droid. This would require rewriting the crawl to remove Ventress and dropping us directly into the action as Star Wars often does, with ObiWan and Anakin trying to help the people stationed on the planet hold off a Separatist army until reinforcements arrive.

  • It is confusing trying to figure out who is holding what position on or around the planet. There are droids everywhere and Ventress is there, but the Separatists land/invade at the end of the Ventress fight. There are Republic ships in orbit, and seemingly ObiWan and Anakin recently arrived, but then there are no Republic ships and communication has been cut off until the one Venator arrives with Asoka.

By removing the initial space scene with the bombers and the Ventress part with the Seperatists landing, the situation could be simplified. We would see a planet locked in kind of a stalemate, hear that communications have been blocked (ObiWan hasn’t been able to contact the admiral), and see that a single Venator has been ambushed trying to bring supplies and needs to get reinforcements. ObiWan says that their previous support ships (likely the ones that brought them there) were all destroyed at some prior point.

  • The initial scene with the admiral, Yoda, and Windu is unecessary. The same information is communicated by ObiWan, the crew of the Venator, and Yoda when Asoka arrives.

  • Bail Organa only appears in two small scenes (one at the beginning and one at the end). Neither communicates much other than the easter egg of his presence. Should he really be there at all, or does it all flow better without him?

  • I’ve watched several edits of the Prequel Trilogy and one of my favorite “improvements” is the removal of dialogue by the battle droids. The idea is that they are all networked and therefore only need to speak when communicating to other characters. It makes them less goofy and more threatening. I don’t know if you’d want to do a similar thing in your edits, but it may be worth considering. (Addendum: This could be much trickier in later episodes like The 501st.)

  • Not knowing the original version very well, I don’t know if anything worthy can be added. If all of the above is cut, it will likely take the current 28-minute episode down below 20 minutes. Is that too short, especially for what is essentially the opening of the series? I’m not sure. The episode does an excellent job of introducing Asoka, ObiWan, and Anakin, along with a lot of the Separatist droid models. It’s a much stronger opening than episode 0 or the vanilla episodes 1 and 2.

01x02 - The Death Watch

  • The number of quick shots in the opening strikes me as a bit overdone. We don’t need to see ObiWan in the cockpit, because we know it’s him from the crawl and from when he climbs out. I’m not sure we even need to see him undock from the hyperspace ring. The approach to the city is a nice introduction and reminds me of the opening to Attack of the Clones, but I could also imagine the episode starting with him landing and climbing out.

  • There’s probably nothing that you could do about it (the available footage is the available footage), but it seems very foolish for ObiWan to call the duchess to help him check out what he knows is a Death Watch hideout when he knows that they are after her.

  • Again, there’s probably not much you can do, but it would be nice if Anakin said something about where Asoka is when he shows up for escort duty. Maybe the crawl could be edited to reflect not only that he is taking her somewhere else, but specifically that he is dropping her off somewhere (maybe to visit family or something, if that makes sense in the context of the larger series).

  • The “stand by for lightspeed” mini-scene seems almost unnecessary and distracting from the scenes around it. I get that it shows why the view outside the windows changes, but I’m not sure it needs to be spelled out like that. You could replace it with the slightly-later establishing shot of the ship in hyperspace and remove that, making the Anakin ObiWan conversation a longer less-broken sequence.

  • This is a great episode. I have the impression that there was a lot more stuff with the assassin spiders in the lower decks - the way you handled them seemed just right to me. Everything in this episode blended well together. It had a steady pace and made me care about the characters and world.

01x03 - Malevolence

  • The crawl tells us about the big bad battleship Malevolence, but what if it was a mystery to the audience? It seems to be a mystery to the characters. They could know that Grievous is behind the mysterious attacks that are leaving behind no survivors.

  • I’m not sure about Grievous’ line about concern for troops being a weakness to exploit, because I’m not seeing how that’s being exploited at all in this episode, particularly in relation to the opening battle.

  • I’m not sure that the initial scene on the medical station is necessary. It confirms that the threat is a warship (reduces the mystery and suggests that they know for a fact that it is coming - how?). The danger to the station is logically deduced later by Anakin, so this scene might be able to be skipped without losing anything.

  • It seems to me that there are too many short scenes in the escape pod. Maybe the first one could be joined into the end of the opening battle to increase plot cohesion. Maybe this could happen right after Grievous says to destroy the escape pods.

  • The first scene with the Malevolent in hyperspace is probably not necessary. It also contributes to the idea that Grievous doesn’t know exactly what he and his ship are doing.

  • It’s strange that ObiWan contacts Anakin via holo after telling Yoda and Windu that he’s been in contact with Anakin. Is the ObiWan Anakin scene really needed? If cut, you would still have searching and the scene with Yoda and Windu, but the next time you cut to the shuttle, R2 would find the signal.

  • When Anakin is talking near the Y-Wings he surmises the next target of the Malevolent. That would then make sense as the setup for the evacuations. If you cut the initial scene on the station and move the second one, where they discuss evacuation progress to sometime soon after this scene, the plot will make more sense. Note that the transition from the Y-Wing conversation directly to the Malevolent in hyperspace is excellent - don’t change that. It will be even better if we lose that earlier shot of the ship in hyperspace.

  • Why does Grievous know that Skywalker is leading the fighters? Why does he care? I suggest trimming his battle lines/scenes to eliminate the Skywalker references.

  • Grievous says “impossible” twice, almost as if he doesn’t anticipate things going wrong ever. Since he clearly has an escape plan for himself, perhaps consider cutting the number of times he reacts with surprise to the battle going badly. Instead, keep him angry but deliberate in responding to the situation as it develops.

01x04 - The 501st Legion

  • While I really like most of your crawls, this one gives a lot of information that is later supplied contextually. It’s good to introduce the idea of the cloning facilities and Grievous being hunted, but the part about the trainees is hit pretty hard and explained thoroughly right after this. The sentence about Captain Rex supporting Anakin but also inspecting facilities is a bit strange. Maybe change it to something like “Meanwhile, CAPTAIN REX, who normally supports Anakin and the 501st Legion, has been given a special assignment to inspect the local clone outposts, in order to prepare them for possible Separatist attack.”

  • I’m not sure that you need as many scenes about the trainees at the beginning. They seem a bit repetitive, especially with the one bounty hunter/trainer trash-talking 99. At the same time, I’m not sure quite what to trim without losing too much.

  • Though not by your choice, there remains a lot of battle droid oddness in this episode. The droids communicate a lot with each other verbally and are unable to pick up on things going on around them, like when the clones are trying to pass for a droid at the door to the facility. It may not be possible to make the battle droids fully appear an efficient and lethal force, but you may wish to make adjustments that direction. Again, I’ve seen Prequel edits where they eliminate the droid chatter and imply that they are all networked - it helps.

  • When Ventress meets Anakin in the DNA room, we again get the feeling that it isn’t the first time. Most of their interaction can go either way, but his line “without saying hello” directly implies that they know each other. If we accept episode 0 and maintain her presence in episode 1, that works. If you skip 0 and remove her scene from 1, this line also needs to be trimmed.

