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The Clone Wars: Refocused [SEVEN episodes upgraded to v2.0 (s01e06)] — Page 56

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I know this isn’t particularly interesting but I’ve just refined and finalised the community credits, trying to edge them that much closer to the style used for the majority of TCW, and I’ve gone through all of the pages of this thread to date to try to make sure that all of my major contributors (that’s you guys! ❤️) here have been named.

Just the credits and wipes to rethink now, before I can return to true editing, or at least the polish of real content.

I know this is all quite a slow pace now, following from a break too, but to my mind this is a really useful period of reflection and rethinking. It’s the deep breath before the crescendo of momentum that’ll polish the first three seasons and carry us into the final two.

I was thinking I might rethink my Christophsis from scratch, just in case. At the very least, I think there’s something I can do with reordering to have the Republic talk about how they’ve lost contact and to send down Ahsoka, only THEN cutting to Anakin and Obi-Wan on bikes heading to Ventress, to heighten the tension. This would also have the advantage of beginning the Ahsoka introduction episode on her actual introduction. I might trim some of the earlier battle prep too (my fancy scene where I used Bail audio) to both entirely cut Bail, and to get us into the meat a lot quicker. This episode might end up very short, but that’s totally OK, and I think the more coherent and inoffensive it can be, the better.

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Hah, just noticed a nice thing I can do. I’ve flipped the ordering of some Hondo episodes, meaning that his base is destroyed now BEFORE it’s ransacked (offscreen) by Grievous. But I just realised that in my ordering, the last time we see Hondo’s base is in the episode where Ventress and the Slave-1 crash out of frame in an explosion.

Putting two and two together, Slave-1 crashed into Hondo’s base. Neat!

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Again not so interesting, but I’ve finally worked out the modern standards for transitions that SW uses, and it turns out I was way off, so fixing this in all episodes should give us that much more of a natural experience.

For linear wipes, T-B takes 11 frames, diagonal takes 12 frames, and L-R takes 13 frames. I’d been using 24 frames (a full second), so I’ll get a bit of flexibility back too by fixing that. I’d also been using 50% feathering, whereas SW only uses 10%.

For wipes which break up the screen more quickly, like a split radial wipe or blinds wipe, it can be as short as 10 frames and only 3% feathering.

And for irises, which I’ve realised are WAY less common than I’d thought, they’re around 13 seconds and 50% feathering, though the timing is more variable.

A boring job, but it’s all value in the end…

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So, having watched the latest Bad Batch episode, I’m super pleased that I produced my Tales of the Lost Clones anthology episode the way I did. I don’t think people should have to churn through the awful Droids in the Void episodes (88 minutes!) just to get context for Gregor.

I watched through most of my season 2 again last night with fresh eyes, and found a few more trims and tucks to make.

In terms of its structure and broader context, the way I’d like to theme this period of time is that in season one the Separatists made a lot of very tactical, surgical strikes to key locations, and the Republic fought back well to establish a foothold. At the end of season one, the Separatists fail to ally with the Mandalorians, and then the Republic, having established itself, draws back many troops to restrategise for what they now see will be a long war. As the Republic do this, the Separatists do the same, going relatively quiet as they expand out across the galaxy to resource-efficiently secure more resources. And due to all of this, the Scum and Villainy get bolder and begin to rise. The big reveal at the end of the season will be that the Geonosis factories are productive again.

I’m just not quite sure about the middle of the season’s ordering.

With slight reordering, season two then feels like:

  1. SEVEN WARRIORS (was ‘Bounty Hunters’) - (Re)introduces our big three, with the abandoned Felucia plot letting us contextualise that ‘breathing period’ and the introduction of Hondo. It also gives us the first hint at uprisings which will eventually form the Rebellion, and lets us see the oppression of the ‘little guy’.
  2. MASSACRE - (Re)introduces our main villains, and shows one of the reasons they’ve withdrawn from the forefront of the war: The new Dathomir wildcards, which they swiftly remove from play. But it is light on main characters.
  3. CORRUPTION ON MANDALORE - Gives us a bit more early Ahsoka and Padmé, and leaving Padmé on the planet implicitly keeps it in focus for longer until her return in the finale. Shows the longer-term Republic investment in keeping Mandalore neutral (i.e. not aligned with the Separatists).
  4. TALES OF THE LOST CLONES - Is light on main characters too, but has a little Anakin and Obi-Wan in the one episode to balance out the previous episode a bit better. Isn’t necessarily set at this point in time (except maybe the Christophsis bit, another long term reinvestment by the Republic), but highlights more key clones and especially Rex.
  5. SINS OF THE FATHER (Boba Fett trilogy) - Again shows a Republic at relative calm, as it’s letting the clone youths tour the capital ships. Having Anakin (early) and Ahsoka (later) in this episode balances a bit better with Monsters, which features Obi-Wan. Though I can’t pretend these two episodes are simultaneous as Mace is in both. I think this also works better a little later as it also features Hondo, like the premiere.
  6. MONSTERS - Puts Maul on the board, and closes out the Nightsisters/Ventress plotline for now. So by now, we’ve had this period of essentially a lot of chess moves on both sides, but no major conflict. Leading us to-
  7. (8,9) GEONOSIS TRILOGY - Brings all the main characters together to show that - oh shit - the Separatists have been churning out way more droids all this time. Good growth and highlights for all of our main characters.

The only weakness of this ordering that I can see is that maybe it gives us a slightly too mature Ahsoka by giving her the Corruption episode before she gets that extra Plo Koon ‘slow down’ lesson in the Boba Fett episode.

In addition, I was thinking about potentially putting a little of Savage’s hunt for Maul (originally chopped out of the episode where he finds Maul) into the Massacre episode - though I’m not sure if that’s actually added value. I might also do something with the moment where Anakin and Ahsoka sit in the diner and go “I’ve got a feeling that a familiar enemy is on the loose”. That could go anywhere and give an episode a bit more A&A flavour.

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Thought: Would my clone individuality anthology, Tales of the Lost Clones, be better served by highlighting Rex? Perhaps still using the ‘tales’ moniker since it’s an anthology, but TALES OF CAPTAIN REX, or THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN REX? The middle episode doesn’t focus directly on Rex but it’s Rex they use to inspire Gregor.

Thought 2: Looking more at the overall ordering and the flow of the show and seasons, I think one more thing I can play up a little is the Republic’s fear that Mandalorians side with the Separatists. It nearly happens twice in season one, and then Padmé’s major focus in Season 2 and 3 is keeping Mandalore neutral, which Ahsoka also becomes a major part of. I think that works nicely if it’s set up as a threat, then is supposedly put down, until wildcard Maul comes back on the scene, strengthens Death Watch, and retakes Mandalore.

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For thought 1: I think it works well the way it is. As much as I love Rex, the stories of these clones stand out on their own. It’s a nice little anthology that doesn’t really need more connectivity than is already there.

Thought 2: This does feel like it would connect Mandalore more closely to the overall war until the Maul factor kicks in fully. I think it could work either this way or how it was presented originally though.

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Thought 3: Season two ends on the reveal of a new droid factory. Season three begins with Padmé successfully stopping the creation of more clones - made more potent if the discussion is directly following the reveal of more droids. I’ll now move Umbara up (for a few reasons) - now, having Krell deliberately throwing away clones makes even more insidious sense if he’s already a pawn of Dooku. Then in the season three finale, Onderon, I’ll play up the fact that reduced clones have forced the Republic to turn to new strategies such as guerilla tactics (implicitly indirectly seeding the future rebellion). Also, I’ve realised the kicker I want for the opening text in the season three premiere (the Padmé episode) should be: “The republic needs more soldiers, but its citizens need peace.”

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Here’s a preview of the new standard for TCW:R’s outros, including the main credits over concept art, the new community credits, and the remainder of the credits from the original episodes.

They’re suprisingly full of polish most won’t notice, but the main change is matching the timing of the credits and concept art to the music, which I thinks works a lot nicer. It actually means that those elements aren’t equally timed relative to each other, but to me it feels a lot smoother.

IMAGE HELP REQUEST

Is anyone able to help me produce a high-res (~1080p) version of the Tartakovsky Clone Wars microseries logo (in this font) on black (or transparent)? Either pure yellow (this exact shade) on black, or the ‘fuzzy transmission’ style (like this) on black? Alternatively, putting the Tartakovsky Clone Wars logo inside the ‘Star Wars’ container the same way as the regular Clone Wars does (like this) would be even cooler.

