Anyway, I was considering waiting until I had watched all of S1 before offering my thoughts, but I figure I’ll give 'em as I go.
Keep 'em coming! I love detailed feedback like this. After season three I’ll do a polish pass of seasons one and two, and I’ve had good indepth feedback from you and at least two others recently, so I’m looking forward to doing a nice batch of refinements.
0100 Dark Force Rising
I know you already stated your reasons for not formatting this episode as part of the series proper, but I would love an alternative version with at least the TCW:R logo for the opening.
Ah, perhaps I should then, for s01e00 and s03e00. Wrap them in properly.
This episode just feels so necessary to me. Though in a single episode like this the long sequences without dialogue and just fighting really drag and could use a trim.
I would consider trimming down and/or cutting the instances of Obi-wan berating Anakin and verbally doubting his readiness for assignments. By the end of the episode he’s giving Anakin a supportive speech about how much he’s grown and matured as his padawan and it doesn’t feel like something Anakin earned over the arc of the episode, it just feels abrupt. And it’s a retread of their dynamic from AotC. It feels especially weird when in the next episode he’s suggesting Anakin is ready to submit for a padawan of his own.
I wasn’t intending to do anything radical to the Tartakovsky content, even though it’s a little jarring compared to TCW, since ultimately Tartakovsky’s gonna Tartakovsk. It’s such a stylised thing that I always felt like it was best allowed to remain in his signature style - other than the elements I always found particularly conflicting with the canon. I’m not married to that decision though and I could take it further if there’s popular support. I’d be interested in specific lines/elements which people think should be removed.
0101 - The New Padawan
Love the opening stinger. It immediately caught my attention and made me curious about what’s going on.
I really like it too. To my mind, it’s part of the “promise” of TCW:R as opposed to TCW. It’s TCW:R saying “This show’s going to emphasise Maul and the Mandalorians, it’s going to bring them together, and oh hey look here’s the Darksaber and Bo Katan.” I also think there’s value in putting it right up front during what I think are the weakest parts of TCW:R - the very start - to generate some momentum that might carry a viewer through it.
That said, people have a valid objection to it, which is that (while we do get our hints of Maul and Mandalore in season one,) we don’t get back to this scene ‘in real time’ until mid/late season three. And there’s certainly a good argument which says “don’t promise something you don’t deliver on for three seasons”. Does knowing that change your opinion on its worthiness?
Admiral Yularen says he’s gonna drop off the “message” at 07:45. The transition was weird. Noticed this in a few other places in other episodes too. Where ibwaa expecting a wipe, there was fast fade to Black and then the next scene.
I’ll review these.
When Ventress makes her entrance, is there any instance of Anakin saying “Ventress” that could be used here, instead of Obi-wan saying it? Any Anakin line that could be used to express disbelief that she’s alive?
Obi-wan flirting with her at all feels out of place, not because he’s never met her, but because last he knew, Anakin had killed her and it was that victory that proved he was ready to he knighted.
To my mind, they learn that Ventress survived offscreen, hence why they’re tracking her in the crawl. Anakin doesn’t need to have killed her to earn a knighting - simply ‘defeating’ her should suffice. I borrowed Smudger’s audio here to at least refer to their original meeting. I will look for an Anakin line though - they don’t actually meet that much in TCW but the Kamino episode might have the line.
I know we’re going to see her again in later episodes, but I missed having any kind of scene where she reported to Dooku or something. Her just vanishing felt odd.
Weirdly enough this is kind of how it is, if I remember right. I don’t think there’s a Dooku conversation, she just talks to that horrible Scottish general then fucks off. My read on this whole situation is that she kind of drew Anakin and Obi-Wan to her mainly so they’d be in the building with her whilst the Separatists were dropping a landing party, at which point it was job done. Though I agree it doesn’t really make much sense.
At 19:24-25, there is an abrupt audio cut and click as it goes from Kenobi to Anakin and Ahsoka
At 23:30 we here Yularan say “reinforcements should be landing in a moment”, but there is no one in frame when he says it and it is unclear who it is directed to. Would be less odd to me if the sound of the shuttle we hear as he’s speaking didn’t cut out abruptly and faded into the shot of Rex. This would help it feel like a connected audio moment.
Noted on these!
Regarding Bail thanking Anakin for his help, a verbal “Your Welcome Senator” or “Of course Senator” or a “Just doing my job Senator” from Anakin would help it feel less out of place. As it is, the only problem I have with this bit is it feels like Bail’s being ignored, so he feels like he was just added in.
