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The Clone Wars: Refocused [up to s01e05 upgraded to v2.0] — Page 58

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I checked out v2.0 of Dark Force Rising. Trimming the Obi-Wan/Anakin bickering is a big improvement, and the removal of the clones on Yavin is totally seamless & makes things move along quicker.

I do miss the opening Yoda narration, and the beautiful animation that accompanies it, showing all the different Jedi Knights battling accross the galaxy, it serves as the perfect introduction to the titular Clone Wars. Without it the show starts on a boring shot of Palpatine’s office… it’s a major downgrade in my opinion. In this case I’d prefer higher quality over consistency, keeping the original intro instead of the blue text, the episode is very different in style and tone so it stands on it’s own anyway. The episode also ends with Yoda narration so it makes more sense to begin that way too.

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Oh, that’s great that you thought the Yavin clone removal was clean, that was definitely the most technically difficult fix I’ve ever had to make. He’s responding to different stimulus originally, there’re some minor clothing changes I needed to mask, I had to zoom a shot to hide the absence of an object in it, the audio needed to slide all over the place, and then after working that out I needed to grab the audio I’d created, export it, add new sound effects which I had to time right, and reinsert it. A proper surgical operation!

I’ve started editing with the audio coming out of my TV (with soundbar) at max volume, rather than my PC speakers, so that I can pick up on the audio a lot more clearly, and ensure it’s high quality even when someone views the episode with high volume.

It is a rather flat opening, you’re right, and I do see the value in maintaining the Yoda intro, both for its charm and as a bookend. I’m interested to see what people think here, but to me, the overriding value in cutting it was that this episode really is now a part of TCW:R, not a standalone thing. It’s here to be tonally consistent with TCW:R and to focus on TCW:R’s characters - not Mon Cala, Dantooine, etc. Those cut shots exist to say “There’s a war on many fronts”, but now that this is episode one of a longer show, we actually see many fronts in the war in our first season.

Perhaps it does feel a little jarring though because we start right in the office - maybe at least a Coruscant establishing shot might ease us into it a little more smoothly.

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Greetings, exalted one. If you don’t mind, I would like a link to your v2.0 of Dark Force Rising. It’ll be cool to look at a Clone Wars 2003 Edit.

“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”

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First, let me say that your 2.0 is fantastic. It has me very excited to see how the rest of the polishing pass goes.

With regard to the opening, might I suggest an in-between option. I understand wanting it to feel “connected” to the rest of TCW:R. In my opinion, the D+ style opening and the Mando-stylized credits sufficiently make the episode feel as a part of the whole already. I’d agree the episode works better with Yoda’s narration at both the front and back.

I would vote to have the D+ “faces” intro go into the episode itself with Yoda’s first narration (with no exposition text other than the Title card). I believe that would make it feel like a part of the overall TCW:R (which is is) while also feeling unique on its own (which 03 Clown Wars was/is)

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I see what you’re saying. Yoda narration scenes instead of intro text, then smash into TCW:R logo, episode title, then opening scene on coruscant. Worth a play.

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Hey everyone, me again, the CloneWars-noob here. To recall: I have never seen much of the original CW and am only tangentially aware of a small percentage of the plot points (I reckon at least, since I have no idea about how much plot stuff is there) and I got this deal with Eddie to eventually provide a no-prior-contact perspective on this project.

I am looking into this thread on a three times a year basis. It seems like some polishing effort is currently going on, but since I avoid most of the thread, I am out of the loop. Could somebody inform me via PM once S1 is in a state considered “ready” for the noob?

My original statement for Eddie was, I believe, “Just ping and share once you feel comfortable with the result”. Just wanted to make sure that was still on the radar.

For seventeen years the renegade Pfhor scoutship jumped between the closely packed stars of the galactic core. And all over the ship, dancing through the wreckage of the Pfhor computer core, Durandal was laughing…

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Hi Vidmaster.

I remember! Your insights would be most valuable. I’ve sent you a link to the tracker spreadsheet so you can see the progress and have access to the download links.

The current status is that I’ve completed three seasons out of five, that’s 30 episodes out of 50, to version 1.

Practically, that means that you could choose to start watching now, and you’d have a good few ahead of you.

However, I’ve just completed the planning and started the execution of a fairly large ‘polish pass’, editing all completed episodes up to version 2.

