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The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit inspired by the Mandalorian [RELEASED: 2/5 seasons + 3 bonus episodes] — Page 27

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Chase Adams said:

EddieDean said:

Holy shit, that’s amazing. I mean, if you fancy doing that 250-300 times, please be my guest 😉

If I was going to commit to doing that many, I would definitely make each of them way more subtle than that.

Speaking of which, I have several other ideas on how to polish up those credits a lot more. But I’ll take another good look at them again and get back to you on that. 👍

The three of us should talk more in order to maximize the quality of the credit sequence. I love the movement, and totally agree that it should absolutely be more subtle.

I’m wondering if a workflow between the three of us could be achieved for each episode… I don’t know if I could fully commit, but I’m intrigued by the idea of custom outro credits/music for each episode. All centered around the current (to me and @EddieDean, not everyone else… we’re still getting it just right) outro music, of course, but uniquely tailored to the thematic elements of each episode, with custom in/out points depending on dialogue at the end of each episode.

Perhaps we could shoot for version 1.0 of each episode produced to have the same outdo music, and then as a new workflow emerges with v1.1, I could remix new outros for each?

I dunno, just spitballing.

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 (Edited)

I find the concept art for the vehicles much more suitable than the character models, just in case you find yourself another episode or batch of episodes with few pieces of art. BTW it would be great if the credits have these kind of subtle motion, it would remind people even more of the Mandalorian.

I’m currently leaning towards shifting Cloak after Malevolence as long as the issue of Ahsoka’s absence in Death Watch is addressed.

EddieDean said:

I think to solve the rushed feeling, I do intend to have title cards to split the episodes. “At the beginning of the Clone War”, “One month later”, and “Present day”, I think.

Sounds good to me, and it also helps because implying a time passage also helps to explain the presence of the newer elements (like the Tri-droid fighters) which are introduced within Nightsisters.

EddieDean said:

Less so the worms, if I remember right.

The worm-like beast appears in two scenes that are kind of crucial for continuity but they’re fortunately quite short.

And I agree with McFibb that some episodes could be served well by custom outro music, I would be glad to provide feedback on the soundtrack regard as I’m quite of a nerd regarding the musical leitmotives in Star Wars.

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Well hey, I’d be absolutely overjoyed by custom concept art and custom music, and it would allow me to focus a lot more on producing episode content if my part in the pipeline ended at the point where the story did. I’d not ask for more than people were willing to offer, though!

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 (Edited)

I think if we got it down to a science, with a production line that doesn’t change drastically, it could become rather efficient with minimal editing. For example, we agree on a standard duration for the credits, with every episode having X pieces of concept art lasting X seconds, with X credits per piece of concept art. It then makes editing our respective pieces that much more streamlined.

But the final cut would come from you, correct? We’d send you our respective files, with execution instructions, and then you’d replicate? Or am I getting ahead of myself? I guess I’m thinking about 3 different import/exports from different systems with different settings potentially impacting final quality (crushing blacks, frame rate drops, compressed audio, etc).

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Well, either/or. Let’s discuss this offline so we don’t leave all the to and fro in this thread! But this all sounds great.

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EddieDean said:

Well, either/or. Let’s discuss this offline so we don’t leave all the to and fro in this thread! But this all sounds great.

Deal. Starting a PM thread.

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Regarding the episode order, specifically with Domino Squad - I’m a little hesitant to remove too much of Clone Cadets. Mainly because that’s our earliest introduction of these guys, and I worry that the audience won’t care as much if too much content with Fives and Echo (and even Hevy) is removed. That being said, there’s definitely a lot of fluff in that episode, and honestly, I fully believe in your ability to trim it down however you think works best.

ARC Troopers is a bit trickier though. You can definitely do a pretty safe time jump from Clone Cadets to Rookies, but ARC Troopers takes place further down the line. Fives and Echo are all “grown up,” and there’s definitely a “returning to school” vibe in the episode. It’s kind of like Episode 2.04 of Mandalorian - it’s a direct followup to Episode 1.08, but it takes place a good chunk of time later, so by spacing it out, the audience feels that time lapse better.

