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The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit inspired by the Mandalorian [RELEASED: 2/5 seasons + 3 bonus episodes] — Page 46

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RogueLeader said:

Damn, this sounds good Eddie. You’ve really put some thought into this. I’ve loved all your episodes so far, but these are the kind of episodes I really love to see come out of your project!

It’s definitely satisfying when it comes together like this. Since I know that the idea was spawned in a writers’ room and THEN made to fit into some multiple of 22-minute episodes (at which point all of the ideas may have been both fleshed out and watered down), I feel like sometimes I’m trying to uncover/imagine what those original ideas were initially, then recompiling them from the component parts in front of me. For this one it was realising that ‘the black market is government corruption’ was the ‘plot’ (or, I suppose, the setting, almost) of this duology, and the ‘character arc’ (really the plot) was Ahsoka demonstrating the patience we’ve recently seen her learn successfully.

I find that often you find the answer when looking at where a plot ends up, and thinking back to front instead of front to back, because it’s in the execution that you find the writer’s intention, not the initial setup. That’s also why I think that making the whole show set up and reinforce the Mauldalore finale is sensible.

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Man, if it wasn’t a waste of good time, I’m really tempted to put together an anti-trailer for TCW:R to show all of the things I’m intending to cut or minimise.

Epic music over droid banter, JarJar antics, Ziro’s flamboyance, many quick shots of Grievous being defeated yet again and going “Grr”, and then as the music swells to indicate real action, have Satine dramatically say “The school has received adequate government funding!”

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I’m uploading my Corruption on Mandalore episode now. I’m really pleased with how that came out. I can’t quite tell with my current setup, but the audio might be fucked, so I’m just calling it a review cut for now. All of the actual technical edits are in place though, so it’s final other than that. In review it does sound OK, but let me know if you guys feel it doesn’t work. If I need to fix the audio I can do so, but I’ll save that for next week - I’d rather use this long weekend to spend my focus on working out the tricky bits of (ideally) the next couple of episodes.

Onwards to my clone individuality anthology, TALES OF THE LOST CLONES.

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RELEASED - s02e04 - THE CORRUPTION OF MANDALORE

Comprising Corruption, the Academy, and a scene from Assassin.
Technically releasing this as a review version because the audio may be a bit dodgy, though on a check it seemed OK.

Notes above, PM for access to the tracker if you don’t already have it.

Feels nice to have completed another episode end-to-end after a long time working on polish.

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So I got started with my TALES OF THE LOST CLONES anthology episode and made some progress on that before running out of edit-brain for today. Couple of thoughts to share:

TOTLC is going to contain three mini-stories:

  • LOST IN SPIRIT - The traitor clone stuff from Hidden Enemy in the Christophsis arc - which works really nicely as a single thing cut out of the original episodes.
  • LOST IN MIND - The Gregor plot from Missing in Action in the Droids in the Void arc - with its context heavily simplified into a crash on a droid mining planet.
  • LOST IN BODY - The deserter plot from The Deserter.

I’ve put them in that order so that the two plots which actively feature Rex are at either end.

I’ve currently got the opening text as follows, to try to sell that it’s an anthology and not all immediately consecutive, without losing my usual tone of voice:

  • The Clone Wars spread instability and chaos across the galaxy.
  • The clones are genetically identical, born from a single source and raised toward a single purpose. Obedience is in their blood.
  • And yet, in different places and at different times throughout the war, a few clones have found themselves on different paths.
  • As CHRISTOPHSIS enjoys its freedom from the Separatists, the Republic bastion there has been ambushed at the cost of many lives.
  • Lost on the Separatist mining planet ABAFAR, the tiny Republic Colonel Gascon and his droid infiltration squad need a way home.
  • And on the remote planet SALEUCAMI, Clone Commander Rex of the 501st and a small clone squadron have had a crash landing of their own.

For my opening title(s), I then have ‘Tales of the Lost Clones’ in smaller font, lowercase and yellow, followed by the individual story’s title in the usual all-caps teal. I repeat this three times.

Just interested in thoughts on that so far.