I’d like to use it to replace my current logo for the two made of Tartakovsky content.

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I might be able to help with the logo stuff. I’ll try to mess with that when I get a chance.

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That’d be awesome RogueLeader, thanks very much!

Here’s a brief update on the state of play:

I know this period of time has likely felt like a lot of thinking and not a lot of doing, but there’s been a huge amount of prep work and planning behind the scenes. I have pages and pages of notes on the content produced to date, and once I’ve written up my final thoughts on the ordering of season three (probably tomorrow) that’s absolutely everything done that gets me ready to return to editing.

I’ll (re)produce episodes now in the new - final - order. So it’ll be a good time to jump on if you’ve been waiting for the final polish pass, or if you want to view the episodes within the final coherent season structure to get a feel for how the episodes flow together. Those episodes should be relatively quick to produce, or at least have a steady cadence, so if you’re interested in watching along (and commenting!) “live” then that would be the right time to begin.

Once I’m done with finalising seasons one to three, the remainder should follow fairly steadily too, since I’m now very confident in my narrative and technical skills, and everything I need to do to polish and complete them. I’m super excited.

Anyway, one little thing to share with you all is that now I’ve really reviewed each season as a whole, I’ve now refocused the first lines of each season’s opening text (the part that appears for every episode in the season), to best emphasise the theme of the season and help show the passing eras of this ongoing war. They are as follows:

  1. Conflicts erupt in the early days of the Clone Wars. (Many Separatist strikes this season.)
  2. The Clone Wars spread chaos and instability across the Galaxy. (Focus on Scum and Villainy and corruption.)
  3. Shades of Grey emerge as the Clone Wars grow more complex. (Loads of compromise and temptation, and third parties.)
  4. The ceaseless Clone Wars challenge even the strongest wills. (All focal characters get pushed to extremes.) [Not quite sure on this one, maybe change ‘ceaseless’ for something implying they’ve engulfed the galaxy.]
  5. Conspiracies abound in the final days of the Clone Wars. (Order 66, Sifo-Dias, Palpatine, Mauldalore, etc.)
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EddieDean said:

IMAGE HELP REQUEST

Is anyone able to help me produce a high-res (~1080p) version of the Tartakovsky Clone Wars microseries logo (in this font) on black (or transparent)? Either pure yellow (this exact shade) on black, or the ‘fuzzy transmission’ style (like this) on black? Alternatively, putting the Tartakovsky Clone Wars logo inside the ‘Star Wars’ container the same way as the regular Clone Wars does (like this) would be even cooler.

I’d like to use it to replace my current logo for the two made of Tartakovsky content.

Hello there Eddie. I’ve taken the interest of tackling this, here’s my attempt.

Working on many edits, may take many years to complete…

Also known as Mr. Liquid Jungle.

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Amazing, thanks! I really appreciate it. Here’s a quick screen test. What do you guys think?

A couple of thoughts, if nitpicking is OK Paja:

  • I wonder if we should keep the ‘THE’? Not sure on this one. Technically this whole show will still be ‘The Clone Wars’ (and the ‘Refocused’ of my edit won’t appear in the opening title).
  • The ‘E’ slightly overlaps the rightmost edge of the imaginary box described by the horizontal bars - could the ‘CLONE WARS’ be slightly reduced/shifted so that it fills that box?
  • Perhaps a little more spacing between ‘WARS’ and the lower horizontal bar? The same as the distance between the top horizontal bar and the ‘C’ in ‘CLONE’ feels about right? Or maybe all three gaps (the one above CLONE, the one between CLONE and WARS, and the one below WARS) should be the same as the one between CLONE and WARS?
  • Not sure if this is possible, since I’d guess the way this was done was by tracing over the lettering, but can ‘CLONE WARS’ be sharpened at all? It looks a little blurry to my eyes, though I don’t think that’s a major issue.
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Minor question: At the end of the Onderon episode, Dooku tells Kalani (the droid general) to pull the troops back to Agamar. Later, in Star Wars Rebels, the rebels fight a bunch of droids and Kalani on Agamar.

I could keep that as is.