I personally think that this episode can serve as a good introduction for Ventress. When she first appears, Grievous calls her “assassin,” and she says that she was given orders from Dooku. This is pretty much everything that has been established in her prior appearances (besides claiming to be a Sith). If this is the first time we see her, we learn what need to know, and she gets to do something integral to what is going on.

  • Why would Grievous know ObiWan by name? This again implies a prior interaction that was never shown. It wouldn’t be hard to trim that out of the scenes, making ObiWan (to Grievous) just some random Jedi that happens to be on Kamino. I like that the first time we see Grievous fight (if you don’t count episode 0) is vs ObiWan, who will eventually kill him in a rematch.

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vranir said:

I just started watching these (Thanks for the access) and am trying to take notes so that I can provide detailed feedback. What you have done is refreshing and makes this series much more watchable for me. Still, I think there are things that I would try to improve if I were the editor, and I’d like to provide my feedback in case you find any of it helpful.

Ohhhhh hell yeah! I love big detailed feedback like this. What a thing to wake up to. Thanks so much, buddy! Keep it coming!

Episodes 01x00 through 01x04:

01x00 - Dark Force Rising

  • While you did a good job with the material, I still find the differences in art style and characterization between this and the rest of the series distracting. It’s not bad by any means, but this episode is not going to be part of my normal rewatch, especially since 01x01 does such a good job of introducing the characters etc.

I totally agree that it’s a bit too inconsistent with TCW’s tone and style. You’re welcome to skip it - and I do too. It’s mainly here so that people who enjoy that Tartakovsky flavour can do so with a slightly more TCW-appropriate plot - which mainly serves to fill in a couple of gaps, like the first Ventress meeting.

01x01 - The New Padawan

  • I love the intro with finding Maul, but there is no relevance for this in the episode, or in the next few episodes. Is this really the best place for that cold open?

It’s a valid observation. This cold open doesn’t get payoff until mid season 3. The reason I first thought to include it was because it kind of acts like a promise to the audience - “Maul. Darksaber. Mandalorians. Coming soon.” - and since those elements are the ‘backbone’ of TCW:R (and I pull those plot elements forward to start a lot earlier) I thought it might be good to get them established up front. I’m trying to make this show more of a serialised drama than the anthology it began as. I could be convinced to remove it if enough people think it does more harm than good.

  • Ventress talks with ObiWan as if she is an old girlfriend, but we get no context for that here. We also hear her talk about meeting them again, but outside of her mysterious fight with Anakin in episode 0, there is no known background for this ongoing interaction. She also mentions that ObiWan and the Republic were betrayed (as explanation for how the Separatists got there), but since that isn’t included in your series, is it really good to bring up? (Addendum: It becomes clear that Ventress talks with everyone as if she is an old girlfriend, but that’s not immediately clear in this encounter.)

Cutting all of the above dialogue may leave the fight too short, but is this scene even needed in this episode? You could start with ObiWan looking through the binoculars at the marching droids, or even with the battle in the street where Anakin jumps onto the turret droid. This would require rewriting the crawl to remove Ventress and dropping us directly into the action as Star Wars often does, with ObiWan and Anakin trying to help the people stationed on the planet hold off a Separatist army until reinforcements arrive.

I’m hoping you’ve seen v1.8 of this episode, which removes the Republic mole plot element, and has Ventress refer to her earlier meeting with Anakin. However you cut it, the encounter as depicted in this episode is definitely not their first - this is one of the reasons I opted to roll in the Tartakovsky episode, to depict their true first encounter. That said, I don’t mind people appearing for the first time on screen and saying “We’ve met before”. We don’t always need to see the context, for it to still be a coherent story, I believe.

Ventress is naturally sassy, as you’ve noticed, and Obi-Wan is naturally sassy too, so I think it’s OK to pick up on a bit of ambiguity in their relationship. In my mind this is THEIR first meeting, but that’s just how they both behave. I don’t think I’d want to cut any of this though, because even though it doesn’t add much to the plot, it’s fun characterisation which we’ll revisit more this season.

  • It is confusing trying to figure out who is holding what position on or around the planet. There are droids everywhere and Ventress is there, but the Separatists land/invade at the end of the Ventress fight. There are Republic ships in orbit, and seemingly ObiWan and Anakin recently arrived, but then there are no Republic ships and communication has been cut off until the one Venator arrives with Asoka.

By removing the initial space scene with the bombers and the Ventress part with the Seperatists landing, the situation could be simplified. We would see a planet locked in kind of a stalemate, hear that communications have been blocked (ObiWan hasn’t been able to contact the admiral), and see that a single Venator has been ambushed trying to bring supplies and needs to get reinforcements. ObiWan says that their previous support ships (likely the ones that brought them there) were all destroyed at some prior point.

To my mind it works as follows: The Separatists have established an initial base on the planet and set up a space blockade. The Republic have a small staging area established somewhere else on the planet. The Republic can’t break the blockade, but they’ve been able to land Obi-Wan and Anakin (far from the action, hence the bikes). Anticipating Jedi involvement, Ventress has blocked Republic comms and allowed the Jedi to identify her ‘base’, deliberately to draw them to a specific location. Having the Jedi wrapped up trying to find her means they’ve been unable to investigate/mess up the Separatists’ landing of a much larger true invasion force.

I think that’s the original intention anyway, and I don’t think it’s contradicted. You could possibly streamline some of this, and while this episode certainly is one of the least good ones in TCW:R, I think it’s at least fairly well balanced and well paced. That said, I’d absolutely be open to suggestions here using the collateral available in the original episodes.

  • The initial scene with the admiral, Yoda, and Windu is unecessary. The same information is communicated by ObiWan, the crew of the Venator, and Yoda when Asoka arrives.

Sure, it is kind of redundant. But it serves to allow the two scenes around it to breathe - otherwise you’d be cutting right from the prep for the attack directly into it, which would be a bit jarring. But it is harmless. And it reminds us that the Jedi are operating as part of the military, and that there’s an orbital component to what’s currently happening.

  • Bail Organa only appears in two small scenes (one at the beginning and one at the end). Neither communicates much other than the easter egg of his presence. Should he really be there at all, or does it all flow better without him?

Again, valid, and if there’s enough arguments against Bail in this episode I’d cut him out entirely. He’s here for a few reasons, none of which are major: (1) Bail’s good! It’s nice to see him. (2) It gives us a BIT of jeopardy early on. (3) It gives the Anakin/Ahsoka relationship a BIT of reward later. But I agree, there’s not much to him there.

  • I’ve watched several edits of the Prequel Trilogy and one of my favorite “improvements” is the removal of dialogue by the battle droids. The idea is that they are all networked and therefore only need to speak when communicating to other characters. It makes them less goofy and more threatening. I don’t know if you’d want to do a similar thing in your edits, but it may be worth considering. (Addendum: This could be much trickier in later episodes like The 501st.)

Nice, but having the battle droids speak is something that I think now needs to remain as part of the fabric of Star Wars canon, since it appears in many media now. So I don’t think we can dam this particular flow. They do also have some important lines later which give context to what they’re doing. What I have done throughout is try to minimise their annoying lines as much as possible.

