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The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit inspired by the Mandalorian [RELEASED: 2/5 seasons + 3 bonus episodes] — Page 28

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I also plan on watching the other episodes besides Death Watch today, will give feedback later today/tonight!

I am no Jedi

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Maybe my tolerance for this sort of thing is just super high, but I do miss the “Snips and Skyguy” exchange in ep 1. I get that some people have a cringe reflex, or would rather like Ahsoka than not at first, but I think there is value in having Ahsoka act smug and petulant at this point in her character arc.

Its absence kind of messes with the progression between her and Anakin in the episode. The bickering establishes why they aren’t getting along as well as they should be, so without it, she just comes off as a harmlessly enthusiastic girl that Anakin is being a dick to for no reason. By the time she is firing back, it’s because she’s had enough of his shit. But I just think Anakin needs to see a lot of himself in her for the whole “You’ll make it as mine” moment to work. She needs to be a headache, but one he understands being. It’s a perfect line robbed of its weight here.

idk, it was just really noticeable to me how harmless and inoffensive Ahsoka was. It didn’t jive with important character moments and dialogue in the episode.


Pretty much everything else I’d have to say about the episodes I saw has been said. I think these are really well done overall! My only real technical (if even) gripe is that it’s noticeable to me when we’re coming into a scene from the titles with the music already halfway through a track. Maybe it’s something you plan to polish, but I wouldn’t mind if you rescored the beginning of those moments.

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NFBisms said:

Maybe my tolerance for this sort of thing is just super high, but I do miss the “Snips and Skyguy” exchange in ep 1. I get that some people have a cringe reflex, or would rather like Ahsoka than not at first, but I think there is value in having Ahsoka act smug and petulant at this point in her character arc.

Its absence kind of messes with the progression between her and Anakin in the episode. The bickering establishes why they aren’t getting along as well as they should be, so without it, she just comes off as a harmlessly enthusiastic girl that Anakin is being a dick to for no reason. By the time she is firing back, it’s because she’s had enough of his shit. But I just think Anakin needs to see a lot of himself in her for the whole “You’ll make it as mine” moment to work. She needs to be a headache, but one he understands being. It’s a perfect line robbed of its weight here.

idk, it was just really noticeable to me how harmless and inoffensive Ahsoka was. It didn’t jive with important character moments and dialogue in the episode.


Pretty much everything else I’d have to say about the episodes I saw has been said. I think these are really well done overall! My only real technical (if even) gripe is that it’s noticeable to me when we’re coming into a scene from the titles with the music already halfway through a track. Maybe it’s something you plan to polish, but I wouldn’t mind if you rescored the beginning of those moments.

We’re on it. Promise. 😃

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I’ve been rewatching the original arc and the Clone Cadets flashbacks idea could work, both in a 3-in 1 cut of the Domino arc or in a two-parter.

The thing that makes the clone troopers in Rookies resonate with the audience is that this is their first mission. You can still point some of the elements that make Echo, Fives and Hevy unique, but these would be greatly served if we knew the hard work and lessons learned that got them to this stage, so a juxtaposition between Rookies and Clone Cadets that preserves the best moments of both, and IMO there are plenty, should work pretty well even if flashbacks aren’t going to be a staple of the show moving forwards.

If ARC Troopers in its entirety becomes the third act, the episode would need only one “Months later”-type time skip, after which there are no more flashbacks (much like Man of Steel where the frequent glimpses into the past catch up with the main story in the second act). I’d say ARC Troopers works pretty well as a stand-alone, but it might do best as the culmination of the entire story: we meet Obi-Wan and Anakin again after they are absent from the beginning, Rex and Cody are a part of the action which justifies keeping Rookies for their introduction, and it serves as a good book-end to Echo and Fives’s arc: they leave Kamino as graduates and return to become ARCs.

I’m gonna take a look to see if Grievous’s planned attack on Kamino in Rookies can be amalgamated with the actual invasion in ARC Troopers.

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NFBisms said:
idk, it was just really noticeable to me how harmless and inoffensive Ahsoka was. It didn’t jive with important character moments and dialogue in the episode.

A totally valid opinion of course, but I think that my intention right now is to make the show (and especially the early episodes (and especially the Christophsis arc)) as palatable as possible for the theoretical first-time viewer. We all love Ahsoka, but her early portrayal is one of the things that most turned people off about the show. And it’s the people who had those initial intolerances that I’d most like to cater for now. That said, I totally understand where you’re coming from, and I totally understand why the writers started off with her behaviour being like that, because it did give her a very strong arc.