However, I could also change Dooku’s dialogue, so he’s pulling the forces back to wherever we see them next. Nice for flow, and it doesn’t technically change the fact that Kalani + troops could end up on Agamar. But it could imply a bit more threat for wherever is named.

What do you guys think?

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While it’s a fun Easter egg for Rebels as it stands, perhaps making the change would keep it focused more on the Clone Wars - and create another thread that connects these stories arcs. I say give it a try!

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Right, I think I’ve finally broken the structure of season three. This took more effort than I expected! The theme is ‘Shades of Grey’, as almost every person compromises or has their perspective challenged, and the third parties grow in power. The secondary plots are Lux (+Ahsoka) and the bringing together of Mandalore and Maul.

Season two, which precedes this, ends with the reveal of the new droid factory. Maul and Savage are at large (playing pirates), Mandalore is safely neutral, but we haven’t seen the Death Watch for a good while.

The episodes we have in season three are:

  1. THE POLITICS OF WAR, where Padmé and Ahsoka meet Lux, and Padmé ‘successfully’ stops the creation of more clones. I think this’ll hit well after the reveal of more droids, but it’s not heavy on the rest of our main cast, unlike the other premieres and finales. I think it should still go first though, because it sets up all of the season’s plots.
  2. THE DEATH OF OBI-WAN KENOBI (Rako Hardeen arc), the way I’ve cut it, is high on Obi-Wan but also gives a lot of time to absolutely all of our main cast, for a huge fun adventure with big stakes and emotions for everyone. It also gets Anakin’s doubt in the council in early. For a long time I thought about making this the premiere, because it’s such a rounded episode, but PoW sets up the season as a whole better.
  3. DISSENT ON UMBARA, is this season’s ‘clone focus’ episode, which I’ve typically put towards the middle. But we’ve just had an ‘everyone’ episode, so we can have one that focuses on others. This’ll also work nicely after Padmé reducing our supply of clones, since Krell’s big thing is throwing away clones. And paced from that by an episode, it allows a little time to have passed in-universe for Krell to get established with that goal (now that he’s actively Separatist). This episode also has a little Anakin and Obi-Wan, so we don’t miss them as much with-
  4. A FRIEND IN NEED, is a great Ahsoka/Lux/Death Watch story, that pushes forward a lot of our main plots. It ends with Lux leaving until the finale, which gives him enough time to get established on Onderon. I may rename this to something like TEMPTATION, since Death Watch are a temptation for Lux, and Lux is a temptation for Ahsoka. Open to ideas here.
  5. PIRATES OF THE OUTER RIM, which features Obi-Wan chasing down Maul (explaining his absence from last episode if you like), and leaves Maul floating in space. I wrestled with putting this earlier to imply that Obi-Wan has been actively pursuing Maul more aggressively, but ultimately that wasn’t enough of a value add compared to other priorities.
  6. HUNTED, starts and ends with Anakin and Ahsoka (but not Obi-Wan, which is neat given the previous episode) and gives us another Ahsoka solo episode. That’s OK, this season is about pushing her on her own. It also lightly reminds us about the success of training the natives on Felucia, which will come into play in the finale.
  7. CITADEL, which I’m reinstating as core, was necessary to include since it gives us everything we’re missing in terms of pacing, at this point in the season. Minor bonus: Echo’s death (even though it’s really throwaway). Major bonus: Since the Rako Hardeen arc shows Anakin’s frustration with the council, we can play that up here as he grows closer to the more imperial Tarkin. I might put some background "Echo"s in the Umbara episode just to imply he’s still part of the squad at that point in time (just not a focal character).
  8. SHADOW COLLECTIVE now has a bit more room to exist since it’s surrounded by two episodes with our main characters while it has none, and finally brings Maul and Mandalore together, ready to kickoff next season. It’s also far enough from Rako Hardeen that we don’t have bounty hunters clashing.
  9. (/10.) REBELS/KINGS OF ONDERON Gives us all our main characters, plus rebellion, plus Saw Gerrera, plus solo Ahsoka, plus Ahsoka learning to let go via the conclusion of the Lux plotline. A worthy finale.

Season four, which follows this, begins with Maul and Death Watch actually taking Mandalore (our first and only season premiere not following a main protagonist).