For the vast majority of episodes, they won’t need much polish. Mainly it’s just light cleanup. However, two things to note:
(1) There are a few early episodes which might need more in depth improvement (Christophsis, Malevolence, and Ryloth), which you might decide are best to see in their v2 form as they’ll be ‘more final’ then.
(2) As part of this polish, I’ve also reordered some episodes. For the most part this shouldn’t matter too much, BUT some of their opening crawls reference each other, so until I’ve gone through and polished up all of those crawls, they might feel a little out of order. As I go through the crawls I’ll also be adding some extra useful information to tighten up the seasonal narratives, which again, you might get more value from if you wait.

So it’s totally up to you of course. I think, if I were in your position, I’d choose to wait for the v2s of each episode. Whether you choose to watch each v2 as I release them, or decide to wait until I’ve released more v2s so that you can binge a few in order, is your call, but your reviews will be most welcome either way.

I’ve just released the first episode to v2 standard (episode zero, DARK FORCE RISING) if you feel like kicking off now.

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Minor idea:

As part of my restructuring of the first season, I’d been toying with the idea of bringing the scene where Ahsoka gets reprimanded for failing her military command and assigned to Guard duty (for her Felucia failiure at the start of the Holocron arc) to a little earlier - maybe the preceding Duchess of Mandalore episode.

However, I’ve realised that I could use it in context to conclude her Ryloth episode, where she also has a major command failiure. It would help justify why we don’t then see her for a couple of episodes too.

I’ll check that out when I get near.

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Ooh, here’s another one:

Lair of Grievous isn’t an episode I’m looking to include in any major way, but its two strengths are (1) showing Grievous’ home lair, and (2) some of Grievous’ viciousness, especially when he kills Nadar.

I was wondering if I could incorporate any of that somewhere - perhaps as a scene to precede a Grievous-heavy episode, and one that follows him taking some damage.

One place it could potentially go is at the start of Massacre, where he’s very fervent about destroying the Nightsisters (even though he’s not encountered them onscreen and their main rival in the show thus far is Dooku). You could establish that, in revenge against Dooku, the Nightsisters have leaked key information to the Jedi order, including the location of the hidden base of Dooku’s top General, Grievous. The Jedi have tracked and attacked Dooku, and now pursue him as he flees. That justifies Grievous seeking repair, and we can get in his furious attack on Nadar. Now, his vengeance on the Nightsisters is also personal. This leak could also be the reason that the Jedi peacefully meet with the Nightsisters later after Maul’s return, which I could also play up. It could also help explain why we don’t see the Separatists much in my season two, if they’re responding to a few implicitly major leaks.

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I watched v2.0 of dark force rising: the polish nailed it for me. I even like the crawl intro, but if the other suggestion works better, why not.

Your two ideas regarding restructure are welcome. Especially for Ahsoka, as you mentioned yourself this way here absence for some episodes feels much more well rounded.

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The Grievous stuff is pretty clever! I say go for it. Love the idea that it makes it a little personal for Grievous too.

I also think including Yoda’s opening for Dark Force Rising would be a nice thing to retain. We could think of Dark Force Rising as a cold open for the entire series.

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Dark Force Rising was EPIC!!! Two little things that bugged me though (I’m just being nitpicky):

  1. The maximum quality was 720p. Is there a 1080p version?

  2. The frame rate seemed off; it had a large, noticeable stutter every half second as if a 24fps source was being pushed into a 30fps container. It might just be my computer, but it doesn’t happen with any of the other episodes. Was it uploaded at 30fps or is there something wrong on my side and it’s playing correctly at 24fps but my computer is messing it up?

Keep up the work big man, I’m loving every episode and they’re put together better than most professionals. Cheers!

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nlpearce said:

Dark Force Rising was EPIC!!! Two little things that bugged me though (I’m just being nitpicky):

  1. The maximum quality was 720p. Is there a 1080p version?

  2. The frame rate seemed off; it had a large, noticeable stutter every half second as if a 24fps source was being pushed into a 30fps container. It might just be my computer, but it doesn’t happen with any of the other episodes. Was it uploaded at 30fps or is there something wrong on my side and it’s playing correctly at 24fps but my computer is messing it up?