My only real technical (if even) gripe is that it’s noticeable to me when we’re coming into a scene from the titles with the music already halfway through a track.

Definitely going to fix this for all episodes to date. Right now, ‘Release cut’ of an episode comes with the caveat that I’m yet to polish the credits in and out (whereas ‘Review cut’ means it might have elements I’m yet uncertain of, or a little roughness). But I’ll absolutely rerelease all of them when McFibb and I (and any additional collaborators) have settled on our plans for the music.

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I appreciate you looking into that, Knight of Kalee. Thanks for the analysis, this is all useful. It’s great to be discussing topics episode by episode because it’s really valuable for us to share focus.

I’m having a slightly slower couple of days - full brain by the end of the day so a bit less brainspace left for editing - but nobody need worry about any lack of momentum. It’s all ticking on!

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Okay here’s my thoughts on the two episodes below. Other than the things mentioned, I didn’t notice anything that felt out of place. However, I haven’t seen these episodes in a long time, so I probably don’t notice what was cut/trimmed or added.

Thoughts about THE NEW PADAWAN:

  • The Maul cold open works in terms of adding Maul’s presence early on, but as has been mentioned above, I think it would work better as a end of season teaser. That way Death Watch has already been introduced and people know that nothing good will come of them finding Maul.
  • 7:56-8:00, the audio transition between Yularen and Master Yoda’s communication and the following battle has a drop in volume, making it feel like something is missing until the battle comes in at full volume. I think if the blaster fire faded in a couple seconds sooner, and the music increased more gradually, like a steep curve, towards the trumpet fanfare at 8:00, the transition would feel better. Just a thought.
  • The exchange with Bail at the end still felt unnatural to me, but I think the idea is sound. The lighting is what seemed off to me most; the shots that focus on Bail and Anakin shaking his head seem like they’re night shots instead of day shots. I’m not sure if that is fixable at all, but if the lighting was similar, I think it would feel more natural.

Thoughts about CLOAK OF DARKNESS

  • In the intro text, I was momentarily confused with the line “He has delivered her to master LUMINARA UNDULI, to help her…” I read it initially as “Ahsoka would master some skill”, instead of her being delivered/tasked to help Master Luminara Unduli. I think capitalizing Master would alleviate this or adding the word Jedi before master, but if you’re going for a stylistic element like you are with the word “padawan”, I can understand that.
  • I also don’t love the idea that Anakin simply pawns her off right away. I think if you worded it like “Seeking to teach his new padawan patience, he tasks her with helping Master LUMINARA UNDULI” or something like that. That way it would convey the idea that Anakin just wants his padawan to learn from different perspectives. But if that isn’t what you’re going for no worries. Just an opinion!

Overall, I really liked the episodes and how they felt as parts of the larger TCW: Refocused series. The intro and outro music is phenomenal, and I can’t wait to watch Malevolence later tonight!

I am no Jedi

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Without knowing the shape of things to come, I too wonder if Maul’s sting would be better as a season closer. I’d be really scratching my head if this were a new show to have that and nothing else after the season wrapped.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Good feedback sonofabinadi, thanks.

I think what you’re saying aligns with quite a lot of feedback, so I think I’m going to make the following changes to the first four episodes:

  • All technical things mentioned so far
  • Credits transitions
  • Christophsis: Cut Anakin’s anger after being saved.
  • Christophsis: Cut Anakin and Ahsoka’s look response to Bail, and try to colour correct Bail to daytime/more teal. Maybe pad that moment’s transition into the next shot some other way.
  • Cloak: Trim a bit more janky dialogue.
  • Malevolence: Remove the merged ion cannon description/destruction scene, putting the line “it’s an ion cannon” somewhere else.
  • Flip Malevolence and Cloak, and drop Ahsoka being palmed off from Cloak, making it just a normal thing that happens rather than Anakin’s discomfort.

Maybes:

  • Remove the Maul cold open and make it the stinger at the end of Death Watch (where it makes sense in context) rather than at the end of the season (which will already end on Maul’s face). Still a bit on the fence on this one, putting myself in the place of an absolute newbie. I think I’ll make this change based on feedback to my (production) season one finale, which we’re two episodes away from.
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Maybes:

  • Remove the Maul cold open and make it the stinger at the end of Death Watch (where it makes sense in context) rather than at the end of the season (which will already end on Maul’s face). Still a bit on the fence on this one, putting myself in the place of an absolute newbie. I think I’ll make this change based on feedback to my (production) season one finale, which we’re two episodes away from.