  • Not knowing the original version very well, I don’t know if anything worthy can be added. If all of the above is cut, it will likely take the current 28-minute episode down below 20 minutes. Is that too short, especially for what is essentially the opening of the series? I’m not sure. The episode does an excellent job of introducing Asoka, ObiWan, and Anakin, along with a lot of the Separatist droid models. It’s a much stronger opening than episode 0 or the vanilla episodes 1 and 2.

I’d certainly rather remove than add, since really ideally we just whip through this episode as quickly as possible. Episodes can run to any length, really, so long as they work, though once I get lower than 20 or higher than 50 is where I’d think about potential alternative presentations. I am open to changes to this episode which focus it more tightly, but I’d need particularly compelling arguments for the trims, I think.

01x02 - The Death Watch

  • The number of quick shots in the opening strikes me as a bit overdone. We don’t need to see ObiWan in the cockpit, because we know it’s him from the crawl and from when he climbs out. I’m not sure we even need to see him undock from the hyperspace ring. The approach to the city is a nice introduction and reminds me of the opening to Attack of the Clones, but I could also imagine the episode starting with him landing and climbing out.

Interestingly, it did originally begin with him just climbing out, but I was convinced by others here to add more establishing shots. I will look into trimming them down though, to find more of a middle ground.

  • There’s probably nothing that you could do about it (the available footage is the available footage), but it seems very foolish for ObiWan to call the duchess to help him check out what he knows is a Death Watch hideout when he knows that they are after her.

So! This is my most complex single scene edit, and I think it’s ended up about as good as it can now. Originally, Obi-Wan got caught in the facility by Death Watch and put on a Bond villain’s CONVEYOR BELT OF DEATH, which he called Satine (again knowingly into danger) to rescue him from. It was extremely goofy and I felt it really cheapened the Mandalorians in their very first appearance in this show. No good. She needs to end up there because that’s where the plot continues from, but with this restructure I made it so that at least he’s drawing her to what he believes is an empty facility. Best I can do here, I think. If it helps, bear in mind they spent a year together on the run so he likely trusts her ability to handle herself to a degree.

  • Again, there’s probably not much you can do, but it would be nice if Anakin said something about where Asoka is when he shows up for escort duty. Maybe the crawl could be edited to reflect not only that he is taking her somewhere else, but specifically that he is dropping her off somewhere (maybe to visit family or something, if that makes sense in the context of the larger series).

It’s an option. Ultimately Ahsoka appears in about 70% of our episodes, but there are certainly still some where she doesn’t. The audience needs to get used to that, though I have attempted to keep her in at least every other episode, so that she remains the main character of this show. This being the first episode where she doesn’t appear, I wanted the crawl to explain that she wasn’t appearing whilst also not making too much of a point of it, so the audience wouldn’t expect to follow her.

That said, there’s a later episode I’m not using where Ahsoka’s in the Jedi temple studying and moaning to Anakin about wanting to join him on a mission. So I’ll look into including that, so we at least get her in the one scene and it explains visually to the audience what she’s up to where we don’t see her. Thanks for the nudge!

  • The “stand by for lightspeed” mini-scene seems almost unnecessary and distracting from the scenes around it. I get that it shows why the view outside the windows changes, but I’m not sure it needs to be spelled out like that. You could replace it with the slightly-later establishing shot of the ship in hyperspace and remove that, making the Anakin ObiWan conversation a longer less-broken sequence.

This one’s actually necessary deliberately to break the Anakin-Obi-Wan conversation, because it has a really awkward break in it which this scene needed to mask. The lightspeed scene was used here just because it was, if I remember right, the only viable option.

  • This is a great episode. I have the impression that there was a lot more stuff with the assassin spiders in the lower decks - the way you handled them seemed just right to me. Everything in this episode blended well together. It had a steady pace and made me care about the characters and world.

Excellent! Yeah, there were about ten minutes of the spiders in the lower decks, being investigated, killing people, then coming up to the higher decks etc, but ultimately none of it served our core plot.

01x03 - Malevolence

  • The crawl tells us about the big bad battleship Malevolence, but what if it was a mystery to the audience? It seems to be a mystery to the characters. They could know that Grievous is behind the mysterious attacks that are leaving behind no survivors.

In the original presentation Malevolence was a mystery for the first episode. However, in my presentation I merged the first two episodes so that there’s the time pressure of the Malevolence specifically hunting down medical stations - because it’s both a good tactical move for Grievous and extremely sinister, so it gave him a lot more menace than his usual goofiness. That required the change so that the ship was now known.

  • I’m not sure about Grievous’ line about concern for troops being a weakness to exploit, because I’m not seeing how that’s being exploited at all in this episode, particularly in relation to the opening battle.

I can’t quite remember the justification here, but I think it was something along the lines of the fact that they were targeting medical stations was forcing the Republic to need to react to defend them (even though they’re noncombatants), drawing them away from other military priorities.

  • I’m not sure that the initial scene on the medical station is necessary. It confirms that the threat is a warship (reduces the mystery and suggests that they know for a fact that it is coming - how?). The danger to the station is logically deduced later by Anakin, so this scene might be able to be skipped without losing anything.

I’ll take a look at this, thanks! It may be that it was just to put a human face on the threat, perhaps.

  • It seems to me that there are too many short scenes in the escape pod. Maybe the first one could be joined into the end of the opening battle to increase plot cohesion. Maybe this could happen right after Grievous says to destroy the escape pods.

I’ll look at this one too.

  • The first scene with the Malevolent in hyperspace is probably not necessary. It also contributes to the idea that Grievous doesn’t know exactly what he and his ship are doing.

Likewise I’ll check this one. If I remember right, the battle droid gives a bit of context for their intentions here.

  • It’s strange that ObiWan contacts Anakin via holo after telling Yoda and Windu that he’s been in contact with Anakin. Is the ObiWan Anakin scene really needed? If cut, you would still have searching and the scene with Yoda and Windu, but the next time you cut to the shuttle, R2 would find the signal.

I’ll take a look at this too!

  • When Anakin is talking near the Y-Wings he surmises the next target of the Malevolent. That would then make sense as the setup for the evacuations. If you cut the initial scene on the station and move the second one, where they discuss evacuation progress to sometime soon after this scene, the plot will make more sense. Note that the transition from the Y-Wing conversation directly to the Malevolent in hyperspace is excellent - don’t change that. It will be even better if we lose that earlier shot of the ship in hyperspace.

I think because I wanted to imply that Grievous is targeting multiple medical stations in that sector, and it’s just his path/next target which Anakin works out. This way, I can set up the threat much earlier, which I wanted to do to have it hanging over the plot and add a time pressure element to Ahsoka’s hunt for Plo.

  • Why does Grievous know that Skywalker is leading the fighters? Why does he care? I suggest trimming his battle lines/scenes to eliminate the Skywalker references.

Maybe because Anakin’s just that competent? Or his ship is recognisable? I’m not sure. I’ll check this though, and trim as you suggest if it doesn’t quite work.