Keep up the work big man, I’m loving every episode and they’re put together better than most professionals. Cheers!

Did you played it through the google drive stream?
I´ve watched dark force rising v2.0 on my projector (downloaded it first)and didn´t noticed any stutter. But the experiences of others would be helpful to narrow it down.

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Hm, yeah, the file itself does look fine to me. I rendered it on the right settings, and watched it on my TV as a raw file before release in 1080 without noticing a stutter.

As CMMAP alludes to, it’s always best to download first rather than streaming from Google Drive.

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Hmm.

Thoughts on a possible episode to fit into season two, to give a bit more character balance in a season that slightly needs it:

I’d considered the fun romp of Zillo Beast, despite having some problems with that episode (a useful ion weapon never seen again, plus Palpatine’s malice), but on review it doesn’t feature Ahsoka so it doesn’t satisfy the goal of what I’m looking for in this slot.

The other that I’d considered was Innocents/Liberty of Ryloth, which gives us a bit more tie-ins to later media but isn’t super strong on its own. That doesn’t feature our main guys BUT-

I’ve always liked the crash from Jedi Crash (on Maridun). It’s a great action sequence, Anakin gets injured, and Ahsoka looks after him. That’s a nice bit of growth, though I’d want to trim the episode heavily and mostly ignore the natives (and definitely skip the following episode with the goofy separatist attack). Thematically it would fit with season two, where the impact of the war hits the further corners of the galaxy.

I wonder if I could merge the above two? If I do, it’d definitely end up as two parallel plots, rather than two related plotlines, but it’d give us all our focal characters, and the jeopardy for both storylines could be enhanced by the implicit absence of the other characters. Perhaps the skies that the Jedi cruiser crash in are the skies of Ryloth, with the emergency escape jump that Anakin and Ahsoka take taking them off that battlefield and to a neighbouring planet/system. Then Obi-Wan’s and Mace Windu’s actions would be implicitly strained by the absence of the reinforcements. I might need to do some work to tie the plots together a bit more tightly though, or at least have them reference each other.

I’m not certain this idea is workable, but I think it’s the only worthwhile idea to pursue to potentially satisfy a couple of goals that I have for that part of my series. Worst case, I’ll find I can’t do it, and I’ll just retain Innocents/Liberty as a bonus episode.

I’ll check it out (far later).

(That said, am I moving too far away from established canon by using some of these ideas? I don’t want people to consider TCW:R too deviant to consider it a viable ‘true’ alternative to TCW. I’m not trying to produce ‘an experiment’ with this series, I’m trying to produce ‘TCW if it was made today and with hindsight’)

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EddieDean said:

Hmm.

Thoughts on a possible episode to fit into season two, to give a bit more character balance in a season that slightly needs it:

I’d considered the fun romp of Zillo Beast, despite having some problems with that episode (a useful ion weapon never seen again, plus Palpatine’s malice), but on review it doesn’t feature Ahsoka so it doesn’t satisfy the goal of what I’m looking for in this slot.

The other that I’d considered was Innocents/Liberty of Ryloth, which gives us a bit more tie-ins to later media but isn’t super strong on its own. That doesn’t feature our main guys BUT-

I’ve always liked the crash from Jedi Crash (on Maridun). It’s a great action sequence, Anakin gets injured, and Ahsoka looks after him. That’s a nice bit of growth, though I’d want to trim the episode heavily and mostly ignore the natives (and definitely skip the following episode with the goofy separatist attack). Thematically it would fit with season two, where the impact of the war hits the further corners of the galaxy.

I wonder if I could merge the above two? If I do, it’d definitely end up as two parallel plots, rather than two related plotlines, but it’d give us all our focal characters, and the jeopardy for both storylines could be enhanced by the implicit absence of the other characters. Perhaps the skies that the Jedi cruiser crash in are the skies of Ryloth, with the emergency escape jump that Anakin and Ahsoka take taking them off that battlefield and to a neighbouring planet/system. Then Obi-Wan’s and Mace Windu’s actions would be implicitly strained by the absence of the reinforcements. I might need to do some work to tie the plots together a bit more tightly though, or at least have them reference each other.

I’m not certain this idea is workable, but I think it’s the only worthwhile idea to pursue to potentially satisfy a couple of goals that I have for that part of my series. Worst case, I’ll find I can’t do it, and I’ll just retain Innocents/Liberty as a bonus episode.

