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The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

vranir said:

I made it through the second half of the 1st season. For better or for worse, I have far less feedback. The last few episodes were simply tighter than the first few.

I won’t do another mammoth element-by-element analysis of this, but I really appreciate it and will do a full thought-pass of the season accounting for your feedback. I especially like your thoughts on structuring the season around the villains. We did collectively do a lot of thinking about the ordering of those first few episodes but your argument is compelling and warrants further consideration. Interestingly I did originally place Cloak and Death Watch as you suggested in order to explain Ahsoka’s absence - though I believe I ultimately dropped this because they end up being apart without explanation plenty. There is a scene of Ahsoka studying at the Jedi temple that I could use in any episode if I needed to explain her general absence in an early episode too.

Shorter collected thoughts:

  • In terms of the characters just knowing each other, that’s fairly unavoidable. In the original, a lot of them simply knew each other by name. I mentally try to handwave it by believing that Jedi and military villains are known public figures or at least well researched within the militaries, and that they’ve talked about each other a few times (like Anakin must have described Ventress to Ahsoka). But there’re few good options here. Sometimes I’ve had to settle for characters saying “We’ve met before!” and leave it at that, though it is unsatisfactory. Ventress is a tough one though, because originally we only got her backstory in one of her last appearances, and people did just end up knowing exactly who she was before that. What I can confirm though is that she’s only in one cut episode, and it’s a really worthless/cheapening Ventress appearance. The rest of her appearances are preserved, with Cloak of Darkness being the first time she meets Ahsoka onscreen.
  • I did have an option to cut Children of Night into two, and it remains my longest episode. Having it early and unsplit currently is mainly because I’d like to get to that Maul tease as early as possible, because Maul is one of the strongest elements of TCW and one I wanted to introduce far earlier in TCW:R to allow him to become an ever-present wildcard threat.
  • I’m dismayed that you felt like Ahsoka’s lightsaber scene didn’t quite land at the end of the Holocron crisis two-parter! That was a scene from another episode that I thought really worked here, so it’s a shame to hear that it wasn’t well received. My original justification was that it begins to set up Ahsoka’s character as it appears in Rebels and Mandalorian where she seems particularly invested in future generations, and placed here it would work as a direct reaction to her realising that, as the Sith Lord is investing in force sensitive younglings, that there’s potentially some multi-generational threat that she’s beginning to work to counter. I thought it also played well given that Anakin just lost his own lightsaber, so the lesson she chose to teach first was one she’d just learned secondhand, adding to her wisdom.
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

Imhotep said:

Thanks for considering my feedback, I’ll try and get to previous episodes and then follow along as you go.

Oh man! More wonderful feedback - and on the same batch of episodes too! This is super useful, thanks.

For Shadow, that the Jedi are becoming corrupt by resorting to these tactics is good, and serves the overarching plot well. Still, if you were to reduce the weirdness here a little, perhaps the following lines could be cut at around 7:10: from Anakin, ‘what does that mean, Senator?’ up to Windu’s line ‘do you think you’ll be able to rekindle your relationship with him?’, if those cuts don’t butcher the scene too much. This would reduce the honey trap element, and reduce Anakin being terrible at keeping his concern for Padme apparently platonic. The previous scene at 4:30 is fine, it’s the later scene at 7:10 that I feel goes a little too far in this.

I’m not sure whether less is more here. I kind of like the weirdness. I think that, while having the Jedi order be so obviously sketchy, it puts more pressure on Padmé’s character because it puts her in a difficult position given her sense of duty. So while it is odd, it puts Padmé’s duty at odds against Anakin’s emotions, which is one of their core tensions.

For the crawl in Assault, it’s fine to note Lumiara’s absence in some way, but her fleet being delayed didn’t stick well with me, it didn’t seem to fit well with what follows. Instead, consider noting that Luminara and Barris are making some kind of preparations to attack the factory. Perhaps for the last slide of the crawl: ‘Master Luminara scouts the planet, confirming Padme’s report of a massive droid factory, built by the Archduke POGGLE THE LESSER / Fearing overwhelming droid production in the sector, the Jedi have swiftly diverted three fleets to neutralise this resurgent threat. / The second battle of Geonosis is about to begin…’

Yeah, I think I’ll soften this here a little, as you suggest. Originally she was scouting other battlefields (because the battle was planetwide, though we only saw the Anakin/Obi-Wan/Plo prong of it. I’ll tie it a little more closely to the plot, rather than put in a delay.

