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EddieDean

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4-Mar-2021
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Post
#1414710
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

High five, fellow Plex bro. Pro tip, arrange your Star Wars media as a single Plex folder all set to TV series (as opposed to movies), that way you can present the whole thing to yourself in chronological order AND manage different fanedits of the movies (as, effectively, different ‘episodes’ of a given ‘show’).

Post
#1414688
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

Planning the Boba Fett arc now.

It’s a great looking arc, with some nice unique ideas, and a nice bit of bridging into the OT aesthetic. It could do with some trims, but it’s really good. The emotional core is Boba and his relationships with Killian, Mace Windu, and Aurra Sing. It’s kind of an Anakin episode that becomes an Ahsoka episode, which is perfectly fine. Plus, it’s got a lot of good ponchos in it, so you know it’s going to be high quality.

In the first episode, Boba infiltrates the cruiser, shows off some skeet skills, fails to kill Mace via a bomb, so takes out the whole ship instead. Anakin and Mace prioritise helping the cadets over pursuing the villains (nice and heroic). It’s one of those episodes where it feels like not much happens, but it’s good fun the whole time because of the character work. I reckon you could trim this episode a fair bit, though. The skeet stuff can probably go, though I’d still like to preserve some Killian since his personality is interesting and it pays off later when he demonstrates real sympathy for Boba.

In the second episode, the ship has already crashed (there’s one shot of it crashing in the newsreel which I may or may not be able to use), and Anakin and Mace go to the crash site to attempt to rescue the soldiers who went down with the ship. They encounter another Boba bomb and end up trapped, while R2 fends off monsters and the bounty hunters solo, tricks the bounty hunters into leaving, and then flies all the way to Coruscant to get help.

As much as I enjoy R2’s plucky resourcefulness, and his scenes are fun, I think his antics here distract us from the emotional core of this episode. I think I’m going to trim this quite heavily - now, the bounty hunters have set the trap on the crashed ship, kidnapped Killian, and left the planet entirely before Anakin and Mace arrive, so we don’t see them on the planet at all. (I’m happy to infer that having destroyed a Republic ship, they know that overwhelming force isn’t far behind.) Anakin and Mace dutifully look for survivors, before falling into the trap as before. Mace ruminates over Boba, and then the Republic rescue party just shows up and rescues Anakin and Mace. (Again, I don’t think that’s problematic at all, the ship had comms and distress beacons.)

In the third episode, it even opens with Republic people going “oh look, turns out Boba kidnapped Killian”, so that fits nicely with my plans so far. The bounty hunters go on the run to Florrum where they meet Hondo, and Ahsoka and Plo travel to the Coruscant underworld to see what they can find out. Plo even teaches Ahsoka (a bit more subtly) to slow down, rendering Lightsaber Lost basically useless now except for Yoda saying “teach younglings”. After some good Boba development he’s caught by Ahsoka and Plo and taken to jail on Coruscant, where he’ll stay until the Rako Hardeen arc.

Unfortunately, the episode ends a bit weirdly. Firstly, Aurra in the Slave-1 crashes out of sight with a big explosion, and the Jedi don’t bother to investigate that, apparently thinking “well she’s definitely dead so that’s wrapped up nice and neatly”, though it later turns out that both Aurra and the Slave-1 were fine. And secondly, the episode ends with Boba angrily saying to Mace “I’ll always hate you” and Mace responding with no more than a “yeah well tough, now off you fuck to prison”. Which isn’t a great conclusion. But there’s nothing that can be done about that.

In terms of the episode’s name, I’ve got no idea. The core of it is this kind of battle for Boba’s soul, and while we all want Boba to end up as a badass, what happens here is that we see his softness, and it’s good. ‘SINS OF THE FATHER’ is evocative and encourages the viewer to keep an eye on Boba’s behavioural inheritance from Jango.

