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EddieDean

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27-Jan-2017
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27-Nov-2020
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Post
#1388891
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

There are a couple of technicalities in there, but the Important thing to know is that they make it work.

All of the elements that are new for TCW compared to ROTS are handled extremely carefully- the questions asked by their presence will be answered by the end.

There’s a reason people are so passionate about this show and a lot of it comes down to the fact that it absolutely delivers on Ahsoka.

Post
#1388841
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

Wexter, that’s what I’d like to achieve too. That constant presence and ongoing development. I think the problem comes from the fact that we get very little armoured Mandalorians, and zero Maul, until about the 60% mark.

I could pull them forward- you could probably put Nightsisters before the model update since I don’t think Ahsoka appears in them until far later (though you have to get all the ventress episodes out of the way first), but if you do that you’re left with less meat in the second half.

Then again, we are slightly making this something it’s not. The emotional heart is Ahsoka; Maul and Mando were always far later focuses of the show.

Perhaps if I lay out a line with just the Maul/Mando content in its best order, then string Ahsoka’s best episodes across it, then fill in the gaps with well paced choices for important and desirable elements, then take note of the excludable ones’ positions, we’ll get our answer.

Post
#1388838
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

Knight of Kalee, bear in mind that they’re all staying in unless they’re actively difficult to watch episodes. And MAYBE some of the skippable episodes may be looted for parts by the more important ones. But I’m not proposing their exclusion*- only that if you were only watching the core, or the most important/fun episodes, that you wouldn’t need to watch them to keep context.

I was on the fence about that one, but I could be convinced.

*I’m using the word “excludABLE” to imply that one MAY exclude them. Not that they ARE excluded. “Skippable” is perhaps a better term… But there’s no such thing as a VIDSO.

Post
#1388805
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S04E19 - Massacre - Important

Not vital, since this is the branch of the Nightsisters storyline which doesn’t follow the return of Maul.

It’s great though, robots versus zombie witches as part of Sidious’ move to clean house and take a rival force wielder wildcard faction off the board. And we see some nice dangerous Grievous, and the continued fall of Ventress.

You could move this closer to Witches of the Mist, I don’t think Ventress needs this long on her own.

S04E20 - Bounty - Excludable

I nearly called this Important, for two reasons:

  1. It’s got Boba in it - but it’s not important to Boba’s growth to see that he was a fairly ineffective Bounty Hunter when he was starting out
  2. It’s got Ventress in it - but it’s not important to her growth to show that she took a stint as a Bounty hunter and was slightly morally unsure about it. We’re going to get more shades of Grey with Ventress later in the fall of Ahsoka, so we don’t need it here, and we learn she’s been bounty hunting in her next appearance.

This isn’t a particularly strong episode, it’s mainly a bunch of action on a train.

S04E21-22 - The Return of Maul arc - Vital

This is really the only bit of this quadrilogy that’s the Maul arc - the other two episodes are other things.

It does have to follow Massacre though, since Talzin acknowledges that the rest are dead, as it currently stands.

I’m not a big fan of the goofy worm thing, but it’s relatively unavoidable. We do spend a little too long getting to Maul, which could be trimmed. I also think it’s a bit silly of the council to allow Obi-Wan to go alone to fight Maul, but I understand that we need it for the story. Everything else is super though. By this episode the theoretical new viewer will definitely be feeling the tension of Maul’s presence.

I’ll be taking a look at some other approaches taken too, to see about smart trims and reshaping.

If you were going to watch it, I’d probably space it further from Massacre, to imply some time had passed. That said, I’d really like to get us to this point as quickly as possible.

Post
#1388794
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S04E15-18 - The Rako Hardeen arc - Desirable

Probably the most purely fun romp in the whole show. Obi-Wan goes undercover as the “guy who killed Obi-Wan” in order to infiltrate a plot to capture Palpatine. It’s pure dumb fun, with a prison break, Cad Bane, some underworld scuffling, the bounty hunter competition, and then a kidnapping attempt with subterfuge. Super fun.

It ends with some tension between Anakin and the Jedi which isn’t particularly earned, nor particularly valuable to the story, though we do get a little more of the relationship between Anakin and Palpatine - which I now realise we haven’t actually seen much of in this show to date.

Post
#1388769
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S04E14 - A Friend in Need - Vital

Lux! Mandalore! Death Watch! Bo-Katan (helmeted)! The Darksaber! Flamethrowers! Droid body horror! A bit of charming R2 action!

It’s also clear that Mandalorians are really going through a major culture crisis, which is pushing them to variety and extremism, which will help viewers coming from the other shows understood that they’re not quite what you’re used to.

Great episode. Worth shifting earlier though, to get those helmeted Mandos in play sooner.