It’s fair to demote Assassin, as it feels on about the same level as Lightsaber Lost; still enjoyable but not essential viewing.

Glad you think so. I think it’s harmless, but it’s something I’d skip for a new Refocused viewer, but as you say, it’s there in the ordering for those who know it and prefer to include it.

I wonder if the Nelvan Crisis episode should be way earlier (even x1e00-C), given the more immature characterisation of Anakin and destruction of his robot arm, unless you’re using the end to tie into the battle of Coruscant?

I wasn’t planning on having it lead into the Battle of Coruscant, so when I do eventually visit this episode I’ll bear that in mind and think about its most appropriate placement.

S1E0, Dark Force Rising

  • Consider cutting the opening montage; this could be replaced with your normal opening sequence, but keeping the 2003 ‘Clone Wars’ title card (00:00 to 00:12) instead of the TCW style title card.

That’s a nice idea, I’ll think about that when I come to polish the ‘maybe’ episodes.

  • Open with Ventress on Rattatak, trim the arena so we begin with a classic planetary descent; then cut from this scene to Palpatine’s office on Coruscant.
  • Your placement of the second Ventress episode is great, especially the cut from a close up of Anakin to Ventress; I wonder if the duel here could be trimmed a little, to focus more on Dooku destroying Ventress’ Jedi lightsabers, maybe cut the bit with the sculpture?
  • In the space battle, cut the missiles (from around 19:35) firing across the bow and tracking Anakin.
  • Cut Obi-Wan sending a squad of clones to follow Anakin, and their arrival at Yavin.

I’m intending for my cuts of this episode to be fairly light touch, since Tartakovsky has such a bold style and you either like Tartakovsky but you don’t, so my feeling is that if you want this episode included you generally want as much (non-conflicting) Tartakovsky as possible.

  • Extend the static close up of Ventress at 8:55, to remove the white flash at the beginning of the shot.
  • Cut part of the Arc troopers on Muunilist, from 13:15 to 15:38, intercut this with part of the space battle to cover this.
  • Without the vision (of Qui-Gon and Anakin on Dagobah), the shot of Yoda at 34:55 doesn’t work for me. I’d suggest adding the vision here, or restoring it’s original placement.

I’ll check these though.

  • I’m unsure about your placement of the scene with Grievous and Dooku. I prefer Grievous at the battle of Hypori to be his first scene; I would remove the Grievous-Dooku scene and instead cut from the close up of Obi-Wan to Anakin approaching Yavin.

I think I want to stick with this change. I do enjoy the Grievous suprise intro but we’ve kind of all seen Grievous now so I figure the suprise here is kind of lost, and therefore unnecessary to maintain. My justification for keeping that scene in this episode is that this episode is the most important of the Tartakovsky ones (due to the Ventress intro), so I wanted to get any relevant info in this one - and “I’ve been trained in your Jedi arts by Count Dooku” is explained by this scene.

S1E1, The New Padawan

  • In the crawl: consider instead ‘a year ago…’ instead of ‘many months earlier…’; ‘treacherous Separatists’ rather than ‘insidious Separatists’; for the third sentence consider, ‘With Republic support, Senator BAIL ORGANA provides relief and supplies for the people of Christophsis, a planet under Separatist blockade’; for the last slide consider ‘Anakin Skywalker has earned the rank of JEDI KNIGHT, so Master Kenobi, eager to teach, has requested a new Padawan. / The duo have tracked ASAJJ VENTRESS, Dooku’s vicious disciple, to the recently evacuated Separatist command tower. / The two Jedi Knights move to investigate…’. I found the mission of the Jedi, and the tactical situation on Christophsis with Bail and Asajj, a little confusing at first, so tried to write up something that could situate things for me.
  • I had this idea for another sentence in the crawl, but there’s likely not enough space for it: ‘The duo have bypassed the blockade to support Senator Organa, but this infiltration has left their troops isolated from the Republic fleet.’

I’ll think about all of this, thanks. Though I’ll stick with ‘Insidious Separatists’ because it’s a cheeky reference to Darth Sidious!

  • For the episode title, perhaps instead ‘A NEW PADAWAN’? It’s a little more ambiguous.