As I say, I do think this episode renders Lightsaber Lost redundant, especially since the whole point of LL is that bit of character growth for Ahsoka. And with the Holocron crisis and now this exploration of the underworld, we’ve done a lot of Coruscant recently. Obviously I’ll keep the Lightsaber Lost link up and everything, I think I’m just going to downgrade it to the Complete Cut, for our completionists only. It would have been nice to add Lightsaber Lost’s ending to the end of Seven Warriors, so after she teaches the village she goes on to start teaching the younglings, but the context is too heavily related to slowing down and not losing your lightsaber, so I don’t think it could work.

In terms of the placement of this episode relative to others I currently have near it, there are two main things to consider. Firstly, Aurra Sing. She just appeared in the Holocron arc working for Bane, and now she’s apparently leading this group. That’s OK - Bane’s clearly a way more senior bounty hunter so she might well take jobs for him while also progressing her own career - but the two episodes may therefore warrant a bit of breathing space. Secondly, Hondo. He appears in Seven Warriors (AKA Bounty Hunters), where he’s introduced as having a “history” (without details) with Anakin and Obi-Wan, but Ahsoka is also there. Ahsoka also engages a little with Hondo in this episode. In neither episode do they acknowledge having already met each other, so I think it doesn’t really matter what ordering I use. Hondo’s line about bounty hunters being scum in Seven Warriors is made a bit more fun if we know Aurra Sing is his ex-girlfriend, but I don’t think that’s a strong enough reason to reorder them. I think, in order to give Aurra a couple of episodes to shift from Bane mode to Boba mode, season two might look like this:

  • s02e01 - Seven Warriors (AKA Bounty Hunters)
  • s02e02 - Massacre
  • s02e03 - Boba Fett arc
  • s02e04 - Corruption on Mandalore
  • s02e05 - Assassin (though I’m not certain I’m keeping this episode)
  • s02e06 - The Return of Maul
  • s02e07 - Senate Spy (intro to Geonosis)
  • s02e08 - 2nd Battle of Geonosis
  • s02e09 - Worms (aftermath of Geonosis)
  • s02e10 - Maul Piracy

leaving season 3 to open with Ahsoka’s new look (after the trauma of Worms) and feature the shades of grey and Lux Bonteri arcs leading up to the Mandos finding Maul.

Post
#1414657
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

jimbean said:

Just curious… Are you planning on putting something together for s01e00 (the microseries) in this current push, or is it one that will wait until after all the other episodes are complete?

I’ll do that one after the next (the Boba arc) then I’ll polish up all the early ones too, before getting back to the main episodes.

Post
#1414644
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

Knight of Kalee, I’ve just fixed those three issues mentioned in Holocron parts 1&2. They’re rendering now and will be uploaded shortly. Weirdly enough the fish frame doesn’t appear in my editing deck even though all my framerates are fine, so I couldn’t have caught it. Therefore there’s a small risk this may happen again in future episodes.

Artan, I see what you mean about the weird cut in Seven Warriors but I think that one’s OK. In my mind, Ahsoka’s shown her initial upset at the dinner table, but then a little later she’s picked up that conversation again in privacy with just Anakin and Obi-Wan. I think I’ll leave that the way it was in the original.

Post
#1414641
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

Goddamn, how’d I miss that Ropal reference? That’s super sloppy of me. Yeah, I also enjoy a good bit of torture but it streamlined the story (and the Kyber subplot) to take him out, plus it kind of cheapened Bane for him to have always planned to capture Ropal (there was a scene in Holocron Heist about it originally) and travelled to this planet to capture him (alerting the Jedi in so doing) all just to accidentally torture him so much that he died, rendering him useless.

Also good thoughts on Lightsaber Lost. That’s the issue, I think it’s not such a strong episode, but it sets up a few nice things and works well in retrospect. So on your first watch it’s not great, but on later watches you see how it served the following episodes fairly well.

Return of Maul may end up as the finale, although it doesn’t feature Ahsoka and Anakin. I’d hoped to get a bit more Maul in sooner but this one needs to follow Massacre and I think three Dathomir/Maul episodes in ten is probably overdoing it a bit. And I wouldn’t normally put Maul episodes back to back, except if I was presenting them as a finale and a premier, as I may now do.