  • Grievous says “impossible” twice, almost as if he doesn’t anticipate things going wrong ever. Since he clearly has an escape plan for himself, perhaps consider cutting the number of times he reacts with surprise to the battle going badly. Instead, keep him angry but deliberate in responding to the situation as it develops.

This is a really good shout. It makes him cartoonish, which I don’t like.

01x04 - The 501st Legion

  • While I really like most of your crawls, this one gives a lot of information that is later supplied contextually. It’s good to introduce the idea of the cloning facilities and Grievous being hunted, but the part about the trainees is hit pretty hard and explained thoroughly right after this. The sentence about Captain Rex supporting Anakin but also inspecting facilities is a bit strange. Maybe change it to something like “Meanwhile, CAPTAIN REX, who normally supports Anakin and the 501st Legion, has been given a special assignment to inspect the local clone outposts, in order to prepare them for possible Separatist attack.”

I’ll revisit this. I needed to hint that failiure equals shittier jobs because originally they succeed, and I’ve changed this so they fail to better give the whole arc a three-act structure. I’ll revisit the whole though. I don’t have a big problem with Rex on inspection, because you can assume that even active assignment contains some administrative duties unless directly in combat.

  • I’m not sure that you need as many scenes about the trainees at the beginning. They seem a bit repetitive, especially with the one bounty hunter/trainer trash-talking 99. At the same time, I’m not sure quite what to trim without losing too much.

I’d need a particularly tangible idea here, I think. Back when I was reordering this episode to make it work as their failiure rather than their success, I mulled over each scene in isolation and ended up on this structure. We tried a few versions of this in the thread and this was where we ended up, though I don’t now remember the fine detail of this decision. Still, I’m open to suggestions!

  • Though not by your choice, there remains a lot of battle droid oddness in this episode. The droids communicate a lot with each other verbally and are unable to pick up on things going on around them, like when the clones are trying to pass for a droid at the door to the facility. It may not be possible to make the battle droids fully appear an efficient and lethal force, but you may wish to make adjustments that direction. Again, I’ve seen Prequel edits where they eliminate the droid chatter and imply that they are all networked - it helps.

Yeah. The commando droids are set up as particularly tactically competent, but then immediately duped in the same episode. This plotline also depends on the “roger roger” joke I’ve never been a fan of. But unfortunately I don’t think there’s a good way around this.

  • When Ventress meets Anakin in the DNA room, we again get the feeling that it isn’t the first time. Most of their interaction can go either way, but his line “without saying hello” directly implies that they know each other. If we accept episode 0 and maintain her presence in episode 1, that works. If you skip 0 and remove her scene from 1, this line also needs to be trimmed.

I personally think that this episode can serve as a good introduction for Ventress. When she first appears, Grievous calls her “assassin,” and she says that she was given orders from Dooku. This is pretty much everything that has been established in her prior appearances (besides claiming to be a Sith). If this is the first time we see her, we learn what need to know, and she gets to do something integral to what is going on.

This bears consideration. I’ll review this interaction with that in mind and see how it works.

  • Why would Grievous know ObiWan by name? This again implies a prior interaction that was never shown. It wouldn’t be hard to trim that out of the scenes, making ObiWan (to Grievous) just some random Jedi that happens to be on Kamino. I like that the first time we see Grievous fight (if you don’t count episode 0) is vs ObiWan, who will eventually kill him in a rematch.

I don’t think it requires a prior interaction - Obi-Wan’s a Jedi Master (making him a fairly prominent public figure?) and also a leading general (making him the kind of person that the Separatists would have extensive intel on, which Grievous would have studied). I think we can safely have him be recognisable by the opposing general.

This was some really, really great analysis, thanks! Please continue to tear apart the future episodes. I know when I respond to analysis like this it’s usually negative responses - either me not being able to make a change, or me arguing for a thought process which I subjectively think justifies preserving the current version - but please don’t be discouraged by that. Everything that’s presented to me I promise I’ll properly consider, including going back to review episodes where necessary. And if I seem to be hanging on to a poor decision, I can often be overwhelmed by compelling arguments and community consensus.

Please keep it coming!

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 (Edited)

Thanks for considering my feedback, I’ll try and get to previous episodes and then follow along as you go.

For Shadow, that the Jedi are becoming corrupt by resorting to these tactics is good, and serves the overarching plot well. Still, if you were to reduce the weirdness here a little, perhaps the following lines could be cut at around 7:10: from Anakin, ‘what does that mean, Senator?’ up to Windu’s line ‘do you think you’ll be able to rekindle your relationship with him?’, if those cuts don’t butcher the scene too much. This would reduce the honey trap element, and reduce Anakin being terrible at keeping his concern for Padme apparently platonic. The previous scene at 4:30 is fine, it’s the later scene at 7:10 that I feel goes a little too far in this.

For the crawl in Assault, it’s fine to note Lumiara’s absence in some way, but her fleet being delayed didn’t stick well with me, it didn’t seem to fit well with what follows. Instead, consider noting that Luminara and Barris are making some kind of preparations to attack the factory. Perhaps for the last slide of the crawl: ‘Master Luminara scouts the planet, confirming Padme’s report of a massive droid factory, built by the Archduke POGGLE THE LESSER / Fearing overwhelming droid production in the sector, the Jedi have swiftly diverted three fleets to neutralise this resurgent threat. / The second battle of Geonosis is about to begin…’

Hades is a great game also, I still haven’t quite made it to the end!

I’m looking forward to your take on the Heroes on Both Sides arc, this and the Scipio arc are some of my favourites. It sounds like you have a comprehensive approach here. For a title, I’ll suggest STRIFE IN THE SENATE as a possible alternative, still indicating that it’s a politics episode.

It’s fair to demote Assassin, as it feels on about the same level as Lightsaber Lost; still enjoyable but not essential viewing.

I just realised how your numbering/lettering works with respect to the colour hierarchy, and it’s genius. That way I can still keep all my favourite but less good episodes in the correct order.

I wonder if the Nelvan Crisis episode should be way earlier (even x1e00-C), given the more immature characterisation of Anakin and destruction of his robot arm, unless you’re using the end to tie into the battle of Coruscant?

As for Bad Batch implications, the new PT era flashing heads intro is great, it’ll be a great addition to TCW:R. I prefer the opening text to the newsreel, though I’ve never really been a fan of the CW newsreel. The opening text is good for the flexibility it gives you as an editor, and it’s closer to the style of the film crawls.

I hope I don’t overstep with my suggestions for the opening text. It’s just such an effective way to recontextualise the episodes.