Nice thought, but I think “The” makes it a bit more punctual, and (slightly) enhances the fact that Ahsoka is the focus.

  • Interpolated frames at 10:26, 19:20, 22:24.

Thank you!

S1E2, The Death Watch

  • In the crawl, in the second sentence consider instead ‘War against the Separatists spreads like fire across the galaxy, yet thousands of worlds refuse to take sides in the conflict’; in the third sentence, ‘The Council of Neutral Systems is led by MANDALORE, ravaged homeworld of the now pacifist Mandalorians.’


  • I’m not sure what to make of Almec’s disavowal of Jango at 2:58, it seems like an unnecessary deception on his part, and one that overly complicates the canon. Would it be too jarring if Almec’s response was removed, and we cut from Kenobi to Satine here?

I’d agree with you here but for the Mandalorian TV show specifically clarifying this scene recently, so I think his disavowal is important. Plus, it correctly establishes that there’s a difference between Mandalore (the state) and a few people who wear Mandalorian armour.

  • Cut Kenobi missing with the blaster in the battle on Concordia, at 16:05.
  • I wonder if the dialogue would run smoother (at 30:45) if Kenobi’s line ‘Satine, this is hardly the time or place for’ was cut.

I’ll look into these, thanks!

  • Cut Anakin straight up asking if OWK and Satine were ever involved, as it’s really not the right time, unless Anakin should be insensitive in this way.

I think this is OK! Anakin’s a bit insensitive and he does like to goad and poke at Obi-Wan’s resolve.

S1E3, Malevolence

  • In the crawl, in the first slide consider instead ‘The leader of the Separatist droid army, General Grievous, strikes strategically, targeting critical Republic defenses. / With his new weapon, the dreadnaught MALEVOLENCE, he ruthlessly attacks Clone medical stations, killing thousands of wounded troops.’; also in the last sentence of the second slide ‘But in every battle with the Malevolence, there are as yet no survivors…’

Nice ideas here, thanks.

  • Interpolated frame at 22:10.
  • The attack on the Malevolence felt a little odd, given the original attack angles. I think its just the shots at 24.20 and 24:36, where the squadron is shown off bow of the Malevolence, that feel out of place, as they’ve already passed the bow at this point and should now be over the middle of the ship.
  • Also, without fighters being disabled by the ion cannon, dialogue on half the squadron being lost (at 23.55) seems inaccurate at this point. Perhaps this scene where squadron losses is noted could be placed after Matchstick’s death?
  • The Malevolence crashing into the moon works well enough, but I wonder if any of the shots with the droids on the bridge of the Malevolence (such as scenes with the lines, ‘I think we have a problem’, and ‘reset the navicomputer’) could be used to extend things a bit here?

I’ll look into all of this too, thanks!

That’s all I’ve got for now, hope it helps!

Brilliant feedback, and extremely useful, thank you! Please keep it coming!

Deepfake Ideas - Index and Discussion

thebluefrog said:

  1. I think it’d be a good idea to make a list of potential deepfake SOURCES. Other movies, games, audiobooks, interviews, etc. That would be a valuable resource for project makers to come visit the thread.

Very valuable idea. I’m happy to maintain the index, but I don’t have the time to actively hunt that all down myself. But anything that’s dropped into this thread, I’ll arrange and present in a sensible way. If it starts to get complex I’ll gladly convert it all into a spreadsheet or some other sensible reference format.

The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

EddieDean said:

New Bad Batch is out
So, to summarise, I think I’ll steal the Bad Batch’s franchise logo and final Lucasfilm Animation logo, although I’d be curious to see if they preserve the TCW>BB burnoff logo and the newsreel intros.

So, both the burnoff logo and the newsreel only appeared in the first episode, being dropped by the second. So that takes some pressure off. But they were cute inclusions for the pilot, though!

Deepfake Ideas - Index and Discussion

CaptainFaraday said:

I agree with Jar, having a young Ian McDiarmid as Rey’s father would be a small change that would make a big improvement.

Also, just for fun, I’d love to see a) young Alex Guinness and young Sebastian Shaw deepfaked into the PT, and b) James Arnold Taylor and Matt Lanter deepfaked into the PT.