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Anyway, my edit-brain having run out, I just skipped ahead now to watch the five-part Geonosis arc, which will form my season two finale.

I’d always thought I’d split it as follows:

  • Senate Spy - a mostly standalone Anakin/Padmé adventure which provides the macguffin to kick off the battle
  • Landing at Point Rain / Weapons Factory - the second battle itself
  • Legacy of Terror / Brain Invaders - the follow-up episodes with the worms, intercut similarly to Smudger’s approach, to preserve the suprises and tension a little longer

I think I probably will keep to that plan and present it as those three episodes, unless LAPR/WF ends up short in which case I’d put Senate Spy on the start. I might still play around with that idea. I don’t think I’d want to merge LAPR/WF with LOT/BI though, because those two each have their arcs go up and down, and they’re tonally different. Just because they’re back to back doesn’t mean they have a natural viewing flow, and I think the break should be preserved.

So, analysis and cuts:

Senate Spy has really good Anakin/Padmé romance and tension. I might trim the slightly slapstick pettiness of Anakin on the flight out, and Padmé being Clovis’ password (because I don’t like the trope). There are just a couple of goofy moments which I’ll trim, but this will have a quick turnaround. As it’ll be a very light touch edit I’ll preserve the episode’s original name.

The Battle of Geonosis duology is fairly jeopardy and emotion light and action heavy, BUT it’s good action with good character work and the battle is one of Star Wars’ best land battles - especially impressive since it’s all prequel elements which were unpopular on first release.

I could trim the bit where the three forces split up and meet again, but they’re kind of fun. Ki-Adi-Mundi in the spooky caves is novel, and Anakin’s prong of the attack shows why having the Jedi lead the military worked so well, and gives some fun Ahsoka stuff. So I think I’ll keep all of that. I might trim Anakin’s ludicrous jump off the wall though.

I will, naturally, trim droid banter throughout. I think I’ll end this episode where the current episode ends, rather than making a cliffhanger out of Ahsoka’s survival or letting it run a little longer into the wrap-up from the next two episodes. But I’ll see how that feels when I come to it.

I think I’ll call this episode simply ‘The Second Battle of Geonosis’, since that’s the selling point and there’s not a punctual character arc to follow here. But I’m open to suggestions.

The Geonosis worms duology is even more fun, and there’s proper jeopardy since we lean into Barriss and Ahsoka getting traumatised (Barriss begs Ahsoka to kill her…) and have both zombie bugs and zombie clones, also hinting forward to Order 66. I think I’ll preserve the line where a zombie-clone ominously says “we’re very good at killing Jedi”, because it’s almost like they’re subconsciously aware of Order 66 and only the worm’s weirdness gives temporary access to that knowledge.

I need to trim droid banter and the reference to the traitor clone (in my anthology episode) being tied to Ventress (since these are now two separate events), and then interleave them neatly, but there’re no real other trims to make.

I’m not sure on what to call this. Emphasising the terror/trauma/worms seems sensible, though I do kind of like keeping the focus on the Geonosians - perhaps ‘The Archduke and the Queen’.

I think this makes a fine finale, again tying together a lot of what came before, hinting forward at a few things, giving everyone their moment in the spotlight, and traumatising Ahsoka enough for her to want to mature her character model.

Assuming nothing unexpected happens, I should be able to get these and the workprint of my anthology episode done by the end of Monday, finishing off season two.

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EddieDean said:

  • LOST IN SPIRIT - The traitor clone stuff from Hidden Enemy in the Christophsis arc - which works really nicely as a single thing cut out of the original episodes.
  • LOST IN MIND - The Gregor plot from Missing in Action in the Droids in the Void arc - with its context heavily simplified into a crash on a droid mining planet.
  • LOST IN BODY - The deserter plot from The Deserter.

I just want to say that these titles are genius

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Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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For the brain worms duology you could go with something pulpy, like, Terror of the Brain Invaders!

Something more subtle could be Hive Mind. Perhaps some double meaning could be interpreted from that.

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Ooft, I’ve just realised that with my current structure, all of my season finales relate to the loss of Ahsoka and the topic of letting people go.