Could this be solved by adding additional context, perhaps through different dialogue elsewhere in the series? Would be easily accepted by the viewer since everyone is in helmets. And the actual voice of Pre Vizla really shouldn’t matter at this point, since we have no IDEA who this character is at the outset (and chances are, we aren’t going to go back once we meet PV and compare this opener’s vocal performance. If we accept that, then perhaps we could find some other audio introduction to Maul that makes more sense for the first time viewer? There’s gotta be someone, somewhere in the 7 seasons of TCW who says something to the effect of: “I thought you/him was dead!” vs the existing “What ARE you…?” dialogue, which serves the PV/mando character more than it does us as a viewer anyway. Add in a telephone/hi-pass filter to the audio (for the helmet) and boom, it might work for a cold open.

Thoughts?

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I like the “What are you?” line. I also like idea of waiting until we see your season 1 finale to then decide if the Maul teaser should be a cold open or a cliffhanger.

I also kind of see NFB’s point about the Snips/Skyguy thing. Like, having one instance of it to show how Ahsoka can be kind of irritating at first. But to be fair, are these nicknames ever used later on in the series?

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(Responding to McFibb)

Hmm, I don’t know, doesn’t that take away from the idea that Maul was super secret? He was Sidious’ secret weapon then killed and disappeared onto a trash planet, I don’t think that’d be widely known, even by senior Mandos. I think their wondering what a Dathomiri male with a lightsaber even is is more of a valid reaction.

From a real world perspective, I think all we need to see is that it’s Maul. If we only know the prequels we think “Oh, Maul survived? Not sure how I feel about that but it’s presented in a way that’s clearly deliberate.” If we’ve seen Rebels or Solo we think “OK, we’re getting some exploration of Maul, and apparently there’s a Mandalorian element?” And if we’ve seen the clone wars, we think “alright, this is a deliberate refocusing on the Maul content, which we didn’t get until late S3, or really the end of S4, so there’s clearly something different happening here.”

That’s the intention, at least! I’m not saying that lands as intended necessarily.

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RogueLeader said:
I also kind of see NFB’s point about the Snips/Skyguy thing. Like, having one instance of it to show how Ahsoka can be kind of irritating at first. But to be fair, are these nicknames ever used later on in the series?

They disappear quickly, but I did keep a “skyguy” in Malevolence, which I thought was cute without being obnoxious.

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The thing is, if you put the Maul scene anywhere other than at the very start, that implies it’s chronologically located between whatever two episodes are before and after it. Where it is, the “months earlier” makes it very apparent that it’s a flash forward - a “you’re probably wondering how we got here”-type device - whereas if you put it at the end of Death Watch or similar you’d have to have a “months later” before and a “months earlier” afterwards or something… and then presumably we’re going to see that footage again when it naturally comes up in the series anyway. I think the idea of using it as a pre-show framing device is fun but not entirely necessary, but pulling it only part of the way forward would just be really confusing. Bringing some order to the disorientating, unchronological order of the original show is one of the appeals of this restructuring for me.

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That is a solid point, Sade! Ending with that cliffhanger could make it confusing when we get to season 2 and Maul hasn’t even been found yet.

Well, if you used Skyguy in Malevolence, I would say it could be good to at least have one instance of it in the premiere.

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Well, this just shows my ignorance. I didn’t know he was Sidious’ secret weapon. I always thought he was simply his Sith apprentice. Good point though about the mandos- they probably wouldn’t even know he he was. That said, is it common knowledge that his species is largely unknown?

I feel like I should have known all this… maybe I’m not the fan I thought I was. 😕

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Moving the Darth Maul cold open to the end of S1 not only would be confusing from a timeline viewpoint, but also because the Nightsisters arc already ends with a pretty unambiguous Maul tease. Jumping from that to seeing Maul in the flesh would feel jarring and make the scene quite redundant to work as a post-credits.

McFibb said:

Good point though about the mandos- they probably wouldn’t even know he he was. That said, is it common knowledge that his species is largely unknown?

Zabraks seem to be a pretty abundant species across the galaxy. In fact there’s one episode where the Jedi discuss Maul’s homeworld and they imply that is common knowledge that most Zabraks come from a planet called Iridonia. I guess it is the sight of the Dathomirian patterns, missing limbs and lightsabers what makes Vizsla wonder about what they are.

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Knight of Kalee said:

Moving the Darth Maul cold open to the end of S1 not only would be confusing from a timeline viewpoint, but also because the Nightsisters arc already ends with a pretty unambiguous Maul tease.