Good spot on Adi Gallia, that was one of the inevitable conflicts my restructuring was eventually going to have to face, that I couldn’t really spot in advance with this many moving parts. If I remember right she’s quite important to a major fight scene with Obi-Wan and Maul, so I might not be able to do the ideal thing which is cutting her death out entirely, but having a convenient lookalike might do us well enough for handwaving…

EDIT: Just looking over their character bios, Stass Allie is actually super convenient, because they look almost identical (at least they would when downgraded from real life to TCW style) and Stass Allie doesn’t appear in TCW, so in my version, fine, she does. Replacing background Adi with background Stass doesn’t break canon at all outside of TCW, so that works nicely.

Post
#1414605
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

CMMAP said:

So in general to your “Change of Presentation”, i agree with your thoughts, but find it pivotal to outline an episode narrative order before actually editing. Otherwise you´ll end up “fixing” or rearranging or deleting scenes in prior episodes and never be satisfied or finished.

This is a sensible suggestion, of course. The issue with planning it in advance is that there’re still elements I might have missed. For example, I’ve said I’d like to put Boba Fett early in season two, but it features Hondo, who is properly introduced in Bounty Hunters, so maybe it won’t work that way. I kind of need to feel it out as I go. That said, there generally aren’t many references between episodes, and my order is fairly close to chronological, so I don’t think I have to go back and change much. I do expect to be releasing v1.1s of most episodes a little while after my v1.0s, so I don’t mind making tweaks while I’m still in the process of editing the whole.

And as much as I’ve just made a big thing about the ‘change of direction’, one of the big things about my approach with this project is that it’s about NOT forcing myself into a given structure, but just letting the quality of experience lead the production. It’s made a lot of sense to begin and end a chunk we’ll call a ‘season’ with the episodes we have now, but season two is already a bit challenging in that sphere. I’m constantly looking over my options, and modifying plans, but I think some of this just needs me to ride it out.

A strike at heart Pt. 2:
Never really noticed such things in prior episodes and i´m not a native english speaker but in your crawl text:

  • “…deeply into the force to urgently predict their enemy´s actions” shouldn´t it be “…predict their enemies actions” since you refer to a plural term and not a possessive one?

I’m happy with singular possessive here, I think, because it refers to ‘the great enemy’, the Sith, the Sith Lord, the power behind the war. They’re trying to puzzle out the plan of this nebulous force that they know they’re facing but can’t identify.

  • Same for “But the sith lord´s intentions…”, “…the sith lords intentions…”. If you intend to meant a singular person than “…sith lord´s intention…” would be right.

I’m not sure on this one. I think my sentence isn’t great, I agree. I used plural rather than singular because the Sith Lord clearly has many interconnected plans, it’s not just one idea he’s seeing through here. But I agree that this sentence is quite weak as it currently stands. Open to suggestions here.

Overall “A strike at the heart” is well put together as Kalee said. Noticed the rouge frame, too.
Otherwise i don´t really have to criticise anything, great work Eddie!

Great, thanks!

Also i would change the order: “A strike at the heart” after “Lightsaber lost” because of the patience lesson ahsoka receives from another jedi master.

Weirdly it did air in this order, Holocron (“patience, Anakin!”) then Lightsaber Lost (“patience, Ahsoka!”). So it’s almost like Lightsaber Lost was a bit of an afterthought. I think I’d rather drop LL, or edit the line in Holocron, rather than shift LL though, mostly because I think having LL in season one would weaken it.

Lightsaber Lost:
I got the impression this episode is overall some kind of useless. It adds nothing despite the reason mentioned above.

Let’s see what others say. I’m certainly open to losing the episode altogether.

Return of maul:
For me, quite perfect. The edited hint from yoda for the surpise visitor is a great idea, even the viewer have to listen and watch with attention to notice this, when Ventress suddenly appears.

Super!

General: How it´s looking regarding the credits theme? Any other thoughts for the opening theme from your end?

