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The Clone Wars: Refocused [up to s01e05 upgraded to v2.0] — Page 62

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Well done, sir. Your final version convinced me of a couple retentions. I also appreciate your transitions, which I will roll back into my personal copy. Thank you.

I can’t wait for the rest of 2.0. Feel free to keep running the intro text past us as you go.

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I need to find time to watch the revised episodes.

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A few thoughts on the latest version of Malevolence:

  • On the opening text, is there any reason to specify that six medical stations have been destroyed in the Naboo sector? It would be more straightforward to simply state that “several have recently been destroyed”, since I don’t see the specific number becoming relevant in the episode. Also, to not use the term “destroy” twice in a row, on the previous paragraph perhaps you could change it to - “he has been targeting medical stations, killing thousands of wounded clones”.

  • That one clone trooper recognizing Ahsoka did feel odd, it could be rationalized that they know her because she’s close to Plo Koon, but still it feels odd that a clone trooper would recognize her this early on in the series, where this is presumably her first proper mission in the Clone Wars.

  • It also stuck out to me that Plo Koon and Ahsoka quickly move from their fighters to the bridge of the star destroyer, only to move back to the hangar at the end. Though I don’t see a way to avoid that and it’s not really a big deal.

Overall great job once again tightening this set of episodes, this works really well as a continuation of you episode 1, cementing the Anakin/Ahsoka dynamic before moving to other aspects of the series.

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 (Edited)
  • “Six” was used mainly as it takes up little space in a tight sentence!
  • I will see about destroyed/destroyed though (EDIT: I’ll change this to ‘targeted’/‘destroyed’ and release a new small v2.2)
  • I’m OK with Ahsoka being a recognisable name already. Firstly because Plo is very close to the Wolf Pack and likely would have told them about her. (I bet he’d be excited! It’d be cute.) But more importantly, Anakin is a big name in the Jedi Order and on the front lines. So even on top of military protocol probably doing a lot to keep clones informed about the Jedi they might serve under, Anakin (brash) taking a padawan (requires patience) is probably interesting news.
  • No other options are really available for getting Plo and Ahsoka onto the bridge so quickly. They need to end up there because they’re seen in exposition shots which can’t be cropped, and the celebration shots which I think are necessary to help sell my alternate conclusion. And at this point in the narrative there’s no cutaway we could use to artificially extend the time implied to have passed. So we don’t really have a choice here. In order to mitigate it as best I could, I’ve trimmed the dialogue about Anakin needing to return to the medical station, so instead his flyby of Obi-Wan could be taken as them approaching close to board. And then, once Obi-wan takes over the attack, I used two longer shots almost as re-establishing shots, to very subtly imply a little time passing. I tried a wipe here but it felt wrong, and I also tried switching up Anakin’s audio. If in the other episodes I find some “I’m coming to you” audio I’ll switch that in, but if I don’t find that it’ll have to do as is.
  • (As a side note, we can assume Anakin doesn’t appear so quickly because he’s just acknowledged the battle was tough on his men and he’s probably checking in with the other clones under his command. Whereas Plo is senior and belongs on the bridge, and Ahsoka probably wanted to spend time with Plo once she dismounted.)
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CMMAP said:

Just a fun fact: everytime, literally eveytime i just watch the whole credits for the sake of the musical composition:)

I’m doing more editing now and reminded again how pleased I am that I lined up the ‘John Williams’ credit with just the moment when the original theme kicks in and swells.

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 (Edited)

So here’s the current crawl(s) for our episode s01e03, THE DUCHESS OF MANDALORE. (This is my episode with Obi-Wan and Satine on Mandalore and the Coronet ship, NOT the original episode titled ‘DUCHESS OF MANDALORE’, which is set on Coruscant.)

This episode is all polished up to 2.0 standards for opening, closing, and transitions, with a fixed shot so the spider bot doesn’t suddenly disappear. I just have to improve the opening transition, insert the Ahsoka shots, and check one bit of audio, then it should be ready for QC and release.

This episode immediately follows the Malevolence episode, which ended with Grievous’ flagship destroyed, and Grievous fleeing. Bear in mind, for context, that I’m going to treat the pursuit of Grievous as a mini-focus for the first half of the season, with the next episode (s01e04) featuring Ahsoka fighting Ventress (while Anakin and Obi-Wan pursue Grievous), before the following episode (s01e05) has Ventress and Grievous attack the Kamino cloning facility.