S1E0, Dark Force Rising

  • I quite enjoy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars so have a few suggestions here, but I’m not sure how far you’d like to go with the edit of this episode? What you have so far is great, in any case.
  • Consider cutting the opening montage; this could be replaced with your normal opening sequence, but keeping the 2003 ‘Clone Wars’ title card (00:00 to 00:12) instead of the TCW style title card.
  • Open with Ventress on Rattatak, trim the arena so we begin with a classic planetary descent; then cut from this scene to Palpatine’s office on Coruscant.
  • Your placement of the second Ventress episode is great, especially the cut from a close up of Anakin to Ventress; I wonder if the duel here could be trimmed a little, to focus more on Dooku destroying Ventress’ Jedi lightsabers, maybe cut the bit with the sculpture?
  • Extend the static close up of Ventress at 8:55, to remove the white flash at the beginning of the shot.
  • Cut part of the Arc troopers on Muunilist, from 13:15 to 15:38, intercut this with part of the space battle to cover this.
  • Your removal of Dirge is good.
  • In the space battle, cut the missiles (from around 19:35) firing across the bow and tracking Anakin.
  • Cut Obi-Wan sending a squad of clones to follow Anakin, and their arrival at Yavin.
  • I’m unsure about your placement of the scene with Grievous and Dooku. I prefer Grievous at the battle of Hypori to be his first scene; I would remove the Grievous-Dooku scene and instead cut from the close up of Obi-Wan to Anakin approaching Yavin.
  • Without the vision (of Qui-Gon and Anakin on Dagobah), the shot of Yoda at 34:55 doesn’t work for me. I’d suggest adding the vision here, or restoring it’s original placement.

S1E1, The New Padawan

  • In the crawl: consider instead ‘a year ago…’ instead of ‘many months earlier…’; ‘treacherous Separatists’ rather than ‘insidious Separatists’; for the third sentence consider, ‘With Republic support, Senator BAIL ORGANA provides relief and supplies for the people of Christophsis, a planet under Separatist blockade’; for the last slide consider ‘Anakin Skywalker has earned the rank of JEDI KNIGHT, so Master Kenobi, eager to teach, has requested a new Padawan. / The duo have tracked ASAJJ VENTRESS, Dooku’s vicious disciple, to the recently evacuated Separatist command tower. / The two Jedi Knights move to investigate…’. I found the mission of the Jedi, and the tactical situation on Christophsis with Bail and Asajj, a little confusing at first, so tried to write up something that could situate things for me.
  • I had this idea for another sentence in the crawl, but there’s likely not enough space for it: ‘The duo have bypassed the blockade to support Senator Organa, but this infiltration has left their troops isolated from the Republic fleet.’
  • For the episode title, perhaps instead ‘A NEW PADAWAN’? It’s a little more ambiguous.
  • Great cuts in the opening duel with Ventress, the lip sync isn’t exact, but the scene flows well.
  • I almost don’t believe this is from the same film I saw in 2008, excellent work with this episode.
  • Interpolated frames at 10:26, 19:20, 22:24.

S1E2, The Death Watch

  • In the crawl, in the second sentence consider instead ‘War against the Separatists spreads like fire across the galaxy, yet thousands of worlds refuse to take sides in the conflict’; in the third sentence, ‘The Council of Neutral Systems is led by MANDALORE, ravaged homeworld of the now pacifist Mandalorians.’
  • For the episode title, consider instead just ‘DEATH WATCH’.
  • I see you’ve restored the opening planetary decent, I prefer it this way, even if it is quite quick.
  • I’m not sure what to make of Almec’s disavowal of Jango at 2:58, it seems like an unnecessary deception on his part, and one that overly complicates the canon. Would it be too jarring if Almec’s response was removed, and we cut from Kenobi to Satine here?
  • Cut Kenobi missing with the blaster in the battle on Concordia, at 16:05.
  • Cut Anakin straight up asking if OWK and Satine were ever involved, as it’s really not the right time, unless Anakin should be insensitive in this way.
  • I wonder if the dialogue would run smoother (at 30:45) if Kenobi’s line ‘Satine, this is hardly the time or place for’ was cut.

S1E3, Malevolence

  • In the crawl, in the first slide consider instead ‘The leader of the Separatist droid army, General Grievous, strikes strategically, targeting critical Republic defenses. / With his new weapon, the dreadnaught MALEVOLENCE, he ruthlessly attacks Clone medical stations, killing thousands of wounded troops.’; also in the last sentence of the second slide ‘But in every battle with the Malevolence, there are as yet no survivors…’
  • Interpolated frame at 22:10.
  • The attack on the Malevolence felt a little odd, given the original attack angles. I think its just the shots at 24.20 and 24:36, where the squadron is shown off bow of the Malevolence, that feel out of place, as they’ve already passed the bow at this point and should now be over the middle of the ship.
  • Also, without fighters being disabled by the ion cannon, dialogue on half the squadron being lost (at 23.55) seems inaccurate at this point. Perhaps this scene where squadron losses is noted could be placed after Matchstick’s death?
  • The Malevolence crashing into the moon works well enough, but I wonder if any of the shots with the droids on the bridge of the Malevolence (such as scenes with the lines, ‘I think we have a problem’, and ‘reset the navicomputer’) could be used to extend things a bit here?

That’s all I’ve got for now, hope it helps!

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EddieDean said:

New Bad Batch is out
[Snip]
So, to summarise, I think I’ll steal the Bad Batch’s franchise logo and final Lucasfilm Animation logo, although I’d be curious to see if they preserve the TCW>BB burnoff logo and the newsreel intros.

So, both the burnoff logo and the newsreel only appeared in the first episode, being dropped by the second. So that takes some pressure off. But they were cute inclusions for the pilot, though!

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Imhotep said:

Thanks for considering my feedback, I’ll try and get to previous episodes and then follow along as you go.

Oh man! More wonderful feedback - and on the same batch of episodes too! This is super useful, thanks.

For Shadow, that the Jedi are becoming corrupt by resorting to these tactics is good, and serves the overarching plot well. Still, if you were to reduce the weirdness here a little, perhaps the following lines could be cut at around 7:10: from Anakin, ‘what does that mean, Senator?’ up to Windu’s line ‘do you think you’ll be able to rekindle your relationship with him?’, if those cuts don’t butcher the scene too much. This would reduce the honey trap element, and reduce Anakin being terrible at keeping his concern for Padme apparently platonic. The previous scene at 4:30 is fine, it’s the later scene at 7:10 that I feel goes a little too far in this.

I’m not sure whether less is more here. I kind of like the weirdness. I think that, while having the Jedi order be so obviously sketchy, it puts more pressure on Padmé’s character because it puts her in a difficult position given her sense of duty. So while it is odd, it puts Padmé’s duty at odds against Anakin’s emotions, which is one of their core tensions.

For the crawl in Assault, it’s fine to note Lumiara’s absence in some way, but her fleet being delayed didn’t stick well with me, it didn’t seem to fit well with what follows. Instead, consider noting that Luminara and Barris are making some kind of preparations to attack the factory. Perhaps for the last slide of the crawl: ‘Master Luminara scouts the planet, confirming Padme’s report of a massive droid factory, built by the Archduke POGGLE THE LESSER / Fearing overwhelming droid production in the sector, the Jedi have swiftly diverted three fleets to neutralise this resurgent threat. / The second battle of Geonosis is about to begin…’

Yeah, I think I’ll soften this here a little, as you suggest. Originally she was scouting other battlefields (because the battle was planetwide, though we only saw the Anakin/Obi-Wan/Plo prong of it. I’ll tie it a little more closely to the plot, rather than put in a delay.