So, I haven’t heard from McFibb for quite a while, I think he’s become busy. I’m sure I’ll hear from him soon, but for now I have the versions I’m currently using and some newer versions which are work-in-progress but that we haven’t quite nailed. I think it’s sensible that I consider the versions I have to be my master versions for now, until I hear back from McFibb, but that I should go back over all of my existing intros and outros to polish them up a bit with what I have. I don’t mind giving them all a bit more love.

I find it important to finish the first episodes, because at the end you´ll stack up a pile of minor work that could´ve been finished long ago.

Yeah, this is sensible. I think I’ll finish the Boba Fett arc, then go back and run all of the prior episodes through the polish pass. I’ve been taking feedback notes so I’ve made the job as easy for myself as possible. I’ll polish up and reissue all of the earlier episodes, keeping the current music but making it as smooth as I can, and I’ll do the Tartakovsky episode as I do this all as well, though it might not be from an upscaled source.

Post
#1414484
Topic
The Rise of Skywalker: Ascendant (Released)
Time

I agree on the “don’t worry about it” front. We’re all super honed in on it right now, but in the middle of the movie with other things (and other audio channels) to focus on it’ll just fly by. I hadn’t been paying direct attention to this thread and the version shared earlier seemed flawless to me. You can get away with a lot with voice editing.

Post
#1414468
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

RELEASED - THE RETURN OF MAUL - RELEASE VERSION

Production code 208, final episode number TBD (somewhere in Season 2).

Comprising Brothers and Revenge.

These episodes I think mark the turning point where this show starts to get absolutely brilliant. This whole plotline is great, so I’m convinced it’s the right move to get it kicked off so early. Great Maul stuff, great Obi-Wan stuff, great Ventress stuff. Peak Clone Wars, great emotion, great action.

I’ve made three changes beyond the episode merge:

  • I’ve truncated everything before Lotho Minor. We don’t need Dooku and Grievous’ discussion because they’re mainly talking about Savage, who’s less focal than Maul. Also, it’s better if this whole Return of Maul series of events is more of a suprise to the Sith, for better impact when Palpatine cleans house. We don’t need Savage fighting through a few locations before Lotho. We don’t need Anakin and Ahsoka having dinner (especially because this has Ahsoka’s older-looking character upgrade).
  • I’ve heavily trimmed Lotho Minor, removing lots of wandering, snake banter, the pendant going faulty, the ‘fire breathers’ (even though they’re cool) and Savage slaughtering Lotho’s scrappers. None of it’s vital. He just meets the snake, who leads him to the right place then tricks him into the trap.
  • I’ve cut the scene of Ventress on Tattooine seeing Savage’s bounty. The main reason for this is because she’s not yet a bounty hunter in my version of events. (This change is the most major canon impact of my restructuring.) Instead, she shows up unexpectedly (though Yoda’s implied there’ll be a suprise visitor), and it’s not a huge stretch to assume she’s felt something in the force. I actually think this works a bit better, and it also makes her now-later journey to Tattooine and decision to become a bounty hunter more of a reaction to her failiure here and fear of Savage and Maul.

PM if you don’t already have access to the tracker.

Phew! I feel all productive. The next episode, the Boba Fett arc, might take a little longer as it’s a three parter. Should be this weekend sometime.

Post
#1414443
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

Great feedback, cheers Artan. I’ll see if I can smooth out that weird cut. Good thoughts on the positioning too. I think there’s a real chance that all of these ones near the start of season 2 will really shift around. It’d be cool to play up the Bane link and Jocasta continuity, though I think having too many Coruscant episodes back to back may drag a bit. Good point that Ahsoka’s more chill in Seven Warriors, though if the upcoming Boba arc doesn’t work as a premiere I think 7W will need to take that role.

Post
#1414420
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

sonofabinadi said:

Wow, lots has happened since I last checked the forum! Been absent due to school but I’m going to make time today to catch up on some of the episodes and post thoughts on them. Hope it’s not too late for feedback on some of the earlier ones!

It’s absolutely not too late for feedback, don’t worry! Just to be super clear to everyone -

Please always feel free to give feedback on earlier episodes!

