I haven’t had time to watch the video yet, but let’s think this all through!
I’ve finished my pass and have sent a link to the video in a PM.
I actually ended up making a lot of adjustments, including trims and rearrangements in order to streamline the story and move things forward at a more even pace. I can’t replicate your excellent wipe-transitions, but I did what I could. Feel free to reintegrate or mimic any of my changes if you wish.
The full summary of changes are as follows:
Cut from the launch of the hunter droids to Anakin and Asoka with the Jedi Council.
Replaced the scene with stale air and discovering a broken pod with the initial one where they intend to wait for rescue. The other scene adds nothing that isn’t repeated elsewhere - the pessimism, PloKoon valuing their lives, and the discovery of droids hunting pods are all introduced again later. This also reduces the number of scene-jumps for a smoother episode.
This is doable. And it’d be nice because then Ahsoka’s faith in survivors comes before we know she’s right, so she gets validated. I do like spending a bit more time with Plo and the clones, which is why I initially left it, but this is worth a shot.
Trimmed an establishing shot of Anakin and Asoka flying toward the wreckage and planet. We already got a similar shot when they first arrived, and the trim makes everything feel faster and the events here and on the pod concurrent.
Trimmed some of the reaction of the clones to the approaching hunter droids in order to smooth the transition and remove mildly awkward dialogue.
Cut Asoka’s reaction and “let’s go in” after R2 detects a signal. Her line was mildly annoying and removing it weakened nothing.
Removed the clone line “It’s Asoka!” I’m not sure how much name recognition she’d have yet. Jumping straight to the next line “She must be close!” is equally effective and dodges the question of whether these clones know her already.
Cut PloKoon’s reference to humor, since I cut the earlier joke line (and that entire scene).
These five all sound very sensible. I’ll want to make sure that these trims don’t make the music track choppy, but I’ll see if I can execute them cleanly. This could go a long way toward smoothing the start.
- Cut ObiWan’s line about learning from Anakin to maintain formality in the Council.
I’d rather keep this. Since I’m heavily truncating from the first season, I think anything that demonstrates their bond early has value (even just others commenting on it). And since it appears that Anakin getting Ahsoka was a Obi-Wan and Yoda scheme, I think it’s acceptable for Obi-Wan to update Yoda about it.
The downside of this secondary edit is that, in many ways, it feels more like two episodes that have been joined at the middle. But then again, so do most of the Star Wars movies themselves.
From the pod we go directly to the launch of Asoka and Anakin’s ship (a very short scene), and from there to ObiWan finding out. The scene with Grievous is gone, effectively dropping him off the map for the audience, as well as the characters.
I definitely want to preserve the Grievous around the nebula scenes (and I don’t think there are more suitable placements). I think it’s better to interleave Rising and Shadow than to just put them back-to-back, because it makes the episode feel more coherent without harming the narrative. That leaves us with the remaining problem of trying not to dart around too much, which we’re trying to solve here.
- Trimmed the Jedi Council talking again about the mystery weapon, mainly because I’m tired of the line and because it makes them seem fretful instead of deliberate/strategic. Instead, we start with Yoda’s line about Grievous being one step ahead of them.
I’m not sure how this will land but I’ll certainly watch your version to get a feel for it.
- Cut the entire Palpatine hologram conversation. Without it, we go straight from PloKoon concentrating to Asoka connecting to him.
I’m in two minds about this. Yes, it’s smoother without Palpatine, but if we keep it it achieves two things: (1) Emphasises the threat of the malevolence and the recklessness of Anakin and Ahsoka’s actions, and (2) Shows some early (light) manipulation by Palpatine, putting a little wedge between Anakin and the council. I think that’s more valuable here than cutting it. Now, our episode two nicely expands on the cast and motivations of the characters from our episode one.
- Transitioned from Asoka comforting PloKoon to the first medical-station scene. By moving this scene later, we transition the focus of the episode to the showdown. We also have Yalaren reference the battleship, information that they presumably learned offscreen from PloKoon, who will momentarily show up aboard the Venator.
I’ll have to check this one. Do you mean you cut the scene where Anakin works out where the next strike is going to be? I’ve got a feeling this suggestion could work just fine.
From the med station, we transition to Grievous en route to remind us that he exists and to announce that he is very close.
From Grievous’ short scene, we jump to Anakin’s speech to the troops. There is little lost by cutting the prior scene with PloKoon and the Y-Wings. This moves the fleet more quickly from preparation to action.
Sounds viable. I’ll take a look.
- Cut ObiWan’s reference to a shortcut (only elsewhere mentioned in the cut PloKoon and Y-Wing scene), along with some surrounding dialogue.
I think we need to preserve the shortcut scene. It’s quite important to understand that Grievous has been delayed by difficult space terrain, which smaller ships can navigate. There needs to be some core opportunity which our guys exploit in order to finally defeat this quick-striking threat.
- Swapped the order of evacuation/arrival scenes. Now we see ships undocking, hear the med station personnel discussing the evacuations, and see Grievous arrive.
Sounds good. I did play around with orderings but if the transitions can be made to work (and the music kept smooth) this could be sensible.
- Abbreviated some of Grievous’ orders at the start of battle to show more focus.
I thought I had this fairly tight already but I’ll review.
- Trimmed and arranged the entrance of the Y-Wings to be faster and more direct. Now they appear, Grievous notices but orders the ion cannon powered, the fighters begin staffing, they take damage, and Asoka points out that they can’t all make it. (I trimmed her second “Master” to reduce annoyance and make him more responsive to her.) I also moved PloKoon’s comment about attacking the ion cannon until after Anakin changes their target. Now the idea was his and Asoka’s. PloKoon just explains why it makes sense.
I considered this, so will check your version. I wanted to shift Ahsoka’s lines exactly as you suggest here, but was concerned about matching it to the music. I’ll play with it though.
Cut a redundant Y-Wing approach snd torpedo launch during the ion cannon attack.
Cut a shot of the ion cannon charging after it has already been shown more fully charged.
Transitioned directly from the ion cannon explosion to the Y-Wings returning to the med station.
These sound good too, give or take smooth music.
- Trimmed Anakin’s line about it being hard losing his men. It seemed a little too overtly sentimental for the moment. He says enough with his tone and mentioning the losses.
I added that but agree it didn’t quite work in that moment. Happy to lose it.
- Cut some of the shots with Venators pursuing the Malevolence in order to move things ahead slightly faster. I also cut any shots with PloKoon suddenly on the bridge instead of in his fighter.
Can trim venators, can’t trim Plo. We need to keep those scenes for the dialogue in them, and I’ve already zoomed shots to exclude Anakin. I could add a wipe though, to allow time to pass.
Some really great suggestions here vranir, thanks for giving it so much thought.