Post
#1388764
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S04E11-13 - Zygerrian Slaver arc - Desirable

This is a good detour into the horrors of slavery and an accurate look at some of the ways power is misused in order to break someone’s will. It’s heavy, and for a family show, really quite brutal. But that’s important! Let your kids see the horrors in a cartoon so they’re ready to fight against human horror in real life should they have to!

I digress. It’s a strong arc for our big three, where they all get well tested and get a good excuse to bend the rules a bit.

It’s a little visually disinteresting, but it’s good. (One of the issues with the show shifting to longer arcs is that we tend to end up staring at a single colour for an hour at a time.)

The tie in to Sidious’ interest in involving slaving in his future empire is an interesting thread.

The first episode can probably be cut down to about five minutes so we get to the meat quicker.

Post
#1388758
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

As an aside, I’m really feeling Maul’s absence in this rewatch. Originally he doesn’t come into play until episode 88/141, which is arc 43/61. That’s crazy late. I think we should get him in play as quickly as we can after the Night sisters arc - with a brief delay to account for finding him - so that his presence can be felt.

Post
#1388743
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S04E07-10 - Umbara arc - Desirable

This is only an inch away from Important, but I think it belongs in any watch through either way.

Everybody loves this arc because it’s absolutely stunning. It’s a neon-hued fireworks display, but which features some of the most visually interesting land and space battles of the franchise. We also see some cool new technology from a third party fringe faction.

Story wise there’s a lot of good stuff: Fives and Tup in focus, more good morality vs orders testing for Rex, and the manipulation by Dooku of a (morally) fallen Jedi extremist to create a real bastard of a clone-hating villain.

I’m not a big fan of how Pong Krell is such an overt prick right from the start- I’d maybe trim his earlier dialogue so it merely seems like he’s an overreacting hardliner up until the point he demands the team’s execution, so he’s not so obviously a traitor.

I’d trim the whole for focus a little though- 80 mins is a long time for the ratio of plot to just pure good looking bits- to focus instead on the character drama and the very best battles and visuals.

It’s quite a red arc, so I’d maybe pace it away from the Dathomir ones, but I think it belongs early to get us that good clone texture.

Post
#1388739
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

That’s a good point. I really hadn’t picked up on Morai throughout Rebels. Of course, if some major part of the canon suddenly leant heavily into Mortis/Morai in future then of course I’d have to bite the bullet and acknowledge it more heavily.

I wonder if there’s a compromise approach, where the whole arc can be cut into something more like a shared force dream by the trio, incorporating the existence of these characters and the outcome we walk away with (including Anakin using Sister/Morai to heal Ahsoka), but without the overt elements which imply Mortis is this mega force hub and that the family are the personifications/manifestations of the force, and as much of Anakin dominating them?

As a “dream”, the later appearance of the Morai and the image of the family would then be interesting hints that legitimised the dream and added a layer of mystery?

Would there be interest in that? I’d probably still not approach this project until after the other important ones, though.

Post
#1388736
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

Regarding output, I’m not sure yet exactly what order I’ll follow, though if people would like a biweekly or weekly episode I’ll probably go chronological through the vital, important, and select desirables. (Then polish up the rest at a more leisurely pace.)

I’ve produced edits before (my Hobbit TV series) but I’ll wait until I’ve got some content produced and a feel for the effort required before I commit. But since a lot will just be repackaging existing episodes and the odd transition it’ll be easy to get ahead of the watch point, I reckon.

I very much like the idea of having a regular audience all watching it in the same way, whose feedback I can roll in as soon as it comes to reissue new versions. What a good way to refine the project to make it even better for future audiences!

Post
#1388735
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

Respectfully, I’m still not convinced.

  • Yes, seeing Qui-Gon is nice, but it’s not nice enough to commit us to a 60 minute arc.
  • The Ahsoka fight is cute, but it’s so depebdent on preserving the whole (unless you keep it as part of a vision)
  • Healing Ahsoka isn’t, in my opinion, really a tough choice or a powerful moment for Anakin since Sister has just conveniently handed him that power for free - there’s no personal cost, so for me it’s as emotional as administering available medicine.
  • Other force stuff- Agreed that the more you add the more it legitimises other stuff. (But is it good?) Yoda’s stuff was good and added texture to the force (though I do have a similar problem with “WE ARE FIVE LITERAL BEINGS OF THE FORCE”, etc).
  • I was wary of the World Between Worlds, and still am, because time travel is a risky thing to introduce to an established franchise. But to date the one time it’s been used it’s been used to very important emotional effect. I think the WBW is helped by the fact that Sidious was involved, which to me helps legitimise it as an extremely secret secret.
  • Noted that the World Between Worlds was linked to the door with the Mortis family mural. But to me I’d rather that be some weird hint at a wider context, rather than a reminder of a context I think does the opposite of add value.