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This order looks great to me. I agree that Politics of War, though less action-heavy than the Rako Hardeen arc, serves as a better foundation to build the rest of the season on. The thought you continue to put into this project still impresses me, great job!

I am no Jedi

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EddieDean said:

Amazing, thanks! I really appreciate it. Here’s a quick screen test. What do you guys think?

A couple of thoughts, if nitpicking is OK Paja:

  • I wonder if we should keep the ‘THE’? Not sure on this one. Technically this whole show will still be ‘The Clone Wars’ (and the ‘Refocused’ of my edit won’t appear in the opening title).
  • The ‘E’ slightly overlaps the rightmost edge of the imaginary box described by the horizontal bars - could the ‘CLONE WARS’ be slightly reduced/shifted so that it fills that box?
  • Perhaps a little more spacing between ‘WARS’ and the lower horizontal bar? The same as the distance between the top horizontal bar and the ‘C’ in ‘CLONE’ feels about right? Or maybe all three gaps (the one above CLONE, the one between CLONE and WARS, and the one below WARS) should be the same as the one between CLONE and WARS?
  • Not sure if this is possible, since I’d guess the way this was done was by tracing over the lettering, but can ‘CLONE WARS’ be sharpened at all? It looks a little blurry to my eyes, though I don’t think that’s a major issue.

Thank you for the feedback Eddie! I’ve came back to the drawing board using higher quality materials and a custom font for the ‘CW’ logo.

Working on many edits, may take many years to complete…

Also known as Mr. Liquid Jungle.

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That’s far better now. Well done.

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Wonderful Paja, thank you very much.

I’m coming now to properly (re)editing in order, which means starting with s01e00 DARK FORCE RISING, the episode I’ve cut from the main Anakin/Ventress plots of the Tartakovsky miniseries.

It’s tough to judge quite how much to refine this, since Tartakovsky has such a unique style that’s part of the charm, although it is action-heavy and not tonally consistent with a lot of the Clone Wars content that follows. I’ll take some of Delpheas’ suggestions and a few more ideas I’ve had, and see what comes out the other end.

There’s also that odd scene of young Anakin talking to Qui-Gon, which wasn’t really connected to any of the other content, which I had shifted up front as a kind of ‘hint at what’s to come’. But on review, I realised that a better place for some of that audio might be my Mortis episode.

I know some like Mortis, but I never have, mainly because it’s so so on the nose, un-subtle, and demystifying. So it was always my plan to turn it into much more of a mysterious vision quest populated by strange entities who at least aren’t super explicit about “I AM THE DARKSIDE” etc. Making it more of a vision, it might work well to include some of that Qui-Gon content, to imply that he may be more connected to the events on Mortis. There’re some good lines:

  • Anakin, it calls to you
  • You must enter it, alone
  • Control your fear
  • You are the chosen one
  • You must be tested
  • Your final test is at hand
  • Trust in the force

Some of these could be used during the arrival/set up, and some could be support during their Mortis adventure.

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OK, having reviewed Mortis, there’re lots of opportunities to make that work, so I will pull that content out of this episode so that Mortis can use it.

I haven’t worked out how I’m going to break Mortis yet - that’s a long way away - but I definitely want to minimise the father, son, and daughter. There’s a lot of visions in there, and lots of content which could be turned from explicit activities into visions, so I think I’d rather keep it as a vision sequence. Sometimes Qui-Gon will show up (using the existing footage), and sometimes just be a whisper in their ear (using the above content).

In my headcanon, and the interpretation I’ll be aiming for with this content, Qui-Gon will have guided them to this area of dark force sensitive space (with ties to the World Between Worlds), to warn them and test them, and guide them through some challenges too. In the original newsreel, they were described as tracking a signal broadcasting a personal code from a 2000-years-ago Jedi, but I think I’ll make it explicit that it’s Qui-Gon’s code that’s being used as a mysterious lure. Also, one of Ahsoka’s visions here features her talking to future Ahsoka, which actually could be interpreted as Ahsoka from Rebels (guiding in parallel with Qui-Gon a little), since she does intersect with the World Between Worlds at one point. Or not, if the viewer prefers.