Therefore, my theoretical, highly radical episode order might go like:
Christophsis > Malevolence (to give Anakin and Ahsoka a bit more time together before they’re separated) > Domino Squad (Clone Cadets and Rookies) > Cloak of Darkness > Death Watch > ARC Troopers > Nightsisters

Also, personally, I don’t care for the idea of the very first shot of the entire series being Darth Maul. That’s such a significant reveal, and it doesn’t even come into play until much later, and we haven’t even met any Mandalorians yet. Tonally, it just…doesn’t work for me. However, I think that scene would work perfectly as an end-of-season stinger. Kind of like the Dark Saber in Mandalorian - if you know who the red horned guy is, it’s a great tease for things to come. If you don’t, it’s something to make you curious (rather than confused) for the next season.

But hey, you’re the boss! And like I said, I trust your instincts for these edits.

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@Mike:

-On Domino Squad:

I’ve thought about this and not quite landed on a decision yet. I agree that since time passes, the story implicitly wants to be paced. So that’s an argument in favour of spreading it out a bit - probably exactly as you say, with Clone Cadets mixed with Rookies, then ARC Troopers standing alone.

The problem with this is that Clone Cadets/Rookies this early in the show (1) isn’t as strong as ARC Troopers, (2) isn’t well concluded, and (3) doesn’t feature any of this show’s focal characters - and it’s a bit too early for a deviation away from our core. The full trilogy works nicely early because of the great conclusion to ARC troopers which brings it all together and gives you this good emotional clone story. So I think the value of an early Domino Squad arc is in its ending, not its beginning.

One option, perhaps best of both worlds, would be to split it as mentioned (CC/R then AT) but place both later. That way it is paced better but its weaker half doesn’t interrupt what we need to be a strong start to the show.

Alternatively, we mitigate the time delay through trimming dialogue that makes it obvious, plus add (vague) cards to indicate at least time passing, and have the thing early as one whole, which allows the viewer to realise “Oh cool, there’re good deep dives into the clones in this show too.”

I still have the option, though, of getting the whole thing on the cutting board and seeing what comes out, then working out where it fits on the timeline best.

-On the Maul opening:

You may have missed some of the earlier discussion, but probably the largest change I’m making to the show as a whole is reordering the entirety, mainly by dragging the Maul plot far earlier so that he’s a presence throughout, and also by kicking off the Mandalore plots early. I think this is justifiable because (1) it gives the show a bit of a central thread which takes us to the Mauldalore conclusion which is absolutely fantastic with a lot of payoff, and (2) Maul in this show is absolutely great and he makes a really ominous background presence, especially since he’s a third party we don’t know the fate of, and (3) The Maul episodes, especially the later ones, actually have a good amount of explicit time skips between them, so they can be paced out.

So, unlike in the original, we are getting straight to Maul - with the end of my (production) season one (essentially the first eighth of the show) putting Savage on the path to Maul, and with the end of my season two (the first quarter of the show) getting Maul in play.

A cold open I believe serves two purposes.

Firstly, it’s there as a promise. “We will get to here.” In this case, it serves to tell the audience “You get Maul, you get Mandalorians, you get Darksaber, you get Mandalorians discovering Maul.” All of that is interesting, and new, and challenges the idea that this show is just the predictable known path from Episode 2 (the start of a war and Anakin’s a bit dark) to Episode 3 (Sidious orchestrated the war and Anakin becomes Vader). It’s a far more interesting hook than just the rest of Christophsis, which is a paint-by-numbers adventure in a bad setting with a character who looks like she’ll probably be quite annoying, to be frank.

Secondly, a cold open is an attention focuser. “Notice these elements as they move through the story.” In this case, it serves to tell the audience “while you may see a lot of themes in this show, keep your eye on Maul and Mandalorians.” That’ll build interest through their appearances, and allow people to have a central pillar to keep track of and feel developing even while other episodes can lean towards feeling more of a part of an anthology.