This episode doesn’t originally feature Ahsoka, but I’m going to add some scenes of her studying on Coruscant here, to give her a little presence early on where it’s more important, keep the beginning of the show consistent, and also to explain why she doesn’t appear in all episodes.

Crawl Option 1 (slightly more emphasising Mandalore)

  • Conflicts erupt in the early days of the Clone Wars.
  • As the Republic’s war against the Separatists spreads across the galaxy, thousands of worlds still refuse to take sides in the conflict.
  • Having rejected its warlike past, the ravaged planet MANDALORE now leads the Council of Neutral Systems, to preserve their peace.
  • Now, a MANDALORIAN WARRIOR has attacked a Republic cruiser, sparking fears of a secret Mandalorian alliance with Count Dooku.
  • As the clone army hunts for Grievous, Anakin returns Ahsoka to the Jedi temple to continue her studies, leaving Obi-Wan to investigate alone.
  • But his old friend SATINE may prove more than he can handle…

THE CLONE WARS
THE DUCHESS OF MANDALORE

Crawl Version 2 (slightly more emphasising the season’s context)

  • Conflicts erupt in the early days of the Clone Wars.
  • As the Republic’s war against the Separatists spreads across the galaxy, thousands of worlds still refuse to take sides in the conflict.
  • Having rejected its warlike past, the ravaged planet MANDALORE now leads the Council of Neutral Systems, to preserve their peace.
  • As the clone army hunts for Grievous after destroying his flagship, Anakin returns Ahsoka to the Jedi temple to continue her studies.
  • Now, a MANDALORIAN WARRIOR has attacked a Republic cruiser, sparking fears of a secret Mandalorian alliance with Count Dooku.
  • Obi-Wan must investigate alone, starting with his old friend SATINE…

THE CLONE WARS
THE DUCHESS OF MANDALORE

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 (Edited)

I like the first version better, but I do like the final line of the second.

Other thoughts:
“refuse to take sides” > “refuse to take a side”
“the Council of Neutral Systems” > “a COUNCIL OF NEUTRAL SYSTEMS”
“to preserve their peace” > “to preserve the peace” (but is it really even “preserving” at this point?)

I definitely don’t like “after destroying his flagship.” If you want the context in version 2, maybe use “With the Malevolence destroyed, the clone army hunts for Grievous, while Anakin returns Ahsoka to the Jedi temple to continue her studies.”

Is there room to change “Now” to “Meanwhile?” But then it might sound too much like the “while” in the prior sentence.

Should the Attack on the Republic cruiser be shown briefly at the start of the episode, much like the battle with the Malevolence was shown at the start of the prior episode? Or would that be creating too much of a pattern, where something happens, then we go investigate it?

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 (Edited)

Thanks again Vranir, good thoughts!

vranir said:
I like the first version better, but I do like the final line of the second.

Noted!

Other thoughts:
“refuse to take sides” > “refuse to take a side”

Surely sides? Since there are many neutral systems, and each might individually take a different side, as we see in the show.

“the Council of Neutral Systems” > “a COUNCIL OF NEUTRAL SYSTEMS”

Could do. By capitalising here we’re sort of saying it’s the focus of the episode (or the show at large), which it kind of is, though not as importantly as Mandalore.

I want to steer clear of the risk of confusion with the Confederacy of Independent Systems…

“to preserve their peace” > “to preserve the peace” (but is it really even “preserving” at this point?)

The peace I’m referring to here (but perhaps failing to make clear) is the peace belonging to the neutral systems. Therefore it’s THEIR peace they want to preserve through neutrality, not THE peace (which I’d read as being the Galaxy’s). But perhaps I need to convey that in a different choice of words.

I’m trying to convey that the neutral systems want to keep out of the war, so they’ve formed their council.

(I like my wording that implies that Mandalore was chosen to lead the council due to their commitment to abandon their own warlike ways due to the cost it had to their planet.)

I could maybe replace peace with independence, though.

I definitely don’t like “after destroying his flagship.” If you want the context in version 2, maybe use “With the Malevolence destroyed, the clone army hunts for Grievous, while Anakin returns Ahsoka to the Jedi temple to continue her studies.”

That sounds sensible, I can try tidier versions of that.

Is there room to change “Now” to “Meanwhile?” But then it might sound too much like the “while” in the prior sentence.