Still, at least it’s a very available arc that needs no editing (if you do want to watch it), so nobody should have a problem viewing it if they want to. I just wouldn’t recommend it to someone who wanted more SW after watching the Mandalorian.

Post
#1388729
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S04E05-06 - Nomad Droids arc - Excludable

These were supposed to be spiritual successors to the old Droids cartoon.

R2-D2 and C-3PO go on a few goofy adventures. The weirdness is fine if you’re into twee 80s Saturday morning cartoon style adventures, but it doesn’t suit what we’re going for here.

But you might want to check this out to evoke those childhood memories!

Post
#1388715
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S04E04 - Shadow Warrior - Excludable

Shadow Warrior is the best Jar Jar episode. It’s so good (for a Jar Jar episode) that it’s not even Objectionable! It’s merely not worth watching. Wow!

A gungan with magic powers (ugh) has mind controlled (ugh) the leader of the Gungans into going to war with the Naboo. A bunch of gungans beat up Grievous. Anakin is beaten by Dooku in a duel (interesting) and has to be saved by prisoner exchange.

Don’t watch this episode.

As a weird bonus, there’s a scene in a secret base on Naboo where Sidious tells Dooku that “it’s a shame about Grievous” and “we’ll lead them into a trap”, both of which could work nicely with the Lair of Grievous episode. I’d also be able to use those couple of gorgeous establishing shots from Blue Shadow Virus!

Post
#1388706
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S04E01-03 - Mon Cala arc - Excludable

This one’s easy to judge as Excludable because it’s certainly not Vital, it doesn’t add value to anything beyond itself so it’s not Important, and its bad isn’t cringeworthy so it’s not Objectionable.

The plot is essentially that all of the major aquatic races and characters have a big fight, which you’ll enjoy if that sounds fun to you. The bad guy is obviously a shark.

It has a few bits visual interest in what’s mainly not too attractive, and no growth for our main characters since they’re focused on teaching a fish kid how to be king.

It’s not great. It would maybe be better with some tightening.

Post
#1388702
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

In reviewing the previous episode, which starts on Felucia, I noticed that Bounty Hunters has our main trio stranded on Felucia, and the Holocron arc starts with a rescue from Felucia. There might be a nice merge there, which I’ll look into.

They also both have Hondo - with plenty of time for him to have gone from A to B between appearances - which is a nice way to introduce him.

I’ll see if this makes for a stronger episode.

Post
#1388701
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S03E19, S03E20 Ahsoka hunted by Trandoshans arc - Desirable

This episode looks absolutely gorgeous. It also features one of the best natural landscapes in the whole show.

It’s interesting too- what looks like it’s going to be a standard combat mission becomes an episode about Trandoshans hunting Ahsoka and some other younglings.

Ahsoka’s character is decent any time you see her really (after her initial jarring intro), so you’re not particularly dependent on her solo stories to get the sense of her as the emotional core of our series, but for standalone episodes, this is a strong one, focusing on both her skills and her inherent goodness and heroism. It ends on a lovely beat that really emphasises how well Anakin and Ahsoka have grown together.

This episode also features Chewbacca, and while I usually feel like internal references like this only add “false value”, it’s neither cheap nor damaging, and it leans into his strengths as an engineer, so it’s fine. It does, I suppose, introduce the same problem as seeing him in ROTS where he knows Yoda, which makes you wonder why Han doesn’t believe in Jedi when his buddy has first hand accounts, but eh. I’m interested in thoughts here.

As a minor note, the original episode features a fan wipe from star field to star field, which is an extremely weird effect.

In terms of pacing, it doesn’t suit being near the citadel arc since they contain a lot of the same characters. But it probably works fairly early, before too much starts kicking off.

Post
#1388688
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S03E18-20 - Citadel Arc - Important

This is a perfectly decent arc, with some good moments, but it does drag a bit.

The mission to save Even Piell isn’t too interesting but it’s fine. It gets far more interesting near the end of the first episode when Tarkin gets involved, though the action and the ebb and flow of the story are fairly bland.

The hacked droids are an OK idea, though maybe belong later in the series to better explain why we don’t see more of this sort of thing.

I’m not a fan of the carbonite infiltration. So what, Carbon freezing is a known and safe technique at this point? Empire implies that it’s extremely risky, and it leaves Han blind for ages. Mandalorian implies it’s got a little safer, but still mentions eyesight damage. But I think you could just cut around this.

The villain, Osi Sobeck, is a little goofy, but mostly fine.

Tarkin is the highlight, and he’s well done here. His relationship with Anakin is nicely explored, and sets up their future. We also see more of Fives, plus some development for Echo which is important later.

This episode probably needs quite a few trims in order to give it a stronger focus and a better pace, but it’s harmless.