…Well, I did say that the OP would be free of judgment 😛

Deepfake Ideas - Index and Discussion

WitchDR said:

DylanB18 said:

EddieDean said:

  • Return of the Jedi:
    • Sebastian Shaw unmasked Vader into Hayden Christensen

This deepfake is on youtube: , i think it looks awsome!
i also like the fact that they changed the voice to match haydens.

Stuff like this is truly exciting! I know to some this stuff is blasphemous, but I can’t wait to these truly implemented in a believable way. Hayden as Vader and Ewen as Alec in the OT is just perfect.

I agree. It’s definitely pretty blasphemous, but I can absolutely see the appeal for continuity in a cohesive single world. I’ll keep the OP as opinion-neutral, but I figured it would be useful to aggregate resources and discussion.

Deepfake Ideas - Index and Discussion

I’ve spotted a few instances of discussion about deepfake ideas, and now that it’s becoming increasingly viable, I thought I might set up an index thread to aggregate all of those ideas, and link to their sources and implementations where possible.

I’m not listing these with any bias or preference, I’ll put all ideas here in the OP, leaving discussion of whether we should for the thread itself. It’s OK for these ideas to be a bit extreme here, I reckon, because the tech will only get better and then we’ll blink and find these viable. I’ll also include things which aren’t technically deepfakes but which serve a similar purpose, like Snoke tanks into Palpatine tanks.

Thanks also to oojason for linking me to some core resources for making this initial list easier. Feel free to chuck some more ideas out there and I’ll add them into this list.

  • Prequel Trilogy:
    • Hayden Christensen Anakin into young Sebastian Shaw
    • Ewan McGregor into young Alec Guinness
  • The Phantom Menace:
    • Fake Windu into real Windu at the end
  • Revenge of the Sith:
    • Tarkin CG version into tighter deepfake Tarkin
  • Solo:
    • Alden Eherenreich Han into Harrison Ford Han (demo by shamook)
    • Donald Glover Lando into Billy Dee Williams Lando
  • Rogue One:
  • Original Trilogy:
    • Alec Guinness Obi-Wan into Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan
      • (demo by shamook)
      • (version trained on Ewan’s appearance in the Obi-Wan show?)
  • A New Hope:
    • Owen and Beru into their Prequel/Kenobi-series versions
    • Jabba into improved/ROTJ-style Jabba
    • New Scene: Vader reports Obi-Wan’s death to Palpatine (demo by Cinefy)
  • Empire Strikes Back:
    • Luke from before the Wampa attack into Luke without scar
    • ESB Palpatine into ROTJ Palpatine
  • Return of the Jedi:
    • The bearded Endor rebel into aged Temuera Morrison’s captain Rex
    • Sebastian Shaw unmasked Vader into Hayden Christensen (face and voice switch by Crimson Maul)
    • Hayden Christensen force ghost into an more mature/ROTS style appearance
  • Mandalorian:
  • Sequel Trilogy:
    • Background characters into characters who appear later in the trilogy, especially Allegiant General Pryde
  • The Force Awakens:
    • TFA Snoke into TLJ Snoke
  • The Last Jedi:
  • Rise of Skywalker:

Some good ideas for potential audio sources here thanks to thebluefrog.

The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

vranir said:

I just started watching these (Thanks for the access) and am trying to take notes so that I can provide detailed feedback. What you have done is refreshing and makes this series much more watchable for me. Still, I think there are things that I would try to improve if I were the editor, and I’d like to provide my feedback in case you find any of it helpful.

Ohhhhh hell yeah! I love big detailed feedback like this. What a thing to wake up to. Thanks so much, buddy! Keep it coming!

Episodes 01x00 through 01x04:

01x00 - Dark Force Rising

  • While you did a good job with the material, I still find the differences in art style and characterization between this and the rest of the series distracting. It’s not bad by any means, but this episode is not going to be part of my normal rewatch, especially since 01x01 does such a good job of introducing the characters etc.

I totally agree that it’s a bit too inconsistent with TCW’s tone and style. You’re welcome to skip it - and I do too. It’s mainly here so that people who enjoy that Tartakovsky flavour can do so with a slightly more TCW-appropriate plot - which mainly serves to fill in a couple of gaps, like the first Ventress meeting.

01x01 - The New Padawan

  • I love the intro with finding Maul, but there is no relevance for this in the episode, or in the next few episodes. Is this really the best place for that cold open?