It might be a bit tight, but I could perhaps just drop “Now,” and leave it as it originally was, “A MANDALORIAN WARRIOR”

Should the Attack on the Republic cruiser be shown briefly at the start of the episode, much like the battle with the Malevolence was shown at the start of the prior episode? Or would that be creating too much of a pattern, where something happens, then we go investigate it?

No option here! It wasn’t shown in the episode, only in hologram shown by Obi-Wan early on.

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I get what you mean about “sides” in this context. My thinking was that each planet can only choose 1 side or the other, but I suppose the sentence leaves that detail up for interpretation.

True. The capitalization would almost imply that they are turning into a third major faction.

I like “independence” better than “peace.” I think it puts the focus more on their local interests and less on its larger implications for the war.

Maybe “and Anakin returns Ahsoka” instead of “while.” Then you can use “Meanwhile” in the next sentence, which really does need something at the beginning to transition into the current action.

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Version 1 reads more TCW-like, and I stand by vranir’s suggestions. I don’t know if Satine should be name-dropped in the crawl though, feels a bit abrupt (or at least have her full name and title for better context). Maybe just hinting that she’s a particularly close old friend would do.

I’ll see if I can take some time to rewatch Malevolence and see how much it has improved since the last time.

Greetings!

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 (Edited)

Cheers Knight, hope your studies are going well!

Perhaps we end up with something like this…

  • Conflicts erupt in the early days of the Clone Wars.
  • As the Republic’s war against the Separatists spreads across the galaxy, thousands of worlds still refuse to take sides in the conflict.
  • Having rejected its warlike past, the ravaged planet MANDALORE now leads the Council of Neutral Systems, to preserve their independence.
    — new page —
  • With the Malevolence destroyed, the clone army hunts for Grievous, and Anakin returns Ahsoka to the Jedi temple to continue her studies.
  • Meanwhile a MANDALORIAN WARRIOR has attacked a Republic cruiser, sparking fears of a secret Mandalorian alliance with Count Dooku.
  • Obi-Wan must investigate alone, starting with an old friend…
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Yes.

Why the comma after Council of Neutral Systems?

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Do you ever plan to do this for Rebels? I imagine that would be very popular by the time the Ahsoka show rolls around

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It’s certainly an option I’ve teased myself with, but I won’t pick it up until long after I’m done with this project. With Rebels it would be less radical. Probably a group watchthrough and analysis, leading to the removal of some episodes and scenes, and some reinclusion of any good scenes from cut episodes.

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This isn’t quite right yet, but let me know what you guys think.

This is some scenes and shots from Assassin, now used to show Ahsoka back on Coruscant. I’ve put it during the largest time jump, between Satine and Obi-Wan escaping Pre Viszla on Concordia, and them them leaving Mandalore with Anakin for Coruscant via the Coronet.

This would be the only Ahsoka scene, unless I cut her snoozing in the desk and place that earlier, though it’d end up very short that way.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W-ySDUiEfHwDhVffTW7sitvrlssRQy-U/view?usp=sharing

But it’s not quite right, and I could do with some extra eyes and ears on it.

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 (Edited)

Interesting. I like showing Anakin leaving Ahsoka behind, and I agree that this is the only logical place to insert it, but I’m not sure what purpose the second half with her at the computer serves. I think it would be fine to wipe-cut from Anakin flying off to ObiWan and Satine walking toward the ship, where Anakin meets them.

Is there anything that shows her getting recruited for the mission in Assassin? If so, the second half of this could be used as part of that lead-in footage, which could open out the next episode. It would then show her being bored and jumping at the chance to go back out into the middle of things, even if it’s not with Anakin and ObiWan.

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 (Edited)

Yes, I think that ending on Anakin flying away is best for the transition, and better than trying to improve the music out of the low-energy scene of Ahsoka snoozing.

Ideally I’ll keep the scene of Ahsoka actually studying, so we have the visual for that, but perhaps they should be flipped, starting with an establishing shot of night, studying, and then intercutting the two scenes with an establishing shot of day, before Anakin leaves. Maybe the day change should be a fade into and out of black. This would best give the Mandalore story time to progress offscreen, and also let us see Ahsoka’s frustration before asking to leave with Anakin.

But failing that I’ll just use the scene where Anakin leaves Ahsoka.

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Just watched the new Malevolence cut. I gotta say, it is quite clean. It really felt like it could’ve been just a “normal” episode of the show in my opinion.