It doesn’t matter how long ago they were discussed.

I really don’t want to ever have an episode be locked into a mistake just because time has passed or the discussion seems to have moved on. And even when an episode seems fine, that’s useful feedback too, because it affirms the decisions I’ve made. Even stuff about the standards I’m using, the episode title, or the intro text. It’s all useful. Sometimes throughout the process for the more complex episodes I lose my ability to judge an episode’s quality, so I’m not sure if I’m outputting something good. My Ryloth arc is a good example of that - did it work, in the end?

Also please feel free to challenge the ordering/pacing of the whole, not just the episodes. Do they feel good in this order? Does it tell a story? Does it improve on the original? Etc.

Post
#1414379
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

RELEASED - LIGHTSABER LOST - RELEASE VERSION

Production code 207, final episode number TBD (mid Season 2).

Episode is basically untouched from the original, except for removing the “something fishy” joke and the Jedi master making a big deal out of “OH so it’s a WOMAN then”. He still uses that info, he just doesn’t spell it out to the audience while Ahsoka’s busy.

This episode is one I could very nearly not have included - it’s fine, but not super great. Its main selling points are the “slow down” lesson for Ahsoka, some fun-ish Coruscant parkour, and giving Ahsoka a little Coruscant underworld experience. I don’t think any of that is particularly vital, but maybe other people see a little more in this episode than I do. Bear in mind I’m still very eager to hear everyone’s feedback - not just on the cuts I’m making, but on whether the episodes belong at all, and where they belong in the ordering. We’re all fairly tolerant of Star Wars’ flaws but I’m certainly intending this show to have a much higher quality bar than the original. I want every episode to be worth the audience’s time.

Anyway, PM if you don’t already have access to the tracker.

Onward to THE RETURN OF MAUL!

Post
#1414303
Topic
The Rise of Skywalker: Ascendant (Released)
Time

Yeah, absolutely. It’s an act of devotion, I think. Fanediting exists becuase people love the whole, but take issue with specific elements, and want to change them to produce something more lovable. If you were talking about a person there, that’d be kind of a shitty thing to say, but since these media don’t have emotions it’s totally valid. There’re people who might think fanediting is disrecpectful to the original artists, but I think it’s right to acknowledge that they were producing their art to a limited timeframe or budget or amount of resources (most specifically different brains with fresh ideas). If we’re able to hold up imperfect art, analyse it from many angles, interrogate it, and improve it, we produce something that not only satisfies our need to polish that which we love, but we get to share it with others who’ll enjoy it too. It’s potentially a HUGE value add, to allow people to enjoy the things they want to more unconditionally.

Post
#1414291
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

A change of presentation

So, as I’ve been producing these episodes, in my mind I’d been working towards eight ‘production seasons’ of about six episodes each. That was always fairly arbitrary - it really came about because I wanted to draw the Mauldalore plotline out throughout the show in order to have it behave like a bit more of a coherent spine and to build anticipation towards that awesome finale. And just because of the maths of that, keeping the Mauldalore episodes on a relatively regular cadence gave me eight blocks of six.

I never intended to actually have the final output of the show be eight seasons of six episodes, and I never thought that season breaks were particularly important, but I thought I’d work that out as I went along, based on my feelings and on your feedback.

Now, TCW in its original form never really had season premieres or finales. At least not in the traditional sense of episodes which re-establish the character and world to open a season, and episodes which bring the plotlines together and punctuate character arcs to end a season. Its production codes don’t even align to its release numbering. What TCW did sometimes do was shift episodes of interest toward the start or end of a release season, but this was clearly more of an afterthought than a forethought.

That said, that shuffling can give us some indication of arcs that they considered worthy of bring premieres or finales - Boba Fett, Mon Cala, Return of Maul, Maul Piracy, Ahsoka’s Fall, Order 66, Yoda.

Anyway, since the production of my Holocron Crisis two-parter, and feedback in this thread, I feel like having slightly-more-special premieres and finales is a sensible thing to do, with the Holocron Crisis (my “A Strike at the Heart”) being the end of season one (for reasons specified above).