It’s fair to demote Assassin, as it feels on about the same level as Lightsaber Lost; still enjoyable but not essential viewing.

Glad you think so. I think it’s harmless, but it’s something I’d skip for a new Refocused viewer, but as you say, it’s there in the ordering for those who know it and prefer to include it.

I wonder if the Nelvan Crisis episode should be way earlier (even x1e00-C), given the more immature characterisation of Anakin and destruction of his robot arm, unless you’re using the end to tie into the battle of Coruscant?

I wasn’t planning on having it lead into the Battle of Coruscant, so when I do eventually visit this episode I’ll bear that in mind and think about its most appropriate placement.

S1E0, Dark Force Rising

  • Consider cutting the opening montage; this could be replaced with your normal opening sequence, but keeping the 2003 ‘Clone Wars’ title card (00:00 to 00:12) instead of the TCW style title card.

That’s a nice idea, I’ll think about that when I come to polish the ‘maybe’ episodes.

  • Open with Ventress on Rattatak, trim the arena so we begin with a classic planetary descent; then cut from this scene to Palpatine’s office on Coruscant.
  • Your placement of the second Ventress episode is great, especially the cut from a close up of Anakin to Ventress; I wonder if the duel here could be trimmed a little, to focus more on Dooku destroying Ventress’ Jedi lightsabers, maybe cut the bit with the sculpture?
  • In the space battle, cut the missiles (from around 19:35) firing across the bow and tracking Anakin.
  • Cut Obi-Wan sending a squad of clones to follow Anakin, and their arrival at Yavin.

I’m intending for my cuts of this episode to be fairly light touch, since Tartakovsky has such a bold style and you either like Tartakovsky but you don’t, so my feeling is that if you want this episode included you generally want as much (non-conflicting) Tartakovsky as possible.

  • Extend the static close up of Ventress at 8:55, to remove the white flash at the beginning of the shot.
  • Cut part of the Arc troopers on Muunilist, from 13:15 to 15:38, intercut this with part of the space battle to cover this.
  • Without the vision (of Qui-Gon and Anakin on Dagobah), the shot of Yoda at 34:55 doesn’t work for me. I’d suggest adding the vision here, or restoring it’s original placement.

I’ll check these though.

  • I’m unsure about your placement of the scene with Grievous and Dooku. I prefer Grievous at the battle of Hypori to be his first scene; I would remove the Grievous-Dooku scene and instead cut from the close up of Obi-Wan to Anakin approaching Yavin.

I think I want to stick with this change. I do enjoy the Grievous suprise intro but we’ve kind of all seen Grievous now so I figure the suprise here is kind of lost, and therefore unnecessary to maintain. My justification for keeping that scene in this episode is that this episode is the most important of the Tartakovsky ones (due to the Ventress intro), so I wanted to get any relevant info in this one - and “I’ve been trained in your Jedi arts by Count Dooku” is explained by this scene.

S1E1, The New Padawan

  • In the crawl: consider instead ‘a year ago…’ instead of ‘many months earlier…’; ‘treacherous Separatists’ rather than ‘insidious Separatists’; for the third sentence consider, ‘With Republic support, Senator BAIL ORGANA provides relief and supplies for the people of Christophsis, a planet under Separatist blockade’; for the last slide consider ‘Anakin Skywalker has earned the rank of JEDI KNIGHT, so Master Kenobi, eager to teach, has requested a new Padawan. / The duo have tracked ASAJJ VENTRESS, Dooku’s vicious disciple, to the recently evacuated Separatist command tower. / The two Jedi Knights move to investigate…’. I found the mission of the Jedi, and the tactical situation on Christophsis with Bail and Asajj, a little confusing at first, so tried to write up something that could situate things for me.
  • I had this idea for another sentence in the crawl, but there’s likely not enough space for it: ‘The duo have bypassed the blockade to support Senator Organa, but this infiltration has left their troops isolated from the Republic fleet.’

I’ll think about all of this, thanks. Though I’ll stick with ‘Insidious Separatists’ because it’s a cheeky reference to Darth Sidious!

  • For the episode title, perhaps instead ‘A NEW PADAWAN’? It’s a little more ambiguous.

Nice thought, but I think “The” makes it a bit more punctual, and (slightly) enhances the fact that Ahsoka is the focus.

  • Interpolated frames at 10:26, 19:20, 22:24.

Thank you!

S1E2, The Death Watch

  • In the crawl, in the second sentence consider instead ‘War against the Separatists spreads like fire across the galaxy, yet thousands of worlds refuse to take sides in the conflict’; in the third sentence, ‘The Council of Neutral Systems is led by MANDALORE, ravaged homeworld of the now pacifist Mandalorians.’

Valid!

  • I’m not sure what to make of Almec’s disavowal of Jango at 2:58, it seems like an unnecessary deception on his part, and one that overly complicates the canon. Would it be too jarring if Almec’s response was removed, and we cut from Kenobi to Satine here?

I’d agree with you here but for the Mandalorian TV show specifically clarifying this scene recently, so I think his disavowal is important. Plus, it correctly establishes that there’s a difference between Mandalore (the state) and a few people who wear Mandalorian armour.

  • Cut Kenobi missing with the blaster in the battle on Concordia, at 16:05.
  • I wonder if the dialogue would run smoother (at 30:45) if Kenobi’s line ‘Satine, this is hardly the time or place for’ was cut.

I’ll look into these, thanks!

  • Cut Anakin straight up asking if OWK and Satine were ever involved, as it’s really not the right time, unless Anakin should be insensitive in this way.

I think this is OK! Anakin’s a bit insensitive and he does like to goad and poke at Obi-Wan’s resolve.

S1E3, Malevolence

  • In the crawl, in the first slide consider instead ‘The leader of the Separatist droid army, General Grievous, strikes strategically, targeting critical Republic defenses. / With his new weapon, the dreadnaught MALEVOLENCE, he ruthlessly attacks Clone medical stations, killing thousands of wounded troops.’; also in the last sentence of the second slide ‘But in every battle with the Malevolence, there are as yet no survivors…’

Nice ideas here, thanks.

  • Interpolated frame at 22:10.
  • The attack on the Malevolence felt a little odd, given the original attack angles. I think its just the shots at 24.20 and 24:36, where the squadron is shown off bow of the Malevolence, that feel out of place, as they’ve already passed the bow at this point and should now be over the middle of the ship.
  • Also, without fighters being disabled by the ion cannon, dialogue on half the squadron being lost (at 23.55) seems inaccurate at this point. Perhaps this scene where squadron losses is noted could be placed after Matchstick’s death?
  • The Malevolence crashing into the moon works well enough, but I wonder if any of the shots with the droids on the bridge of the Malevolence (such as scenes with the lines, ‘I think we have a problem’, and ‘reset the navicomputer’) could be used to extend things a bit here?

I’ll look into all of this too, thanks!

That’s all I’ve got for now, hope it helps!

Brilliant feedback, and extremely useful, thank you! Please keep it coming!

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I made it through the second half of the 1st season. For better or for worse, I have far less feedback. The last few episodes were simply tighter than the first few.