I’ll skip showing the diamond-shaped planet at all, skip the first landing and escape, and only use the second (crash) landing, since more happens around that point. Having the characters end the episode by just waking up on the ship with no time passed and acknowledging it’s weird solves a lot of potential problems. I probably won’t use the scene (or at least the shot) with the actual Darth Vader mask appearing, because it’s just way too HEY HAVE YOU SEEN STAR WARS?

The question then - one for another day - becomes what content to include in their visions, and in what order, and how much to balance it being a dream versus it being real. It’s odd that they just drive around this dreamscape on regular speeders, for example.

I know Morai is important to the future of Ahsoka, so I will preserve the scene of Anakin using the daughter to heal Ahsoka, but that’ll be tough as I’d really like to remove all of the surrounding Father/Son/Daughter family drama. I want those characters to be loosely-defined metaphors, so I might end up having to lean heavily on foggy VFX and audio reverb. One thing I might add to the sequence of Anakin’s visions of the future might be the audio of Palpatine saying “use the force to create life”, to better set up his later choice to do the daughter/Ahsoka thing. I’ll also see if I can simply have Sister called Morai instead.

Before I properly work on this I’ll also review all of the Family/WBW content in Rebels too.

Anyway. I can put all those thoughts to one side for now. Onwards to s01e00.

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For S1E00 I think like some have suggested before. Making it seem like Anakin and obiwan actually don’t hate eachother would be far better and help minimize the tonal whiplash that you get when watching it compared to the rest of the clone wars. I saw some really good clips in this thread that IMo fixed that alot.

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Agreed. I’ll definitely be using a lot of those suggestions.

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Slight change of plans - I had the opportunity to binge a lot more these last couple of days, so I decided to keep my ‘big picture’ hat on and review the season four and five content, plus some cut stuff, to continue to refine and plan for the whole.

We follow a season of shades of grey, temptation and compromise. Our third parties are on the rise. The Republic have successfully trained rebels on Onderon.

The theme of the season is “the Clone Wars challenge even the strongest wills”, as all our strong characters face their greatest struggles.

Currently I think season four is looking like this (note that episode names are their originals, not my final choices):

  1. SHADES OF REASON, where, after coming together near the end of season three, Maul and Death Watch take Mandalore. This doesn’t feature our main characters but placed first in the season it serves to elevate the tension, and turn those two long-running plotlines into a major focus for the remainder of the show.
  2. SLAVES OF KADAVO, which brings all our characters to Kadavo to traumatise the lot of them. Aesthetically, this is quite similar to Onderon, which is a shame, but after the opening focusing on Mauldalore, I think it’s right to start the season with all our main characters. And to give Kenobi a break until his next major trauma. I’ll pretty much skip the entire first episode, as that’s mainly action and exposition, and we’ll just dive into the slavery stuff quicker.
  3. BOUNTY, where Ventress meets with a free Boba Fett, and he’s a little bitch, but she does the noble thing. This is quite a weak episode, I think, because it’s almost all action with low stakes. Boba’s really weak and it doesn’t set up his future strength nor the ‘noble code’ or ‘ruthless bounty hunter’ traits he ends up with, so I actually think it’s a net loss for him. And Ventress’ small bit of growth, whilst technically setting her up for the Fall of Ahsoka arc, is really light touch. I could almost get rid of this entirely.
  4. YOUNGLINGS vs HONDO is also not super. Sure, it shows more of Ahsoka’s competence in training Younglings, but in a less dramatic way than her Trandoshan arc. The kids are fairly throwaway now they’re not getting their own spinoff. Grievous and Obi-Wan are OK, but I’d cut most of the space battle focus. I can tighten this one up, but it won’t be amazing. I’ll be cutting the first episode (where the younglings get their crystals) entirely, since it’s not a value add to our story. That’ll end up in the pool of ‘bonus episodes’ I produce later.
  5. MORTIS, as I discussed above, I’ll try to make mainly visions, but again it’s not great. At least it shows our main characters, which kind of balances the season out, but I don’t think it’ll land too well. Either way, I definitely think that here is the best place to put it - as late as possible before everything goes to shit.
  6. THE LAWLESS, where Obi-Wan and Satine’s arc concludes, and Maul’s dreams are destroyed by his master. Now we’re back in the real good shit. I think this works fine paced a few episodes after Shades of Reason.
  7. (/8) AHSOKA’S FALL. This can play out as two episodes - one up to the point where Ahsoka goes on the run, and the second where she’s recaptured and put on trial. I did think I might split this one around probably The Lawless, just to let a bit more time pass, and to further balance the season, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Though I might take the very first scene, of Anakin and Ahsoka on Neimoidia before they get called back to the Jedi temple, and use that elsewhere if I need to beef up another episode. It’s a nice moment to show their relationship’s maturity, but not strictly necessary here.