I’ll check it out (far later).

(That said, am I moving too far away from established canon by using some of these ideas? I don’t want people to consider TCW:R too deviant to consider it a viable ‘true’ alternative to TCW. I’m not trying to produce ‘an experiment’ with this series, I’m trying to produce ‘TCW if it was made today and with hindsight’)

To be fair you did mash up the two Cade Bane episodes so, I don’t think that this idea would be any different from that episode.

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I like that combination idea. What planet they’re over at the beginning of Jedi Crash really has no bearing in that story, so why can’t it be Ryloth?

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EddieDean said:

Hmm.

Thoughts on a possible episode to fit into season two, to give a bit more character balance in a season that slightly needs it:

I’d considered the fun romp of Zillo Beast, despite having some problems with that episode (a useful ion weapon never seen again, plus Palpatine’s malice), but on review it doesn’t feature Ahsoka so it doesn’t satisfy the goal of what I’m looking for in this slot.

The other that I’d considered was Innocents/Liberty of Ryloth, which gives us a bit more tie-ins to later media but isn’t super strong on its own. That doesn’t feature our main guys BUT-

I’ve always liked the crash from Jedi Crash (on Maridun). It’s a great action sequence, Anakin gets injured, and Ahsoka looks after him. That’s a nice bit of growth, though I’d want to trim the episode heavily and mostly ignore the natives (and definitely skip the following episode with the goofy separatist attack). Thematically it would fit with season two, where the impact of the war hits the further corners of the galaxy.

I wonder if I could merge the above two? If I do, it’d definitely end up as two parallel plots, rather than two related plotlines, but it’d give us all our focal characters, and the jeopardy for both storylines could be enhanced by the implicit absence of the other characters. Perhaps the skies that the Jedi cruiser crash in are the skies of Ryloth, with the emergency escape jump that Anakin and Ahsoka take taking them off that battlefield and to a neighbouring planet/system. Then Obi-Wan’s and Mace Windu’s actions would be implicitly strained by the absence of the reinforcements. I might need to do some work to tie the plots together a bit more tightly though, or at least have them reference each other.

I’m not certain this idea is workable, but I think it’s the only worthwhile idea to pursue to potentially satisfy a couple of goals that I have for that part of my series. Worst case, I’ll find I can’t do it, and I’ll just retain Innocents/Liberty as a bonus episode.

I’ll check it out (far later).

(That said, am I moving too far away from established canon by using some of these ideas? I don’t want people to consider TCW:R too deviant to consider it a viable ‘true’ alternative to TCW. I’m not trying to produce ‘an experiment’ with this series, I’m trying to produce ‘TCW if it was made today and with hindsight’)

If it works, I say go for it. Chopping and changing happens all the time in myths and SW is, at it’s root, a mythical arc.

As long as the core storyline is untouched it will be fine. And considering the core storyline is ‘clones fight droids for puppet masters whilst ninja monks chase ninja robots and ninja witched around’ then I doubt there’s anything you could actually do to change the story to the point a casual viewer would notice anything amiss.

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It’ll kinda be two stories at once, but it’ll be worth a try at least. Won’t break any other episodes, in the worst case.

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Right, good editing session today, and I’ve got a couple more good opportunities this coming weekend too, so I hope to finish this next episode then.

I’ve been working on the v2.0 polish pass for s01e01 The New Padawan, which is my Christophsis episode (and the first proper episode of the series).

That one was already only barely holding together, but now that I’m a more capable editor, I’ve actually restarted the entire episode from scratch, including reviewing the original content for useful scenes and shots. It’s more work but totally worth it, and I’ll be very pleased to finally finally have this episode put to bed. I’ve gone through the first five minutes, which is actually nearer 70% of the effort for the episode, and it’s already far more polished now, with smoother audio, and the narrative makes far more sense.

Bail Organa didn’t quite work in this episode so I’ve taken him out, and for now I’ve cut my special cold open where we see Maul meet Mandalorians, which I’m not sure about but I’ll let you guys see what you think.