That would suggest about five seasons of about ten episodes each, which I think feels inherently right, in terms of making the whole show feel approachable and digestible. It also gives me a small enough number of episodes to make feel special, and the flexibility to shape and flesh out a season to ensure all the necessary beats are hit, including the important anthology episodes where our main characters feature far less, while keeping it feeling like more of a serialised thing.

In that case, taking the second season as an example, I don’t think Massacre, Seven Warriors or Lightsaber Lost deserve premiere status, but probably the Boba Fett arc should lead the season, and our throughlines should be the Return of Maul, Corruption on Mandalore, and then those two plots coming together for the Maul Piracy arc in the finale. Anyway, I think it’s best I don’t finalise that plan until I’ve produced all the episodes and felt it out.

But for now, I’ll at least update my ordering as follows:

  • s01e01 - The New Padawan (Christophsis)
  • s01e02 - The Death Watch
  • s01e03 - Malevolence [formerly s01e04]
  • s01e04 - The 501st Legion (Domino Squad) [formerly s01e05]
  • s01e05 - Cloak of Darkness [formerly s01e03]
  • s01e06 - Children of Night (Nightsisters)
  • s01e07 - The Blockade of Ryloth [formerly s02e01]
  • s01e08 - Duchess of Mandalore [formerly s02e02]
  • s01e09/10 - A Strike at the Heart (Holocron Crisis) [formerly s02e03]

I appreciate that changing things up in flight is a little confusing, but I think it’s right to feel it out as we go, to make the eventual final version of this project the best it can be. I’ll still be as clear as I can.

Basically, what this all means is, I’ll need to keep drawing attention to the difference between my PRODUCTION CODE and my EPISODE NUMBER. And if you’re unclear, I’ll keep the TRACKER SPREADSHEET up to date for you.

Post
#1414173
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

RELEASED - S02E04 - A STRIKE AT THE HEART (PART 2) - RELEASE CUT

Comprising Cargo of Doom and Children of the Force

PM for access to the tracker spreadsheet which contains links.

Notes above. I also restructured CotF elements quite heavily to pace it better. The original really whips around, but I think I’ve managed to make it much more focused on a single location at a time, and balance out the time skips better than the original presentation. There was a weird lull in the original where a heavy action scene was interrupted by Anakin and Ahsoka doing some chores, but I’ve shifted that so the two chases now run closer to parallel. I also shifted the Anakin/Palpatine scene to the very end where it works as a nice capper to what I’m now thinking of as the proper end of season one.

I’ll update the numbering of my episodes soon and make a post clarifying the new plan in terms of where the season breaks are.

Post
#1414148
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOURTEEN EPISODES RELEASED (+watchlist for the remainder)]
Time

While I continue to work, one question’s popped out that’s worth asking the community:

In Children of the Force, there’s a fun scene where Sidious in hologram gets all excited about the force sensitive babies he’s had captured. Obviously, ideally this becomes the first (chronological) hint that he’s interested in collecting/harvesting force sensitives, as continued in Rebels, Mandalorian, and ultimately implicitly used as part of his resurrection.

In the original version of this scene, he talks about turning the kids in to ‘force sensitive spies, capable of viewing the galaxy from afar’, which is both not a very interesting use of the force, and also not really what he ends up doing with force sensitives.

You could maybe argue he’s thinking Inquisition there, but ultimately that’s not how he created the inquisition anyway.

So, right now I’ve got it so instead he talks about dreaming of a ‘force sensitive army, trained in the darkside, and my enemies will be helpless’. I think that’s both more ambiguous and more threatening, and I don’t think it necessarily conflicts with the rule of two since he’s not calling them Sith, and there’re examples of him using many different force users in his various plans.

However, what that version does do is still make it explicit, so it doesn’t leave much room to be interpreted as an investment in his eventual resurrection.

On the one hand, eventual resurrection is a more powerful reason to want force sensitives (and helps smooth out ‘somehow Palpatine returned’), but on the other hand generic ‘force sensitives in my employ’ is fairly threatening and meaty.