In fairness, even though I suggested putting Maul at the end of the season, that depends a lot on how Eddie redoes the Nightsisters arc. Personally, I feel like it would be interesting to cut Mother Talzin’s advice to Savage of “Go find your brother. His face is red” (maybe pushing that scene to the later “Return of Maul” episode). Instead, focus more on the Ventress side of things; then, at the end, after the Nightsisters are done, put in the Death Watch/Maul tease. Then, it would be, “Whoa, Death Watch is back! And Savage! So this is where he wound up after fleeing from Dooku! Wait, who’s that with him? Oh no, this can’t be good…”

But again, it all depends on what Eddie’s plans are for Nightsisters. Personally, I can’t wait to see it!

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EddieDean said:

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.

That seems like a good compromise. The tricky thing about doing a flashback-“Hevy” episode (couldn’t resist) is that it can easily send the episode’s pacing to hell if you’re not careful. I think the important scenes to include would be one of the Hevy/99 scenes - they’re the emotional core of the episode, and we should set up for 99’s turn in ARC Troopers - and at least one scene to set up Fives and Echo - our main Clones going forward in the series. It’s definitely going to be a trickier episode to edit, but I’m sure you’ll do a fantastic job with it, however you structure it!

That being said, I wouldn’t worry too much about doing things that are “radical for Star Wars,” especially if you only experiment with it in one episode of the series. It’s also pretty radical to have a 3D animated Star Wars show, or an arc built entirely on a group of droids being led by a frog. The important thing is what will best serve the story you’re telling! (And that being said, if you think the best route is to stick with a more “typical” Star Wars structure, that’s valid too!)

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Episode 3 was all right. Not a show stealer, but perfectly serviceable. I assume it must come into play later since it is on your top-tier tract.
No complaints, just wasn’t thrilling or anything. Not on you, certainly. No worse of a drop than any show a few episodes into a season.

That opening theme, though. Good stuff.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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HAL, as a first time viewer, what value did you get from Cloak of Darkness, if any? What did it teach you about the characters?

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Ahsoka is headstrong. Dooku can corrupt the republic from within figuratively or literally in some cases. Asajj is more Dooku’s thing than Sidious’.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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OK, thanks. Those are certainly the main reasons it’s included, but yeah, the episode being fairly weak early on has to be balanced against that.

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I’m not sure if this will still be of much use to you, but I wanted to note that I’ve finished my 4K HDR upscale of all of TCW Seasons 1-6, including all the 2 parters (10 in total) and loner episodes (9 in total). With this, the entire show now has a nice quality 4K Blu Ray worthy transfer, or at least as good of one as we’ll get until Disney/Lucasfilm decides to do it themselves.

As I said in earlier posts, their content covers just about every shot in the show, save maybe a minute’s worth of shots that are missing from a small number of the prologue scenes.

4K HDR Full Series Teaser Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e04uCUnTdIM
4K HDR Teaser Trailer 1: https://youtu.be/DC62naTm3Zs
4K HDR Teaser Trailer 2: https://youtu.be/S-qJKV_4kaI
4K HDR Teaser Trailer 3: https://youtu.be/qCq9suiKgBI

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No complaints about episode 4 from me. I would’ve watched it yesterday if I’d realized it wasn’t actually an hour long. The ending kind of jumped out at me because I thought I still had 30 minutes to go.

It was a fun adventure, set up Anakin and Ahsoka’s relationship a bit more and seemed to gently wrestle with the humanity of the clones. I liked it! And I like the show overall so far. There are moments that are unhelpably fast paced due to working with an already fast paced show as source material.

If this truly were a new show on Disney+ in 2021, and nothing about it had already been seen before, I think I’d be mostly onboard. I don’t find the animation style appealing, but it’s not a big deal. I would have immediately rolled my eyes pretty hard about Darth Maul being dredged up in any event, though I repeat that it’d probably be less off putting if it felt like it was deliberate from the start of the show compared to years into it after a lackluster Maul knockoff failed. I still wouldn’t have been a huge fan of Anakin having a padawan that conveniently left before the time of ROTS and was never mentioned, but I don’t mind her so far and can appreciate her role in the show. Of course, if I’d first seen her in The Mandalorian, it’d be a big reveal and make me a little more interested, especially putting 2 and 2 together about her comment there about seeing the best of the Jedi fall. Knowing me, I’d naturally be keeping an eye out for R2 and 3PO’s presence, hoping for Obi-Wan and Yoda to never have meaningful contact with either. (Same logic that the show’s creators valued by keeping Anakin and Grievous apart; it ain’t just me!)

The opening logo and text works really well. It really draws me in a thousand times more than the show’s opening theme and war reel narration. I’m onboard!

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.