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.