The crawl will do some heavy lifting to give context to the simpler start to the episode, establishing that:

  • Christophsis produces ray shields (explaining its strategic importance, and since we see them use ray shields later, that moment is now a bit more punchy since it shows their plans worked).
  • The newly-knighted Anakin and Obi-Wan are stranded on the planet, barely holding off the Separatists with only a tiny clone force and some heavy cannons defending their base.
  • The Separatist blockade has forced the Republic support fleet to retreat to a nearby staging area, which combined with a comms blackout (that the fleet is unaware of) is leading to fears that the Separatists will land a full army and take the planet.
  • Anakin and Obi-Wan should be taking preventative steps against invasion, until they detect Assaj Ventress’ signal at the Sep HQ on the dark side of the planet, so they pursue her as a priority mission.

We open the episode now seeing the Republic fleet flee (it’s our establishing shot before we join the ground action), then Anakin and Obi-Wan’s pursuit of Ventress IS the distraction which enables the Separatists to land ground forces. As they fight her, Yularen gets the call from Yoda and Mace saying they need to speak to Obi-Wan, but he informs them of the blackout. We cut back to Ventress, but after Anakin and Obi-Wan have dealt with that, we return to a second Yularen call where he’s told that, since it’s urgent, they’ve sent a messenger (who implicitly can bypass the blockade since it’s just one ship, to get around their comms blackout). I use some nice alternate footage to actually show Ahsoka arriving, so this is all nice and smooth. We’ll learn in the next episode that the urgent issue was the destruction of clone medical stations by Grievous, which Obi-Wan takes point in.

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Sounds amazing

I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.

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EddieDean said:

The crawl will do some heavy lifting to give context to the simpler start to the episode, establishing that:

  • Christophsis produces ray shields (explaining its strategic importance, and since we see them use ray shields later, that moment is now a bit more punchy since it shows their plans worked).
  • The newly-knighted Anakin and Obi-Wan are stranded on the planet, barely holding off the Separatists with only a tiny clone force and some heavy cannons defending their base.
  • The Separatist blockade has forced the Republic support fleet to retreat to a nearby staging area, which combined with a comms blackout (that the fleet is unaware of) is leading to fears that the Separatists will land a full army and take the planet.
  • Anakin and Obi-Wan should be taking preventative steps against invasion, until they detect Assaj Ventress’ signal at the Sep HQ on the dark side of the planet, so they pursue her as a priority mission.

Haven’t been on the forums in a bit due to college starting again, but this looks great! The inclusion of ray shields in the crawl is a smart idea and will focus the episode even further. I’m also in favor of the other changes/refinements to Christophsis. Appreciate all your hard work!

I am no Jedi

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Right, well that’s nearly finished, and I don’t have anything in the way of getting it complete tomorrow.

I’d hoped to get it done today, but I’ve absolutely burnt out my brain by tweaking the same audio transition and tweaking the same audio transition and tweaking the same audio transition and tweaking the same audio transition and tweaking the same audio transition and tweaking the same audio transition and tweaking the same audio transition and tweaking the same audio transition and tweaking the same audio transition and tweaking the same audio transition.

Either way, the narrative is complete, the transitions are 99% complete, everything is in place. I’m rendering myself a QC copy I’ll watch tomorrow before putting any final touches through, then I’ll render the final version and watch it one last time before upload.

This one’s essentially the same story as the version already released, only without Bail. So it’s still not amazing. The first quarter is slicker, and now there’s only ONE army (the one that Ventress’ distraction helps land) so I cut a lot of fighting out of the middle, but most importantly, all of the audio is way way smoother, so it should feel way less choppy. Still not perfect, I don’t think, but as good as I reckon this episode can get.

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Hooray! This episode is finally finished, and uploading now.

Having just watched it for quality control, I’m extremely pleased with how this has come together. The narrative flows and my scene ordering enhances it, the pacing is tight, and the sound is far smoother. There’re maybe a couple of beats that would prefer to linger a little longer, but I think it’s all as smooth as I can get it given my options. This episode has been my bane for a long time, so I’m very glad to have it in a state I can feel so comfortable with.

Looking forward to sharing this one with you all.

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RE-RELEASED - s01e01 - THE NEW PADAWAN (v2.0)

  • RELEASE VERSION, now brought up to my more polished 2.0 standard.
  • Our first ‘true’ episode.
  • Comprising the Ventress content from Hidden Enemy, and the Christophsis content from the movie.
  • Running 21 minutes.
  • DOWNLOAD LINK is in the tracker spreadsheet, PM me for access.
  • Note: It’s recommended that you download this before watching, rather than streaming it directly from Google Drive.