  1. Cad Bane arc - Anakin says “I can’t lose you, Ahsoka.”
  2. Geonosis arc - Anakin and Ahsoka clash with Luminara and Barriss about being ready to lose someone.
  3. Onderon arc - Ahsoka learns to let go of Lux (another good reason to focus on him in a single season).
  4. Ahsoka’s Fall - well, you know.
  5. Siege of Mandalore - well, you know.

It rhymes.

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EddieDean said:

Ooft, I’ve just realised that with my current structure, all of my season finales relate to the loss of Ahsoka and the topic of letting people go.

  1. Cad Bane arc - Anakin says “I can’t lose you, Ahsoka.”
  2. Geonosis arc - Anakin and Ahsoka clash with Luminara and Barriss about being ready to lose someone.
  3. Onderon arc - Ahsoka learns to let go of Lux (another good reason to focus on him in a single season).
  4. Ahsoka’s Fall - well, you know.
  5. Siege of Mandalore - well, you know.

It rhymes.

Very neat 😃 keep it that way.

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Hmmmm. Now that I’m working on it, I might trim the Anakin/Ahsoka and Ki-Adi-Mundi prongs of the attack on Point Rain. It’s a long battle, we know there’s no jeopardy, and you can overdo battle scenes. I want to preserve the initial assault, the failed landings, and the race to get to Obi-Wan’s position, but I might tighten this whole situation up.

Thoughts?

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Corruption on mandalore:

  • can’t make grammatical sense of this sentence: „…for Ahsoka to secretly teach the youth political academy‘s brightest“. do you intend to say that ahsoka is teaching them political education or you refer to the youth to be political?

in case of the first i would arrange the sentence like this: …for ahsoka to secretly teach the youth to be aware of politcal structures and their duty to conquer it when necessary.

for the latter: …for ahsoka to secretly teach the already political youth thorougness before action.
But in context of the episode only the first thought would make sense (teaching political education).

  • regarding the audio i’ve found nothing disturbing. listened to the episode via headphones. Also great transition to the end credits. i liked it very much, narrative wise.
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Ah yeah that’s a tricky one.

I’m trying to convey the following concepts:

  • The political academy (which teaches kids politics) is for youths - it is a youth political academy
  • The youth political academy has some particularly high-achieving students - the youth political academy’s “brightest”
  • These are the people Ahsoka is secretly teaching - the “brightest” students at the political academy for youths.

So perhaps I should present it as:

“…for Ahsoka to secretly teach the top students at the political academy for youths.”

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EddieDean said:

Ah yeah that’s a tricky one.

I’m trying to convey the following concepts:

  • The political academy (which teaches kids politics) is for youths - it is a youth political academy
  • The youth political academy has some particularly high-achieving students - the youth political academy’s “brightest”
  • These are the people Ahsoka is secretly teaching - the “brightest” students at the political academy for youths.

So perhaps I should present it as:

“…for Ahsoka to secretly teach the top students at the political academy for youths.”

aah, now i understand 😃
the new sentence is good, i would change „top“ with „most promising“

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Valid, but I’m already very tight on space…

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Right, they’re not finalised yet, but I’ve made good progress with Senate Spy and the the Second Battle of Geonosis.

Senate Spy just featured the trims I mentioned beforehand, nothing too radical. I also removed the scene where Padmé gets gawked at by Rush - he’s still really into her, he’s just less slimy. In that same scene I also cut Poggle poisoning Padmé directly, because it’s weird that she’s poisoned by a drink, then eats a whole meal, and only then feels bad. This way, we get the discussion about poisoning, they enjoy a meal, and then Padmé feels ill - implicitly, something was in her food rather than her drink, and the subterfuge was more subtle than HEY DRINK THIS DRINK PLEASE.