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Hooray! That’s what I’m going for! The malevolence trilogy was really quite poor overall, in my opinion, but had that important content for Ahsoka’s growth. So I just wanted to get through it as painlessly as possible. It was a real mess to splice together, I tell ya!

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 (Edited)

Here’s the editing track for Malevolence. Every vertical black line is a cut, placing two shots or scenes together that originally weren’t. Red is video, yellow is music, blue is voice.

You can see how much it was absolutely chopped to bits.

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 (Edited)

Right, I think I’ve nailed the inclusion of the extra scene in Duchess of Mandalore that I was working on. It took a suprising amount of audio work.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1haU-GGxwf-4uz1cUYYrl441CKYI1ZNxh/view?usp=sharing

As much as I’d have liked to include the shots of Ahsoka studying, they just weren’t interesting enough, they didn’t give us anything that the scene of her talking to Anakin also gave us. They were far too sedate - which only worked in the original episode I took those shots from because they were broken up with her dramatic visions. But in this context they just would have slowed us right down.

Instead, the focus is on Anakin being called away. There’re a few nice things with having this scene here:

  1. As discussed, we get Ahsoka in this episode, both keeping her in mind (she’s TCW:R’s main character) AND helping to justify future absences.
  2. Anakin and Ahsoka acknowledge that she “learns more in the field than from studying”. This is a great acknowledgment that, like Anakin, Ahsoka is one of the few Jedi who doesn’t adhere too closely to Jedi dogma. We know that Jedi dogma is one of the reasons for its stangancy and fall, and we’ll also come to see that Ahsoka’s independence is one of the reasons she becomes such a great Jedi (or perhaps simply a non-Jedi lightside force user) in future. This is a nice acknowledgment of both paths.
  3. Ahsoka is “uneasy”, and worries about “not having Anakin’s back”. Later in this episode, Anakin “brands himself a cold-blooded killer”, and with this scene now it works as light foreshadowing of what’ll happen to Anakin without Ahsoka’s moderating influence.
  4. Anakin tells her to “stay out of trouble”, in this context acknowleding her brashness as seen in the last couple of episodes, a plotline which’ll continue through this season.
  5. It also gives us some pacing between the preceding scene (Obi-Wan and Satine have fled the Death Watch on Concordia back to Mandalore) and the following one (The Death Watch are now believed to have have themselves fled Concordia).

So while it’s perhaps odd to just have a little flash of Ahsoka in an otherwise non-Ahsoka episode, I think it serves us nicely like this, and helps justify the movement of this episode earlier in the chronology. And there are other episodes which only have a flash of certain characters.

I’ve just got to tighten up the opening audio for the episode and then get this baby uploaded.

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 (Edited)

Re-Released - s01e03 - THE DUCHESS OF MANDALORE (v2.0)

  • RELEASE VERSION, now brought up to my more polished 2.0 standard.
  • Our third episode of the season (formerly our second, but I’ve shifted the first season around and it fits better here).
  • Comprising the original episodes The Mandalore Plot and Voyage of Temptation, featuring Obi-Wan and Satine on Mandalore, Concordia, and the Coronet ship. But notably NOT including any content from the original episode titled Duchess of Mandalore, which features Obi-Wan and Satine on Coruscant (though that episode will emerge later).
  • Running 37 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 really strong arc, so this edit is more of a gentle tightening than anything radical. The most major change is some very careful recutting to remove Obi-Wan getting put on a super goofy Bond villain’s production line OF DEATH, while still getting the characters from A to B. I also removed the small spider droids, which added nothing to the plot, whilst preserving the larger assassin spiders. The episode is moved to here because it adds good value to Obi-Wan and gives us that Mandalorian interest early.

The story now plays out as follows:

  • In the intro text we establish that Mandalore is formerly warlike, and now is a peaceful entity leading the Neutral systems in order to preserve their independence from the Republic-Separatist war. I also emphasise the threat of a Separatist-Mandalorian alliance being a real concern to the Republic (a plot thread which will continue through the entire show.) Placed here in the chronology we also establish that the republic is urgently pursuing Grievous (a plot thread that will continue for a few episodes), and so Anakin has escorted Ahsoka back to Coruscant, leaving Obi-Wan to investigate this new crisis solo.
  • We open with Obi-Wan arriving on Mandalore then continue as in the original with some Satine exposition, the bombing, the trip to Concordia, and Obi-Wan going to investigate the mines while Satine dines with Pre Viszla.
  • Then, Obi-Wan gets in the fight with the Mandalorians but we don’t see him captured, and we don’t see him on the conveyor. He calls Satine for backup (after seeing their armour, so he’s not knowingly drawing her into danger), then she comes in, distracts the guards, but then gets grabbed, as Obi-Wan springs from high up to save her.
  • After the main Obi-Wan/Pre Visla fight, I add a scene (from Assassin originally) where Anakin leaves Coruscant to help escort Satine from Mandalore (since that crisis now needs extra help and he’s not yet rejoined the hunt for Grievous), and Ahsoka complains about having to stay and study. This achieves a few goals: Having Ahsoka in the episode (since she’s our show’s main character), explaining future absences, adding useful pacing, and hinting early at a few continuing plot threads.
  • We then conclude the Mandalore Plot content with Anakin joining the pair to escort them all to Coruscant, which flows nicely into the Voyage of Temptation content.
  • I preserve the majority of the good dialogue from the Coronet, but we skip all of the early scenes of spiderbots in the basement of the ship, focusing on the relationships and the backstory. Eventually they go for dinner, but Anakin is called downstairs as some clones have gone missing. We then get the single scene of the Clone being puppeted by the large spiderbot.
  • Anakin calls up to Obi-Wan that one’s got loose - but as Obi-Wan kills it, we skip the scenes of the baby spiders entirely, with a clean cut to Merrik taking her hostage - he’s now just taking advantage of the chaos (since his plan’s been interrupted by the Jedi anyway) rather than waiting to be caught. Everything then plays out the same.
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Very good episode. I still did go through it again myself though and made a series of tiny trims totaling about 2 minutes. All are pretty nitpicky. Specifics are below, and the file I created is available at the link I previously sent you via PM. As always, feel free to incorporate or mimic anything you like.

  • Trimmed the traitor’s early line about coming across as defensive

  • Trimmed out awkward pauses in Satine’s rooftop greeting to ObiWan

  • Trimmed rooftop mention of Death Watch being on Concordia, as this gets implied/mentioned three separate times, which is a lot for something mysterious

  • Trimmed “weak” from “weak, peace-loving government” in the talk w Dooku

  • Trimmed the governor’s random reminder of the idea that Satine is trying to ally with the Separatists. I get that he’s trying to undermine her and say he knows why ObiWan is there, but it feels random and irrelevant.

  • Trimmed ObiWan repeating to the governor that the man who bombed the shrine was a member of Death Watch.

  • Trimmed ObiWan’s semi-correction that he’s hoping to confirm that the mines aren’t operational.

  • Trimmed the warrior’s line about not respecting Satine and jumped straight to him shooting the lightsaber out of ObiWan’s hand.

  • Trimmed ObiWan’s line about Satine having not changed when she says “but you weren’t [killed back there].”

  • Trimmed Satine’s line on the platform about having hoped that ObiWan of all people would have understood her position. Instead, she offers a more direct rebuke of what he’s saying.

  • Trimmed the first elevator interchange about ObiWan having known Satine previously.

  • Adjusted the timing and volume of the loud door closing sound after ObiWan and Anakin enter the audience chamber.

  • Trimmed the line about it being weird that Artoo is scanning a lot (at least I think that’s what was said). Now the trooper reports Artoo acting strange and two men missing.

  • Trimmed another awkward moment where Anakin asks about ObiWan and Satine in the middle of trying to help. I understand the teasing but it seems a very unhelpful time for it.

  • Tightened up dialogue around the standoff with the advisor to make it a little less corny.

  • Trimmed Anakin’s final “What was that about?” because he knows and we all know he knows. He still has the line about Satine being a special lady.

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Thanks Vranir! With respect, as ever, I don’t think I’ll take on any of these particular changes since they’re more subjective and personal, rather than fixing things that are explicitly broken or bad. As a rule I tend to leave most dialogue alone unless I absolutely have to, functionally because the character work is usually well thought through (when it’s not just padding scenes), and technically because small trims like that can have an impact on the flow of the music behind it and leave a choppy feeling even if the viewer doesn’t consciously notice.

(I’m happy to talk through any of the points above that you think are particularly worthy, though! My decisions are never final enough that I want to shut down discussion.)

That said, like always, I really appreciate the level of thought you put into this analysis, and I certainly wouldn’t want you to stop thinking through episodes in this way!