I agree that this inclusion just doesn’t quite work. This is how it was originally, Bail says “thanks” and then we cut immediately away to some other clones without any response from Anakin. I really don’t know what my options are here though. Definitely the inclusion of Bail’s three scenes is something I’m still on the fence on. I’d love to keep him since Bail’s good value, “you served my father in the clone wars”, and ultimately his presence here slightly ups the stakes, but it does feel a little disjointed. There is certainly an argument for trimming him entirely just for the sake of getting through this first episode as smoothly as possible in order to build confidence in the project.
I think you should keep Rex introducing Ahsoka to the boys in “The New Padawan” it’s a fun moment which is also important for the all her interactions with the clones and it sets up the finale. In Malevolence, if the viewer hasn’t seen Ahsoka meet the clones, it is odd when one just recognizes her. Sure the viewer can assume they’ve been introduced, but why leave that to an assumption when it can be shown?
Plus ending with Ahsoka gently ribbing Anakin in front of the clones is great setup for their dynamic.
I’ll check this!
01E2 - The Death Watch
This episode was strong, well paced, and enjoyable. Good job. Not much else to say here. You removed the most egregious parts of the episodes seamlessly.
Woop woop! I’m dead pleased with the removal of the conveyor belt, that scene remains the most technical single scene edit I’ve done.
S1E3 - Malevolence
At 2:14-15, as the clone watches the ship crash into him through the window, there’s a rogue frame.
At 7:44-45 the audio transition could be smoother. The whole cut felt a bit abrupt from the clone talking to the ship in hyperspace.
At 22:9-10, another rogue frame.
I do miss seeing Anakin go out of his way to rescue Padme in the Malevolence arc, but I do also like seeing them together less as it helps sell the issues they experience later on. And not seeing her until the “season finale” works well.
The Anakin/Padmé scenes in Malevolence were fine, maybe even cute, but I felt I had to cut them because (1) the contrivance to get them into that situation cheapens quite a few characters, (2) the action on the Malevolence is particularly goofy, with the trains and the droids in particular, (3) It completely throws off the pacing of the arc. But I agree, waiting until the S1 finale works (with a good “it’s been ages since I saw you” scene), and then we get more of her later in the show.
Season 1 Thoughts, So Far:
This is a marked improvement over the original first season, notably the first episodes, with much of the gunk removed and the good stuff uplifted with tighter editing and excellent rearranging.
That’s the goal, so I’m super happy that’s your takeaway!
The intro text for “The Death Watch” sets up that Anakin is off somewhere WITH Ahsoka, so I was really thrown when he showed up in this episode without her. It doesn’t feel narratively satisfying to have the next time we see him after he gets his padawan, for her to be missing. Especially since we haven’t really had an opportunity to watch them grow into their new roles at this point. He literally just decided that he isn’t gonna pawn her off on Obi-wan.
I think Malevolence would make a better episode 2 than “The Death Watch” as it has Anakin with Ahsoka, gives us more time to absorb her as a character, and ends in such a way that it doesn’t feel odd to not see her in the next ep. “The New Padawan” ended with them going off to check on the fleet, and the Malevolence stuff is entirely focused on that. And so it kinda felt like it was continuing on from where New Padawan ended.
And a quick glance at the opening crawl for “501st Legion” shows that it would work just fine with Ep 2 & 3 swapped.
Though I would still want TDW’s crawl wording to be less confusing regarding Ahsoka if possible.
Yes, I intend to reorder some of season one, I think. Imhotep (I believe, sorry if I’m wrong) suggested a good reordering for season one which fixed the matter of Ahsoka’s early absence plus made the development of the villains, and particularly Ventress, flow really well.
P.s. I love the titles you came up with for the 03 sections of Tales from the Clone Wars. So much fun! Which is what this ep is gonna feel like, a fun bridge between 2 & 3.
Good fun eh!
Edit: so just musing about how to present the series finale, cus having watched RotS-NCC on its own, Siege of Mandalore on its own, and then my combination edit, I have a hard time imagining getting to the end of the series and not watching the full ending. If it’s just Siege of Mandalore then about 20 min in you lose two of your main characters and only see one of them 1 more time, and there’s no context for Vader’s appearance. Whereas RotS-NCC on its own just feels incomplete. You wonder the whole time, where is Ahsoka, Rex and Maul?
But 3 1/2 hrs is a lot, and I’m wondering if splitting into two or episodes might not be a bad idea?
No need to respond to these musing atm, I know S5 is a ways off. 😃
I’ve thought about this a little. In the most simple case, I might place the first two(?) Siege of Mandalore episodes before ROTS, leaving the second two to be played afterwards (rather than interspliced). But I might also do something more radical, and chop ROTS into episodes too, so the whole thing can flow a bit more naturally. I’m not certain yet.