Geonosis I trimmed more than expected. I do prefer the flow of the first half if we don’t spend time on Anakin’s and Ki-Adi-Mundi’s prongs of the attack. Now the focus is more on the fact that the plan went wrong and that Kenobi’s wounded. We get a good sense of the threat to Kenobi’s position, only lightly touching on Anakin rushing forward and lucking into Ki-Adi-Mundi. Ki-Adi-Mundi even says ‘sorry, we got diverted and out of comms range’ as we see him emerge from a flaming hole of Geonosians, so I think that’s sufficient explanation. I’ve also trimmed some dialogue to make Yularen more aware of this and more immediately supportive - thinking quickly, he prepares a bombing fleet ready to support Obi-Wan on Anakin’s signal. Naturally I trimmed a lot of droid bants.

I’ve removed a little more of the sense of the first part having a normal episode’s ending, so the transition is more smooth. I’ve also made Ahsoka and Barris’ deaths more ambiguous - Luminara doesn’t say “I know they’re alive”, so now Anakin’s hunt is more of an act of hope. I also reordered some scenes to leave the mystery of their survival lingering for longer. I trimmed their dialogue a bit to make Barris appear more fatalistic. This way, plus the following episode, gives her a sense of being not quite right - pushed too hard by the Jedi - which will pay off a while later in Ahsoka’s Fall.

As I say, I’ve not finalised these yet, but I want to get through the cuts as much as possible for the last four of this season this weekend, so any remaining polish remains an easy task.

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EddieDean said:

Valid, but I’m already very tight on space…

I’d remove “youth”, it sounds redundant with academy which implies they’re young students

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Aaand that’s the main cut of my Worms of Geonosis episode put together. It’ll be about 36:30 plus credits. Like the previous couple, I still need to finalise it with credits etc before upload, but I want to spend my edit-brain on the meat of the episodes this long weekend, and polish after.

For this episode, I heavily borrowed from Smudger’s excellent interleaving of Legacy of Terror and Brain Invaders, and I used his ideas for audio changes in a couple of places. I still cut it myself from the original sources though, because it forces me to think each element through afresh rather than being lazy. I have some light differences from Smudger’s first half - we don’t need to see Poggle flee, I reckon, and it’s OK if we see the worm-clone carrying eggs early (because we don’t know yet that they contain worms) - but I’ve restructured the second half further.

With mine, we now continue to intercut between the episodes for longer, breaking up the long scene of Anakin and Obi-Wan in the Queen’s throne room with a couple more shots of Ahsoka and Luminara struggling against the zombie clones. This way, we keep them in mind more as we learn of the terror of the parasites, and we put them into more jeopardy sooner. I also did a little more to make the Legacy of Terror finale more ominous, using music and a transition to change “let’s hope the secret [of the worms] is buried with them” from being a hopeful episode ending to an ironic emphasis that Ahsoka is in serious danger - which is followed up immediately by the reveal that Barriss has been zombiefied, and attacks her.

I also removed the “coming in too fast” subplot, because it’s not interesting. We don’t care about the clone medical station so there’s no jeopardy there, and what’re they going to do? Bump into it? It’s not very exciting. It’s cool that Ahsoka wants to prevent the spread of the worms, but that intention enough is valuable for her character - we’re not invested in the outcome beyond Ahsoka caring about it. Instead, we keep the focus on the drama inside the medical ship as Ahsoka defends against Barriss, cutting away only to the odd shot of Kit Fisto responding to their arrival in the system. Once Ahsoka has saved Barriss, the plot is ready to conclude.

Interestingly, once I’ve completed this (and thus my second season), my edits will have covered all of the main arcs covered by Smudger’s five TCW TV-to-movie edits. I’ve always really admired Smudger’s work and for a long time had eagerly anticipated his future plans for TCW, so it’s cool to feel like I’ll have reached parity with his original work and be able to take The Clone Wars forward from that point onwards - albeit in a different format to the one that he chose.

By chance, all of my episodes up to the end of my season two add up in time to almost exactly the same length as Smudger’s five movies - about eleven hours total - which feels like a neat match.