Bonus, in this case, (1) people already know Maul is in this show, so it doesn’t need to be a suprise. And (2), for people hesitant about Maul, it rips the plaster (band aid) off, saying “Maul’s coming back (from the ‘dead’). Get used to it.”

Game of Thrones (forget its ending) used a cold open very well. The show, for the first season, had almost no fantasy elements, being almost entirely noble houses having beef with each other. But the cold open was “snow zombies”. So we had a full season of good meaty mundane drama, but a full ten episodes of awareness that, hang on, I saw snow zombies. When Dany’s dragon eggs turned out to be legit and hatched, we were onboard. And, of course, snow zombies went on to be the main villain of the show (forget its ending).

Or, in short, I’m not trying to make this show:

I’m trying to make this show:

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EddieDean said:

…That’ll build interest through their appearances, and allow people to have a central pillar to keep track of and feel developing…

(I can feel my central pillar developing, if you know what I mean)

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I don’t know if this is a consideration regarding Clone Cadets/Rookies/Arc Troopers (or even if it’s possible - I haven’t seen the individual episodes outside of Smudger’s movie edit in years) but… could it work as Arc Troopers being the main story with the most important elements and moments of the other two episodes scattered throughout as flashbacks? That way you find the best spot for the episode and don’t need to worry about where to place the others within your timeline.

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 (Edited)

Just watched the first and second episode. Really good!

I only had a couple problems with the first:
-The thing Ventress says about having someone on the inside (which is an episode I actually quite liked) is never expounded upon.
-Anakin still says “I had everything under control” even though he asked for help.
-I think Anakin goes from hating his Padawan to caring about her too soon.

I think the second one was pretty much perfect (the spider bot does disappear from the table, but not really much you can do about that). This does seem to be a great way to get people into Clone Wars who don’t really feel like watching through the entire series.

My Star Wars Fan-Edits
Proud creator of Dinosauria: Ascension, Domination, Downfall

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Second episode is good!

Pretending that this is the third episode of a show meant to follow up on the Mandalorian, it’s working for me so far. It must be a combination of the current enthusiasm for SW TV, relation to stuff seen in the Mandalorian, presenting things in a more interesting order, lack of annoying theme intro, fuller episodes with a complete story, and seamless editing throughout.

That intro theme music gets me pumped, like it’s a new SW show. Well done so far!!

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Oh yeah, I definitely think bringing in Maul as a constant presence throughout the show is a smart call, especially given his rivalry with Obi-Wan. But he’s not really in Episodes 1-3 in any capacity other than the cold open, so it feels kind of disconnected to me. To spin off of your example, with the Game of Thrones cold open, you see a couple of people, and a White Walker or two. The survivor comes back into the episode later on, and he warns the Starks about the Walkers before he’s executed. This has, I feel, a few key differences to the Maul opening.

  • GOT is teasing ideas. The idea of a White Walker. The idea of how terrifying they are. It’s not just about showing the Walkers, it’s about showing why they’re so terrifying. Whenever Ned says “Winter is coming,” we remember the White Walkers and crap our pants. With Maul, the hook here is “Look at these people…that you don’t know yet. But you will, promise! Try to remember them.” We’re not scared of Maul, or of Death Watch. We don’t know what the Dark Saber is, or have any reason to suspect that it’s special. There’s no emotional investment in anything we see, nothing to make it stick in our minds. At best, it makes the audience curious; at worst, it makes them confused. (If we’re treating this project as “The Clone Wars, in the style of The Mandalorian,” the Clone Wars edits should be accessible to anyone, even if they haven’t seen any Star Wars before.)

  • The White Walkers serve as a looming presence. In part because we (the audience) are scared of them too, but also because the events of the cold open come back later in the episode, when Ned executes the survivor. If Maul doesn’t come back until the final episode of the season, there’s nothing to reinforce his presence in the show until that time. Again, I feel that this will come across as confusing, and it also feels weird in terms of pacing.