The only real issues I have with this season are the string of three weaker episodes (Ventress & Boba, Younglings vs Hondo, and Mortis), and the fact that it’s quite light on Anakin and Ahsoka’s relationship before her fall. Ideally there’d be something in this period of time which shows off their strength together and really gives Ahsoka a period of doubt in the Jedi order, but I don’t think there’s anything that’d do that nicely that fits in this period of time.

(Likewise, I actually think that my season two suffers from this as well, not having enough of the main squad together, much Obi-Wan, or much Anakin/Ahsoka time in the middle, and there’s no great option there either.)

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I’ve continued reviewing and planning like a madman, working my way through the conclusion of the show. Thoughts and challenges:

  • Thinking about the very finale, the Siege of Mandalore quadrilogy splits neatly into two episodes of 45 mins each. That’s all well and good, but I think I should consider that really Revenge of the Sith is a necessary part of the Clone Wars journey as well. So really, at the end of your TCW:R journey, you’re watching both RotS and SoM (for four hours of content, or about five episodes in terms of me balancing the seasons) to conclude the show.
  • I don’t know how to present that finale. You could go RotS then SoM to best preserve SoM’s intensity. That’s the easy path. If you wanted to intercut them it’d become a hassle. There’re a lot of edits which combine the two into one super movie, of which I’ve only watched Delpheas’, but I think my preferred option would be to take a chronological intercutting of both and then turn them into ~5 individual episodes. Interested in ideas.
  • I wonder what’s the right balance between breaking this show by balanced seasons versus the overall flow. I’m also really torn on a few episodes I’ve always been unhappy with:
    • I think I have season one really tight now. There’s a potentional Ryloth follow-up episode focusing on Cham and Orn, with Obi-Wan, but I really don’t want to break the flow of season one for it.
    • Season two has a long period without the Anakin/Ahsoka relationship, though all of the episodes in that lull are strong and follow our established main plots. The only other place the Cham/Orn Ryloth episode could go is season two due to the Ahsoka model, but I think it’d push that lull too far.
    • Season three is tight and well balanced. I do not love the Citadel arc, which balances out the season, though I could potentially put the Kadavo arc there instead. There’s a chance I could use the Echo’s death audio here, and refer to the Kadavo palace as ‘The Citadel’, if we really wanted to have Echo die onscreen. Bear in mind that his death is already super throwaway in the Citadel arc. (I’ll check references to Echo’s death.)
    • Seasons four and five are both loose. The big plots are Ahsoka’s fall (and absence) and all of the mysteries. The mysteries do a lot of heavy lifting, but there’s not much of a throughline now. If Kadavo shifts, and if I drop the Ventress/Boba episode and the Younglings/Hondo episode, which I’d really like to do, we’ve got 12 episodes excluding the finale (in whatever form that takes). 12 feels OK for a season, whereas 17 (including the finale bits) feels like a lot. Then again, it is a finale, maybe we don’t give a shit, since shows can have variable seasons.
    • We also need to contend with the fact that this period of time has a lot more mixed media, with the ‘Anakin/Obi-Wan fireside chat’ (from the unfinished episode, so either as audio or using that HD youtube render with permission), then the audio comic for the Darth Maul episode, then the finale incorporating the live-action movie. So there may be a feeling of brokenness that I’d like to avoid as much as possible.
    • I feel like we’d get more value out of a tighter 12-episode season four (+ big finale), than two seasons of ~10. Treating the finale as its own thing probably makes some good sense too, since there’re a few options.
  • I did also think about breaking the show from 5 seasons of 10 episodes into 4x12 or 3x16. There were benefits to both, but ultimately I think the tightness of the first three seasons, where the show needs momentum and focus the most, remains sensible.

Thoughts, as always, very welcome.

(Oh, and sorry for being such a tease about returning to editing! I promise I’ll be actually producing actual content soon…)