This is a radical recombination of all of the Christophsis content into something which basically serves to get us through Ahsoka’s introduction as quickly as possible. The movie was terrible, and its prequel episodes added little meat to them (beyond Ventress’ re-introduction, and the traitor clone plot I’ll use elsewhere), so this was really just case of making some necessary introductions as coherent and painless as I could.

Noteworthy changes:

  • I’ve trimmed the setup heavily, including the opening text, to streamline and clarify the plot.
  • Christophsis now has crystal factories which produce energy shields. This is the planet’s strategic importance, and goes some way to explaining the ugly crystal aesthetic. Now, when the Separatists deploy an energy shield later, it’s implicitly because they’ve managed to acquire that tech, making the reveal a bit more punchy.
  • Anakin and Obi-Wan are defending the planet with only a small force, but a large Separatist fleet has blockaded the system and forced the Republic fleet to flee to a nearby clone medical station (used as a staging area), which isolates them from their support and leads to fears of an invasion.
  • They’d be about to take preventative measures, but have just detected Ventress’ signal on the planet. She’s a priority target, so they rush to apprehend her - overland, since they have no air support. As they travel, and unbeknownst to them, the Separatists trigger a comms blackout.
  • Because this mission distracts and delays them, and because the comms blackout means they can’t scan the planet properly, the Separatists use this opportunity to land their ground forces unimpeded. Our guys think it’s a trap, but realise to their shock that it’s a distraction, and rush back.
  • Meanwhile, Yoda and Mace want to contact Obi-Wan about an emergency. The blackout impedes that, so they send Ahsoka (in a small ship which implicitly can bypass the blockade) to the surface, carrying the message. Obi-Wan doesn’t respond, since they have an emergency of their own, which is fine. Ahsoka has a method to contact Yoda (which is a bit flimsy, but again pretty much fine since the connection is spotty anyway), leaving us uncertain about whether or not our guys will get support.
  • (The emergency, we will reveal in the next episode, is the destruction of many clone medical stations by the Malevolence - a good thing to treat as an emergency. And having had the Republic fleet flee to one [which I also show onscreen], that’ll feel a bit more punchy next episode too.)
  • We continue on with the main Christophsis plotline, with slight trims to dialogue to remove some annoyances but maintaining the early tension between Ahsoka and Anakin/Rex (since that’s a foundation for their growth), until Ahsoka and Anakin’s plan saves the day, and they start to work together.
  • I removed the ground forces which are originally fought in the movie’s opening scenes. Now, the ONLY force is landed by the Separatists, then approaches under the shield they’ve captured (to defeat our long-range cannons). So there’s a lot less mindless action this episode, though we still get highlights of Obi-Wan and Rex, and of the ‘street fighting’ going south to add jeopardy to Anakin and Ahsoka’s attempts.
  • I’ve removed General Loathsom, who was a dud villain. As much as Obi-Wan’s war crimes were good fun, he was super goofy, and I wanted to keep the focus this season on our big three villains.
  • We end with Anakin leaving with Ahsoka, whilst Obi-Wan leaves alone. This fits nicely with their roles in the next episode, Malevolence.
  • Unlike prior versions of this episode, Bail Organa no longer appears. I like him a lot, and want to see him in his active role, but it didn’t quite work here nor add the jeopardy I’d have hoped for.
  • Unlike prior versions of this episode, I’ve removed the cold open, where Maul meets Mandalorians (and we see the Darksaber). The advantage of that scene was that it builds great anticipation for the series and shows you it’s going to be more than you know, and tie in with the wider Filoniverse. But the disadvantage was that it was a scene disconnected from this episode’s plot, and we only get our first hint of Maul later this season. I’d be very interested in how you guys think that lands now, with our first episode not setting that up. Does it feel weaker as a season premiere? Mauldalore IS our central plot.

I nearly renamed this to MASTER AND APPRENTICE, but I think at this point it’s important that we just tell the Audience ‘Anakin’s getting a new Padawan, get over it’ and nudge them into focusing on her character this episode.