  • With Maul, I think you’re throwing too much in there for a opening shot. With GOT, you have a few Red Shirts, and…some creature. No specifics, easy to remember. With Maul, you have to remember Maul specifically, you have to remember the Mandalorians, the Dark Saber, that other horned guy…and again, none of this will reappear until halfway through the season. That’s a lot to throw on a first time viewer.
    Compare this to The Mandalorian. The cold open is our main hero beating up a few NPCs at a bar. Nothing really necessary to remember. Like Game of Thrones, it’s using the cold open to set up the tone of the show, and of the world. It’s not trying to throw major characters and plot threads at the audience in the first thirty seconds.

Compare that to putting it as an ending stinger. We’ll have met Death Watch, seen the Dark Saber. Now the tone of the scene goes from “I don’t understand any of this” to “Oh man, Death Watch is still out there? Who’s this red guy? Are they going to team up to fight Obi-Wan Kenobi?? I can’t wait to watch the next season!”

Ultimately, it’s up to you, man. Please don’t think that I’m trying to commandeer your project; I’m just offering my own two cents. You have an amazing thing going here.

As for Clone Cadets/Rookies/ARC Troopers, I think evansj1983 has the right idea. Cross cutting into flashbacks would probably work really well, and it would help to make it a little different stylistically than the other episodes. Even if you want to do a Rookies episode (with Clone Cadet flashbacks), and then a separate ARC Troopers episode (doing both of the first two episodes as flashbacks in ARC might be more challenging). For example, when they say in Rookies, “Echo was cooking in the vat for too long, ha ha ha,” you could fade out to their first training session in Cadets, when they were all dysfunctional - juxtapose their present friendship with their initial antagonism. When Cutup dies, flash back to him claiming his name. When Rex gives the “Shinies” speech, cut back to Domino Squad completing the course. Maybe pair Rex’s Kamino speech with Shaak-Ti’s graduation speech. When Hevy sacrifices himself, fade to white or whatever, flash back to his one of his chats with 99, then cut back to the other Troopers watching the explosion. Stuff like that.

And honestly, I think it would be good to have a “Clones Introduction” episode. They may not be “central” characters like Anakin and Ahsoka, but they are important. Umbara only works if you’re familiar with and care about Rex and Fives, Fives discovering the Order 66 conspiracy, Echo’s sacrifice at the citadel (and his eventual return)…all of it depends on knowing and caring about the Clones.

Comparing to Game of Thones again(!), it’s like introducing the Starks, and then a few episodes later you introduce Brienne. Brienne is a very important character too, but she doesn’t have any scenes with the Starks at first. But then they all come together in ARC Troopers for a giant, epic, Avengers-esque team-up!

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G&G-Fan said:
-The thing Ventress says about having someone on the inside (which is an episode I actually quite liked) is never expounded upon.

Keep watching 😉

-Anakin still says “I had everything under control” even though he asked for help.

He’s sassy!

-I think Anakin goes from hating his Padawan to caring about her too soon.

That’s fair. Though I hit all the same emotional beats as in the original. One option I have is to maybe take out the conversation where they’re sitting down and he says “You might just make it as mine.” That would instead mean they return to HQ just with a shared smile, then at the point where Yoda offers to take Ahsoka back, he objects and keeps her on - but less care is implied. I think I’d rather stick with the original because they still demonstrate tension early, and I don’t mind him warming up to her after what basically amounts to her being too bold and rash, which is a very Anakin thing to do.

the spider bot does disappear from the table, but not really much you can do about that

Shh! Let’s pretend we didn’t notice that! (To my mind it, uh, falls off the table when the camera cuts away.)

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G&G-Fan said:

Also am I the only one who’s noticed that the file for Malevolence is an hour long and there’s a whole 30 minutes of just black?

Yeah, this one’s only a rough production cut, and I missed this. There must have been content left at the end of the track. I’ll fix it for the next iteration.

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Hal 9000 said:

Second episode is good!

Pretending that this is the third episode of a show meant to follow up on the Mandalorian, it’s working for me so far. It must be a combination of the current enthusiasm for SW TV, relation to stuff seen in the Mandalorian, presenting things in a more interesting order, lack of annoying theme intro, fuller episodes with a complete story, and seamless editing throughout.