It’s a valid observation. This cold open doesn’t get payoff until mid season 3. The reason I first thought to include it was because it kind of acts like a promise to the audience - “Maul. Darksaber. Mandalorians. Coming soon.” - and since those elements are the ‘backbone’ of TCW:R (and I pull those plot elements forward to start a lot earlier) I thought it might be good to get them established up front. I’m trying to make this show more of a serialised drama than the anthology it began as. I could be convinced to remove it if enough people think it does more harm than good.

  • Ventress talks with ObiWan as if she is an old girlfriend, but we get no context for that here. We also hear her talk about meeting them again, but outside of her mysterious fight with Anakin in episode 0, there is no known background for this ongoing interaction. She also mentions that ObiWan and the Republic were betrayed (as explanation for how the Separatists got there), but since that isn’t included in your series, is it really good to bring up? (Addendum: It becomes clear that Ventress talks with everyone as if she is an old girlfriend, but that’s not immediately clear in this encounter.)

Cutting all of the above dialogue may leave the fight too short, but is this scene even needed in this episode? You could start with ObiWan looking through the binoculars at the marching droids, or even with the battle in the street where Anakin jumps onto the turret droid. This would require rewriting the crawl to remove Ventress and dropping us directly into the action as Star Wars often does, with ObiWan and Anakin trying to help the people stationed on the planet hold off a Separatist army until reinforcements arrive.

I’m hoping you’ve seen v1.8 of this episode, which removes the Republic mole plot element, and has Ventress refer to her earlier meeting with Anakin. However you cut it, the encounter as depicted in this episode is definitely not their first - this is one of the reasons I opted to roll in the Tartakovsky episode, to depict their true first encounter. That said, I don’t mind people appearing for the first time on screen and saying “We’ve met before”. We don’t always need to see the context, for it to still be a coherent story, I believe.

Ventress is naturally sassy, as you’ve noticed, and Obi-Wan is naturally sassy too, so I think it’s OK to pick up on a bit of ambiguity in their relationship. In my mind this is THEIR first meeting, but that’s just how they both behave. I don’t think I’d want to cut any of this though, because even though it doesn’t add much to the plot, it’s fun characterisation which we’ll revisit more this season.

  • It is confusing trying to figure out who is holding what position on or around the planet. There are droids everywhere and Ventress is there, but the Separatists land/invade at the end of the Ventress fight. There are Republic ships in orbit, and seemingly ObiWan and Anakin recently arrived, but then there are no Republic ships and communication has been cut off until the one Venator arrives with Asoka.

By removing the initial space scene with the bombers and the Ventress part with the Seperatists landing, the situation could be simplified. We would see a planet locked in kind of a stalemate, hear that communications have been blocked (ObiWan hasn’t been able to contact the admiral), and see that a single Venator has been ambushed trying to bring supplies and needs to get reinforcements. ObiWan says that their previous support ships (likely the ones that brought them there) were all destroyed at some prior point.

To my mind it works as follows: The Separatists have established an initial base on the planet and set up a space blockade. The Republic have a small staging area established somewhere else on the planet. The Republic can’t break the blockade, but they’ve been able to land Obi-Wan and Anakin (far from the action, hence the bikes). Anticipating Jedi involvement, Ventress has blocked Republic comms and allowed the Jedi to identify her ‘base’, deliberately to draw them to a specific location. Having the Jedi wrapped up trying to find her means they’ve been unable to investigate/mess up the Separatists’ landing of a much larger true invasion force.

I think that’s the original intention anyway, and I don’t think it’s contradicted. You could possibly streamline some of this, and while this episode certainly is one of the least good ones in TCW:R, I think it’s at least fairly well balanced and well paced. That said, I’d absolutely be open to suggestions here using the collateral available in the original episodes.

  • The initial scene with the admiral, Yoda, and Windu is unecessary. The same information is communicated by ObiWan, the crew of the Venator, and Yoda when Asoka arrives.

Sure, it is kind of redundant. But it serves to allow the two scenes around it to breathe - otherwise you’d be cutting right from the prep for the attack directly into it, which would be a bit jarring. But it is harmless. And it reminds us that the Jedi are operating as part of the military, and that there’s an orbital component to what’s currently happening.

  • Bail Organa only appears in two small scenes (one at the beginning and one at the end). Neither communicates much other than the easter egg of his presence. Should he really be there at all, or does it all flow better without him?