Post
#1388676
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S03E15-17 - Mortis arc - Objectionable (but bear with me)

I’m sorry guys, I’ve got a real problem with the Mortis arc, I really don’t think it fits with Star Wars.

You’ve got this huge space diamond that connects to a force conduit containing a magic planet full of extremely powerful entities with unique powers (teleportation, shapeshifting, and literally changing the timeline) who are directly representative/manifestations of the light and dark sides and must be literally kept in balance.

It’s just too much! It’s overwrought and ham fisted, and its imagery and attempt to be metaphorical are just way too on the nose. CHOOSE BETWEEN ANGEL BIRD AND DEMON BAT!.. YOU HAVE DEFEATED THEM BOTH!.. TAKE THE BLADE WHICH LETS YOU CONTROL THE LITERAL PERSONIFICATION OF THE DARK SIDE! THE LITERAL LIGHT SIDE HAS JUST SACRIFICED HERSELF TO STOP THE LITERAL DARK SIDE FROM KILLING THE LITERAL BALANCE! -Ouch. Imagine Luke playing out this plotline in Return of the Jedi.

That said, I’m aware I’ve said we should lean into the Nightsister uniqueness, and I know the series does get a little more mystical, and Rebels also introduces new mythology which is quite radical for Star Wars. However, here’s the key argument: There’s no emotional value to Mortis. Without it, you wouldn’t notice a character behaviour shift. Nothing emotionally meaningful happens within it.

There’s also a scene where Anakin sees his future evils, including the Vader mask, and then actively gets dark side eyes and attacks Obi-Wan, recognising that “the Jedi will stand in the way of peace”. We like our future hints, but again, this is just extremely overt and on the nose, and really just amounts to notifying the audience that Revenge of the Sith will happen. It also just kind of fades out with a free memory wipe resolution from the Father character.

I have to call this episode objectionable in its current form. It’s present if people want to watch it, but a part of this full-series “edit” is about presentation and recommendation. I can’t in good faith recommend it to our hypothetical first time viewer who’s coming to Clone Wars from other SW media.

It’s great to see Qui-Gon (especially voiced by Liam Neeson), and he hints at his life after death angle. Anakin gets a good vision of Shmi, though why he’s happily just gone to bed in a weird monastery on magic planet is weird. She also mentions “Nobody really dies”, which evokes TROS’ “No-one’s ever really gone”. Ahsoka’s vision is less interesting but it’s fine. Qui-Gon also appears in the third episode to guide Anakin, which could be trimmed into more of a vision.

I think, if this episode is to be preserved in any way, it would be just the nice visions, somehow intercut into other episodes. I’d also probably put them later in the series, as the focus begins to shift to the mysteries.

Post
#1388671
Topic
The Clone Wars: Best of Both Worlds - A Different Approach
Time

S03E11-12, S02E15 - Heroes on Both Sides / Pursuit of Peace / Senate Murders - Important

The first episode is probably the best politics episode in the series. With almost no action, it’s still tense and interesting. Padme and Ahsoka’s secret meeting with separatists is interesting and makes our opposition far more than cackling villains and faceless armies. And the terrorist attack is a great step for the Republic on the path to Empire. It also introduces Lux, who’s important later to the Mandalorian storyline and gives Ahsoka some more development. Important.

The second is less interesting because it’s more about banking negotiations, votes being short of a majority, and buying more faceless soldiers. It’s nice to see Bail but his character trait is basically “does the noble thing” which isn’t fascinating. Padme gets targeted by bounty hunters hired by Dooku but this just isn’t very interesting, and she behaves quite unwisely too. We also see Palpatine (not Sidious) being villainous, which I’m not a fan of in advance of the reveal. Excludable.

In the second, Padme does give a fantastic speech at the end, which I’d like to preserve, but I think it’d fit nicely connected to some other episode.

The third focuses on Padme’s friend Onaconda, who I’ve never found interesting, and starts with another big speech, which is weird after the prior episode ended on one. It also features that obnoxious investigator character. These three episodes in total are way too heavy on politics and also kind of muddled in their political direction, which I think continues to justify that we only keep the first.

I don’t think we need to care that Onaconda dies in this episode. He was always very minor, I’d just happily let him fade back into the background.

We get some Mon Mothma in episode three, and I would like to see some of her in the clone wars, to be followed by her presence in Hal’s Ep3, the upcoming Cassian Andor series, and Rogue One. But she barely acts here. She’s better in the earlier episode where Ahsoka helps save Padme from Aurra Sing- which also might be a good place for the second episode’s speech.

Excludable, though I’d almost call it Objectionable for that investigator guy.

I think the first episode belongs right after the Nightsister arc, so as soon as all of our major plots are in play, the central politics of the war deepen and as an audience we realise there’s going to be far more to the show than battle after battle.