That intro theme music gets me pumped, like it’s a new SW show. Well done so far!!

Great to hear, Hal. It’s really useful to have your editor’s mind and familiarity with the prequels, combined with your unfamiliarity with the Clone Wars, to help validate whether this works. (Other first-timers please also chime in!)

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@EvansJ / MikeReese

-On Maul’s cold open:

Valid thoughts, but I think I’ll sit on this for now. Let’s roll out a few more episodes then see how the audience feels after watching a few, with the Maul developments they get. By the next episode after Domino, in proper episodes they’ll have seen blue-armoured Mandos, the Darksaber, and another explicit hint of Maul, so we’ll see if it feels like too much of a disconnected tease.

-On Domino Squad:

Flashbacks are valid. I’d probably rather go with bookending a whole episode rather than finding reference elements to flash back from (since that’s quite radical for Star Wars). But I think I’ll get my teeth in to the edit, and properly load the content into my brain, then see what options that gives us.

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I get what he is saying about the Mail cold open. Maul won’t be introduced in season 1, right? So I could see how that scene, or a different Maul hint, could work as sort of a cliffhanger for Season 1, if we don’t really get into the stuff with Maul until Season 2. The Mandalorian has ended both seasons on cliffhangers, with the Darksaber reveal, then the Book of Boba Fett teaser. So season “cliffhangers” are sort of à la mode at this point.

I also kind of felt like Anakin going from really angry with her, to sort of claiming her as his apprentice, felt pretty sudden. Which, you’re right, is more of an issue with the original film. I agree that if you could cite or mute his line, asking for her help, might alleviate the whiplash feeling you get when he says moments later “I had it under control!” I mean, I know this is whiny Anakin we’re talking about here, but still.

I would go even further to suggest that it might be interesting if you did extend that tension by having the audience wonder if he is going to keep her or not until he speaks with Obi-Wan and Yoda, sort of like you suggest. But it would require a few extra cuts, and that line, “You wouldn’t have made it as Obi-Wan’s padawan, but you might make it as mine” would be a bit of a shame to lose.

And the, the episode is already pretty short. Would hate to cut out too much more.

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RogueLeader said:
I agree that if you could cite or mute his line, asking for her help, might alleviate the whiplash feeling you get when he says moments later “I had it under control!” I mean, I know this is whiny Anakin we’re talking about here, but still.

Good shout, might see if I can remove that.

that line, “You wouldn’t have made it as Obi-Wan’s padawan, but you might make it as mine” would be a bit of a shame to lose.

I could maybe play that line over the two of them as they walk away, see if that works.

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EddieDean said:

RogueLeader said:
I agree that if you could cite or mute his line, asking for her help, might alleviate the whiplash feeling you get when he says moments later “I had it under control!” I mean, I know this is whiny Anakin we’re talking about here, but still.

Good shout, might see if I can remove that.

that line, “You wouldn’t have made it as Obi-Wan’s padawan, but you might make it as mine” would be a bit of a shame to lose.

I could maybe play that line over the two of them as they walk away, see if that works.

That would be fantastic. There have been raised valid point regarding the speed of him accepting her. If you could alter the original that way, great 😃

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 (Edited)

I would be strongly opposed to cuts to the scene of Anakin and Ahsoka sitting together after the battle. I think it’s probably the most valuable part of the episode for the show as a whole.

I don’t think there’s much point in trying to drag out the mystery of whether Anakin will take Ahsoka as a padawan because… of course he will. Even if you sit someone down who’s never heard of the show before, they’d probably gather that you don’t introduce a character in the pilot and then have them spend an entire episode bonding with one of the other main characters just for them to then get rejected and leave the show.

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I can understand the strong opposition to cutting that moment. Which is why I think just cutting Anakin asking for help would be the simplest, and least offensive way to help alleviate Anakin’s sudden change of heart.

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Going to watch Malevolence today. Will post feedback shortly after.