Again, valid, and if there’s enough arguments against Bail in this episode I’d cut him out entirely. He’s here for a few reasons, none of which are major: (1) Bail’s good! It’s nice to see him. (2) It gives us a BIT of jeopardy early on. (3) It gives the Anakin/Ahsoka relationship a BIT of reward later. But I agree, there’s not much to him there.

  • I’ve watched several edits of the Prequel Trilogy and one of my favorite “improvements” is the removal of dialogue by the battle droids. The idea is that they are all networked and therefore only need to speak when communicating to other characters. It makes them less goofy and more threatening. I don’t know if you’d want to do a similar thing in your edits, but it may be worth considering. (Addendum: This could be much trickier in later episodes like The 501st.)

Nice, but having the battle droids speak is something that I think now needs to remain as part of the fabric of Star Wars canon, since it appears in many media now. So I don’t think we can dam this particular flow. They do also have some important lines later which give context to what they’re doing. What I have done throughout is try to minimise their annoying lines as much as possible.

  • Not knowing the original version very well, I don’t know if anything worthy can be added. If all of the above is cut, it will likely take the current 28-minute episode down below 20 minutes. Is that too short, especially for what is essentially the opening of the series? I’m not sure. The episode does an excellent job of introducing Asoka, ObiWan, and Anakin, along with a lot of the Separatist droid models. It’s a much stronger opening than episode 0 or the vanilla episodes 1 and 2.

I’d certainly rather remove than add, since really ideally we just whip through this episode as quickly as possible. Episodes can run to any length, really, so long as they work, though once I get lower than 20 or higher than 50 is where I’d think about potential alternative presentations. I am open to changes to this episode which focus it more tightly, but I’d need particularly compelling arguments for the trims, I think.

01x02 - The Death Watch

  • The number of quick shots in the opening strikes me as a bit overdone. We don’t need to see ObiWan in the cockpit, because we know it’s him from the crawl and from when he climbs out. I’m not sure we even need to see him undock from the hyperspace ring. The approach to the city is a nice introduction and reminds me of the opening to Attack of the Clones, but I could also imagine the episode starting with him landing and climbing out.

Interestingly, it did originally begin with him just climbing out, but I was convinced by others here to add more establishing shots. I will look into trimming them down though, to find more of a middle ground.

  • There’s probably nothing that you could do about it (the available footage is the available footage), but it seems very foolish for ObiWan to call the duchess to help him check out what he knows is a Death Watch hideout when he knows that they are after her.

So! This is my most complex single scene edit, and I think it’s ended up about as good as it can now. Originally, Obi-Wan got caught in the facility by Death Watch and put on a Bond villain’s CONVEYOR BELT OF DEATH, which he called Satine (again knowingly into danger) to rescue him from. It was extremely goofy and I felt it really cheapened the Mandalorians in their very first appearance in this show. No good. She needs to end up there because that’s where the plot continues from, but with this restructure I made it so that at least he’s drawing her to what he believes is an empty facility. Best I can do here, I think. If it helps, bear in mind they spent a year together on the run so he likely trusts her ability to handle herself to a degree.

  • Again, there’s probably not much you can do, but it would be nice if Anakin said something about where Asoka is when he shows up for escort duty. Maybe the crawl could be edited to reflect not only that he is taking her somewhere else, but specifically that he is dropping her off somewhere (maybe to visit family or something, if that makes sense in the context of the larger series).

It’s an option. Ultimately Ahsoka appears in about 70% of our episodes, but there are certainly still some where she doesn’t. The audience needs to get used to that, though I have attempted to keep her in at least every other episode, so that she remains the main character of this show. This being the first episode where she doesn’t appear, I wanted the crawl to explain that she wasn’t appearing whilst also not making too much of a point of it, so the audience wouldn’t expect to follow her.

That said, there’s a later episode I’m not using where Ahsoka’s in the Jedi temple studying and moaning to Anakin about wanting to join him on a mission. So I’ll look into including that, so we at least get her in the one scene and it explains visually to the audience what she’s up to where we don’t see her. Thanks for the nudge!

  • The “stand by for lightspeed” mini-scene seems almost unnecessary and distracting from the scenes around it. I get that it shows why the view outside the windows changes, but I’m not sure it needs to be spelled out like that. You could replace it with the slightly-later establishing shot of the ship in hyperspace and remove that, making the Anakin ObiWan conversation a longer less-broken sequence.

