Thanks so much to everyone who gave feedback on s02e02 Massacre. That’s all been extremely useful, and I’m really glad to hear that you all think the idea broadly lands well.
Did you do any changes to the music? The scene of the Nightsisters commandeering the AAT sounds very like the Knights of Ren theme.
I didn’t, that’s the original audio!
There are some times where I think a more traditional L or J cut would make for a more natural transition than the more Star Warsy wipe, but that’s just a part of the shows style that you’re trying to stay consistent with, so it is not really a complaint.
I think that’s a valid observation! Whilst wipes are permitted, they’re not the best option, and I think that both in this episode and the wider edit I should always ask if they’re strictly necessary, especially if the audio can carry the transition instead of the video. I’ll review these again.
The one thing that didn’t really work for me was the way you sprinkled some dialogue from Massacre into LoG, namely both of Grevious’ calls with Dooku. Firstly, I get the idea of trying to more explicitly tie Ventress to the attack on Grevious’ Lair, but it really doesn’t come off that way. The lines from Massacre don’t really gel with the originals, so it ends up feeling like two different conversations happening at the same time. Secondly, I feel that interjecting talk about Ventress and the witches takes away all importance from the immediate plot about Grevious having to fend off against Fisto & company, it makes that confrontation drag as it feels like something we just have to get over with so the real plot of the episode can begin.
In my opinion it would work a lot better if first we focused on Grevious fighting off the intruders on his lair, juxtaposed with Ventress recieving a warm welcome home and celebrating with the night sisters. And then after Grevious has successfully defeated his assailants, he’s contacted by Dooku and comanded to take vengeance against Ventress (now Grevious becomes the assailant!). I would say to remove the first conversation with Dooku entirely, cutting instead from Ventress’ baptism to Grevious fully repaired ready to fight the Jedi again. This makes Grevious feel more isolated as he deals with the surprise intruders on his own, instead of getting a random call from Dooku that aknowledges the intruders but doesn’t make any further remarks or offer any help. Then once he kills Nahdar and the clones and forces Fisto to flee, he is contacted by Dooku simply to command him to attack the witches on Dathomir.
Here’s a rough mockup I did of how it could play out:
I think Dooku’s expressions and mouth movements sinc up well enough to pass off. I also like that it would remove the bit where Grevious has to coyly tell Dooku that Fisto escaped, framing it as a failure. I’d say he did pretty good for a surprise attack, specially now that it was not a “test” set up by Dooku, I think it’s better to just remove all of that dialogue. This also falls in line of your goal of making Grievous appear more menacing in TCW:R, this is one of the few episodes where we actually see him hunting down Jedi and that bit of dialogue kinda undermines it.
The cut to Mas is a bit quick but there’s no way around that.
On these two points, I think there’s something I can do here. I was on the fence about having Dooku discuss Ventress earlier, but perhaps as Burbin says, it’s unnecessary. I might use the other scene of their call to bridge the episodes though, so after Grievous deals with Fisto he’ll take the call with Grievous that he rolls up to on his chair, because that one gives us the most freedom in terms of audio changes. And to extend the transition between episodes slightly, I think there’re some shots of Grievous marshalling the army and then heading to space that I can use there. I’ll explore that idea further.
Retribution would be a good name as it ties up the loose ends and opens some new ones in terms of the Savage/Ventress/Grievous/Dooku (and by ecxtention Palps/Talzin) relationships.
I think I’m swinging to Retribution too. Ventress’ leak is her retribution, then Grievous takes his with the Massacre. Since the theme of the episode has changed, I think this is more appropriate.
I’ll leave it a little longer before returning to this episode, just in case more feedback is forthcoming.
One thing I’m still curious about is the addition of the coda with Savage searching the galaxy. Does it work? Does it feel out of place? I wouldn’t add it back to the start of the Monsters episode (where Maul is rediscovered), so I think it belongs here if at all.
The Clone Wars: Refocused