01x05 - Cloak of Darkness

  • In the crawl, you mention Ventress’ recent failures. You may want to make it “failure at Kamino” to root it in the immediate context and because I’m not seeing much of a recent track record outside of that. She didn’t really fail in 01x01, though the invasion itself was repelled. I guess you could say that she failed to kill Anakin in 01x00, but again that is kind of an optional part of the series.

  • This episode might make more sense coming before The 501st. It has a lengthier intro for Ventress and explains why Asoka isn’t with Anakin. Note that if you go this route, you need to remove the whole thing about Ventress’ failure(s) from the opening crawl.

  • Once again, we have the issue of Ventress knowing and being known by the characters, this time Asoka. She knows that Asoka is Skywalker’s apprentice, and Asoka clearly recognizes Ventress (who in your edit has never encountered her). As before, this could be resolved by slightly trimming the lines/scenes.

01x06 - Children of Night

  • This episode is very hard to nitpick. It’s long. The part where Savage kills his brother is pretty hard emotionally, but I get that it’s important. I like what this does with fleshing out Ventress and the people of Darth Maul. I also like how it introduces a level of valid distrust between Sidious and Dooku.

  • I suppose there is once again the issue of how well (or not well) Ventress and ObiWan/Anakin know each other. How do they know her name? The impression that I have of her in this series is that she functions a lot like Maul did in Phantom Menace - a mysterious and clearly dark-side user who appears sometimes and fights with them, then disappears. She should be recognized at this point, but they shouldn’t really know much about her besides her species and affiliation with the Separatists. Some dialogue/scene trims to remove her name from their lines (especially in the early fighter battle) could maintain this status.

01x07 - The Blockade of Ryloth

  • Should Twi’lek be capitalized in the opening crawl? We generally capitalize nationalities and races today (the British royal family, an African-American singer, the Cuban missile crisis).

  • Audio-synch issue during rescue of Anakin 29:10 - end. I don’t know if this was somehow an issue with only the file I downloaded and saved, but from the point where Asoka leaves the hanger bay to rescue Anakin through the end of the episode, the audio is off by a few seconds.

01x08 - The Duchess of Mandalore

  • I have no suggestions. This was excellent.

01x09 - A Strike at the Heart 1

  • Should Duros be capitalized in the opening crawl? Same issue as Twi’lek in 01x07.

  • Anakin w Padme at first is awkward, but not inconsistent w Attack of the Clones. They just seem immature/dysfunctional. I understand that we have to have him giving her his lightsaber and that the conversation is the explanation for that. It’s just slightly cringe-worthy.

  • Why does Cad Bane know Skywalker by sight? Again, are the faces of every Jedi just common knowledge? The dialogue could easily be trimmed in the couple places where he says “Skywalker” to remove the recognition but keep the rest of the interaction intact.

01x10 - A Strike at the Heart 2

  • The clone bonking his head on a pipe seemed beneath their usual level of competence. Maybe just show them with the night-vision enabled already?

  • What is the purpose of Asoka’s lesson about the lightsaber at the end? I get that it’s a callback to the Anakin/Padme scene in part 1, and I guess that lightsabers get dropped a few times in all of this, but it seems pretty random. My guess is that in the original version this was a major dialogue thread/lesson. Here it is less so, and this scene just feels vestigial.

Season 1 Final Thoughts:

  • Overall this is quite good and definitely watchable. The weakest point is the use of recurring villains like Ventress and Grievous. I am not sure how they were or were not built as characters in the vanilla series, but here they hop in and out pretty arbitrarily. That doesn’t really hurt any particular episode, but it does remove their ability to be compelling, especially Ventress (who has what is potentially a really great arc).

In your version we meet Ventress, an unknown dark-side enemy who we see being trained/coerced by Dooku. She lures Anakin away to kill him but fails. This mysterious introduction (actually quite good aside from some of the Dooku parts where it’s hard to see why she is working for him) occurs in an “optional” episode. Therefore, you’d think we would get a proper introduction for her later on. We do, but not until she’s had two more appearances, during which the other characters seem to immediately know who she is, who she works for, even the title (Assassin) that she has been given. She also knows who the good guys are. This is probably because she has fought with them several other times in episodes/content that you cut. The problem is that it feels like that content was cut. It’s like in The Force Awakens when they don’t explain the First Order or the Resistance and then say that you should have read tie-in comic books or novel to understand that. Yes, I guess that can work, but it’s not kind to your audience. Your show is part of a larger universe, but it also should strive to be self-contained, providing viewers with everything they need to make sense of what they are seeing.

In light of all that, I suggest taking a hard look at Ventress in particular and editing, deleting, spacing, or rearranging her appearances to emphasize her arc. I love her initially being an unknown enemy (a lot like Maul in Phantom Menace), but I hate that the good guys get to know her in scenes that I don’t see. I love her big episode on Dathomir, but I wonder if it should come even later in the season, after The Siege of Ryloth or even after the Duchess of Mandalore. Alongside the Mandalorian stuff, it is arguably THE arc of the season.

As for Grievous, he has a far simpler storyline. His big ship gets destroyed and then he leads a fleet against Kamino. Then we see them still looking for him, but he doesn’t show up again. The optional first episode paints him as an anti-Jedi assassin; the rest of the season paints him as a flag officer. I think he’s fine as a flagship officer, but I think that his three mentions/appearances (Malevolence, Cloak of Darkness, and The 501st) should be a more intentional set. This could be done easily by rearranging their order and adjusting the crawl text to emphasize that the hunt for Grievous is a big deal after the Malevolence is destroyed. Maybe (moving it further up in order) to immediately after Kamino, have the Duchess episode start with the line, With General Grievous having escaped again and Kamino being secured, Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin return to Coruscant to reunite with Asoka Tano and the Jedi Council.

All in all, I see the flow of the season going like this:

01x00 - Dark Force Rising: Mysterious Ventress and intro to Grievous. All else is basically getting the audience up to speed with the Jedi leading clone troops against Separatist droids who are commanded from a distance by Dooku.

01x01 - The New Padawan: Full introductions for ObiWan, Anakin, and Asoka, as well as getting the audience up to speed with the Jedi leading clone troops against Separatist droids.

01x02 - Malevolence: Reintroduces Grievous as a flag officer and builds the threat of the Separatist navy.

01x03 - The Death Watch: Introduces the situation on Mandalore and adds depth to ObiWan. By placing this episode later, we would hijack the reason for Asoka’s absence in Cloak of Darkness and The 501st and use it to also justify her absence here. This would require an adjustment to the opening crawl.

01x04 - Cloak of Darkness: Reintroduces (fully) Ventress while Asoka has her own adventure and ObiWan and Anakin are elsewhere. By placing this episode here, we can juxtapose it with the events of The Death Watch for ObiWan and Anakin, draw out the threat posed by Grievous, and set up The 501st.

01x05 - The 501st: Brings the Ventress threat and the Grievous threat together. This would also close out the hunt for Grievous thread where Asoka has been doing her own thing.

01x06 - The Duchess of Mandalore: Regroups our main characters on Coruscant.