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A thought on naming. For the third Geonosis episode, as much as I love RogueLeader’s suggestion of TERROR OF THE BRAIN INVADERS!, I think I want to keep from giving away the reveal, instead leaning into the terror aspect. And while my now-trilogy of episodes can be watched standalone (as opposed to being part one, two, three of the same story), I think I’d like to name them in some way that links them. Naturally, that link is Geonosis, so perhaps my three should be:

  • Shadow of Geonosis
  • Return to Geonosis
  • Terror of Geonosis

That tells the viewer that they’re linked but without requiring viewing as one three-part arc. It also makes Senate Spy more interesting - tying it into Geonosis early rather than letting that reveal come late in the episode, which could be more compelling for a viewer not sold on the episode premise (as I originally wasn’t). For Terror, it puts you in the right mindset without giving the game away, and following Return that’d tell you that you were getting something tonally different.

As always, interested in thoughts.

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And now the Hidden Enemy parts of Tales of the Lost Clones are finished. One down, two to go. This one’s a cool little story, at just 12 minutes, with only a few trims and transitions and audio changes, but I think it works a lot better when it isn’t put up front in the series like it was in the original chronology. We shouldn’t have a traitor clone right after meeting them. Anyway, cool little tale, which hits a bit stronger when you’re not constantly cutting away. And it’s the right story to start our clone anthology off with, I think, because this one is simply a clone objecting to not being a free man - a fair objection that the audience should think about. Originally this was the B-plot for the story about Ventress infiltrating Christophsis, but now that it’s devoid of that context, I’ve cut the references to being paid off (by “her”) so that it’s purely resistance to Jedi rule. It’ll start Rex off on his own journey exploring orders and his position as a clone.

Click here for detail on part 2 of the anthology episode

(As a random thought, I know it might be a bit odd that I give you this commentary before releasing the episode, but this way I’m able to braindump it when it’s fresh, so the commentary is more complete. I like to give you guys as much commentary as possible in case it triggers any valuable thoughts for you guys which might turn into fruitful discussion. Doing it in advance increases the chances that you’ll pick up on something I should attend to before I’ve released the episode.)

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Hi there! I haven’t been able to give so much feedback as I used to because university has been a dick to me this semester, but I wanted to comment on at least some parts of this latest array of updates.

  • So great to see we have almost 2 complete seasons! This is going to be an interesting viewing experience.
  • If I had any time I would have suggested you to have the plotlines of the last 2 Geonosis episodes happen concurrently, so great to hear you’ve done exactly that! 😄 Is the scene of Anakin forcing Poggle to cooperate included right?
  • The three-parter Geonosis titles you suggestes sound pretty great, they wouldn’t feel out of place if this were the original episodes.
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Knight of Kalee said:

Hi there! I haven’t been able to give so much feedback as I used to because university has been a dick to me this semester, but I wanted to comment on at least some parts of this latest array of updates.

Always lovely to have you with us, Kalee. Focus on your studies and I’ll keep churning out episodes for you! Good luck with university.

  • So great to see we have almost 2 complete seasons! This is going to be an interesting viewing experience.

I know! It’s kind of crazy to be 42% complete after only four months since this project’s inception. These will ultimately become my own archival versions, but I’m hoping that one day someone’ll say that about my edit as we do about others’.

  • If I had any time I would have suggested you to have the plotlines of the last 2 Geonosis episodes happen concurrently, so great to hear you’ve done exactly that! 😄

Full credit to Smudger for the concept of course! I’m very pleased with how that episode worked out. Let me know if you enjoy it.

Is the scene of Anakin forcing Poggle to cooperate included right?

Oh yeah. Punches that bug right in the face.

  • The three-parter Geonosis titles you suggestes sound pretty great, they wouldn’t feel out of place if this were the original episodes.

Glad you think so! In a way they kind of evoke the Malevolence trilogy, which for my series I condensed down into one episode just called “Malevolence”, so it was nice to kind of do the same thing in reverse with Geonosis. That’s why I used ‘Shadow of’, though I could equally have used ‘Rise of’. But naturally Geonosis doesn’t get destroyed, so I couldn’t end up with ‘Destroy Geonosis’, as nice an homage as that would have been.

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Hi, can I get a link?

You’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Am I making Carrie Fisher’s ghost proud?”
Well, are ya, punk?