01x07 - The Blockade of Ryloth: Sends our heroes out to the front again.

 This one feels very standalone, but it’s a good standalone episode.

01x08 - Children of Night: Brings back Ventress for her big episode, which also introduces Maul (sort of) and sends the season off with a hint of things to come.

01x09/10 - A Strike at the Heart 1 and 2: Again brings the main characters back from the front to Coruscant for the big finale of the season.

These changes would build the appearances of the villains more evenly and do more to justify the way the main characters come and go.

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Woop woop! It took me weeks longer than expected, but I’m rendering the workprint for 301 now. That should be a couple of hours, but I’m very excited to have this one out of my hands.

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vranir said:

I made it through the second half of the 1st season. For better or for worse, I have far less feedback. The last few episodes were simply tighter than the first few.

I won’t do another mammoth element-by-element analysis of this, but I really appreciate it and will do a full thought-pass of the season accounting for your feedback. I especially like your thoughts on structuring the season around the villains. We did collectively do a lot of thinking about the ordering of those first few episodes but your argument is compelling and warrants further consideration. Interestingly I did originally place Cloak and Death Watch as you suggested in order to explain Ahsoka’s absence - though I believe I ultimately dropped this because they end up being apart without explanation plenty. There is a scene of Ahsoka studying at the Jedi temple that I could use in any episode if I needed to explain her general absence in an early episode too.

Shorter collected thoughts:

  • In terms of the characters just knowing each other, that’s fairly unavoidable. In the original, a lot of them simply knew each other by name. I mentally try to handwave it by believing that Jedi and military villains are known public figures or at least well researched within the militaries, and that they’ve talked about each other a few times (like Anakin must have described Ventress to Ahsoka). But there’re few good options here. Sometimes I’ve had to settle for characters saying “We’ve met before!” and leave it at that, though it is unsatisfactory. Ventress is a tough one though, because originally we only got her backstory in one of her last appearances, and people did just end up knowing exactly who she was before that. What I can confirm though is that she’s only in one cut episode, and it’s a really worthless/cheapening Ventress appearance. The rest of her appearances are preserved, with Cloak of Darkness being the first time she meets Ahsoka onscreen.
  • I did have an option to cut Children of Night into two, and it remains my longest episode. Having it early and unsplit currently is mainly because I’d like to get to that Maul tease as early as possible, because Maul is one of the strongest elements of TCW and one I wanted to introduce far earlier in TCW:R to allow him to become an ever-present wildcard threat.
  • I’m dismayed that you felt like Ahsoka’s lightsaber scene didn’t quite land at the end of the Holocron crisis two-parter! That was a scene from another episode that I thought really worked here, so it’s a shame to hear that it wasn’t well received. My original justification was that it begins to set up Ahsoka’s character as it appears in Rebels and Mandalorian where she seems particularly invested in future generations, and placed here it would work as a direct reaction to her realising that, as the Sith Lord is investing in force sensitive younglings, that there’s potentially some multi-generational threat that she’s beginning to work to counter. I thought it also played well given that Anakin just lost his own lightsaber, so the lesson she chose to teach first was one she’d just learned secondhand, adding to her wisdom.
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 (Edited)

Review cut / Workprint available - s03e01 - The Politics of War

32 minutes long, comprising Heroes on Both Sides, Pursuit of Peace, and Senate Murders.

It’s in the usual spreadsheet - PM me if you don’t yet have access.

I’m calling it a review cut mainly to open it to discussion because the edits have been complex and taken from a large pool of possible options - but the narrative is coherent, the edits are complete, and it’s fully polished.

Loads of discussion over the last couple of pages if you want detail, but ultimately it’s:

  • Almost all of Heroes on Both Sides (especially the Bonteri stuff and cutting most scenes of the droids)
  • A quite heavily restructured Pursuit of Peace focused on getting us from Heroes on Both Sides to the great speech Padmé delivers in a coherent way which maximises Padmé value while minimising dry plot.
  • Some useful scenes from Senate Murders peppered throughout to add some context, focus on Bail and Mon Mothma, and extra conflict.

The Pursuit of Peace stuff is where most of the work is and also where I had a lot of options for how to proceed. I can still potentially make a lot of changes and additions in that area if there’s anything you guys think doesn’t quite work. A fair amount is recontextualised here so feel free to savage what I’ve released so that it can be better improved.

There’s my first attempt at some radical (for me) audacity audio effects in this episode too, so if that doesn’t quite work let me know and I’d gladly work with someone to try to smooth it out.

I want to keep the momentum up so my current plan is to release the next episode (Maul Piracy!) and then work over the older comments on the end of Season 2, before reconsidering Season 1 in light of recent feedback. I should get a good amount done this week and weekend.

As always, share your thoughts! ❤️

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So, while that was rendering I looked forward to the Scipio episodes, since they feature banking drama and Clovis, which have been subjects of recent episodes.

I’m not sure how I’ll cut Scipio yet, which is fine since I don’t have to think about it for two more seasons, but the action is great and the drama is absolutely top tier, other than the actual banking stuff being fairly dry and slightly awkwardly paced. I love the scene of Jedi bobsleigh versus snowboard bounty-hunter and hope that the edit suggests it’s right to include that, though I can see myself cutting a lot of the first episode.

I do think that I can make the fireside chat of Obi-Wan and Anakin discussing Ahsoka’s absence work here, with option one being that I put that audio over dreamy visuals in a few places (to show that it’s a recent conversation that’s on Anakin’s mind), and option two being possibly reworking that audio into the scene in Anakin’s room in the Jedi temple (so that it happens properly onscreen). Though that latter scene is itself really decent, with Obi-Wan showing that he almost gets it, and alluding to his own relationship with Satine. It’ll be hard to choose which works better, so I might mockup that scene early and see what you guys think.

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I’m actually far more impressed with the Asoka lightsaber lesson knowing that you connected the dots to put it there. It definitely felt like the original ending of the episode due to its echoing of the Anakin/Padme conversation.

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I’ve been watching through the first few episodes when I get the chance, and I can’t help but wish that the early TCW seasons were reanimated or remastered at some point. Even beyond animation and model quality, some camera shots are laughably goofy, whereas later seasons and the other animated shows play around with more interesting cinematography. Regardless, I’ve been enjoying what I’ve seen and I’m looking forward to getting out of the proverbial woods animation-wise!

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I wish that all the Clone Wars arcs could be officially watched this way. Animation would need to be re-rendered and touched up especially taking some of the earlier episodes and later ones which may stick out, much like certain Season 3 episodes that are set earlier in the timeline.

May never happen though…

“Did you know, the word ‘gullible’ is not in the dictionary?! Look it up.”

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Totally. Just updating the models and lighting effects would be great, though there’d be a lot of effort involved even then to check each shot in case of errors. And tightening up the animation in the earlier seasons would be super. It’ll probably never happen. But hey, at least we have the lovely stuff like season seven and Bad Batch now.

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Indeed! Intrigued to see where the Bad Batch goes from here… 😊

“Did you know, the word ‘gullible’ is not in the dictionary?! Look it up.”