This one’s actually necessary deliberately to break the Anakin-Obi-Wan conversation, because it has a really awkward break in it which this scene needed to mask. The lightspeed scene was used here just because it was, if I remember right, the only viable option.

  • This is a great episode. I have the impression that there was a lot more stuff with the assassin spiders in the lower decks - the way you handled them seemed just right to me. Everything in this episode blended well together. It had a steady pace and made me care about the characters and world.

Excellent! Yeah, there were about ten minutes of the spiders in the lower decks, being investigated, killing people, then coming up to the higher decks etc, but ultimately none of it served our core plot.

01x03 - Malevolence

  • The crawl tells us about the big bad battleship Malevolence, but what if it was a mystery to the audience? It seems to be a mystery to the characters. They could know that Grievous is behind the mysterious attacks that are leaving behind no survivors.

In the original presentation Malevolence was a mystery for the first episode. However, in my presentation I merged the first two episodes so that there’s the time pressure of the Malevolence specifically hunting down medical stations - because it’s both a good tactical move for Grievous and extremely sinister, so it gave him a lot more menace than his usual goofiness. That required the change so that the ship was now known.

  • I’m not sure about Grievous’ line about concern for troops being a weakness to exploit, because I’m not seeing how that’s being exploited at all in this episode, particularly in relation to the opening battle.

I can’t quite remember the justification here, but I think it was something along the lines of the fact that they were targeting medical stations was forcing the Republic to need to react to defend them (even though they’re noncombatants), drawing them away from other military priorities.

  • I’m not sure that the initial scene on the medical station is necessary. It confirms that the threat is a warship (reduces the mystery and suggests that they know for a fact that it is coming - how?). The danger to the station is logically deduced later by Anakin, so this scene might be able to be skipped without losing anything.

I’ll take a look at this, thanks! It may be that it was just to put a human face on the threat, perhaps.

  • It seems to me that there are too many short scenes in the escape pod. Maybe the first one could be joined into the end of the opening battle to increase plot cohesion. Maybe this could happen right after Grievous says to destroy the escape pods.

I’ll look at this one too.

  • The first scene with the Malevolent in hyperspace is probably not necessary. It also contributes to the idea that Grievous doesn’t know exactly what he and his ship are doing.

Likewise I’ll check this one. If I remember right, the battle droid gives a bit of context for their intentions here.

  • It’s strange that ObiWan contacts Anakin via holo after telling Yoda and Windu that he’s been in contact with Anakin. Is the ObiWan Anakin scene really needed? If cut, you would still have searching and the scene with Yoda and Windu, but the next time you cut to the shuttle, R2 would find the signal.

I’ll take a look at this too!

  • When Anakin is talking near the Y-Wings he surmises the next target of the Malevolent. That would then make sense as the setup for the evacuations. If you cut the initial scene on the station and move the second one, where they discuss evacuation progress to sometime soon after this scene, the plot will make more sense. Note that the transition from the Y-Wing conversation directly to the Malevolent in hyperspace is excellent - don’t change that. It will be even better if we lose that earlier shot of the ship in hyperspace.

I think because I wanted to imply that Grievous is targeting multiple medical stations in that sector, and it’s just his path/next target which Anakin works out. This way, I can set up the threat much earlier, which I wanted to do to have it hanging over the plot and add a time pressure element to Ahsoka’s hunt for Plo.

  • Why does Grievous know that Skywalker is leading the fighters? Why does he care? I suggest trimming his battle lines/scenes to eliminate the Skywalker references.

Maybe because Anakin’s just that competent? Or his ship is recognisable? I’m not sure. I’ll check this though, and trim as you suggest if it doesn’t quite work.

  • Grievous says “impossible” twice, almost as if he doesn’t anticipate things going wrong ever. Since he clearly has an escape plan for himself, perhaps consider cutting the number of times he reacts with surprise to the battle going badly. Instead, keep him angry but deliberate in responding to the situation as it develops.

This is a really good shout. It makes him cartoonish, which I don’t like.

01x04 - The 501st Legion

  • While I really like most of your crawls, this one gives a lot of information that is later supplied contextually. It’s good to introduce the idea of the cloning facilities and Grievous being hunted, but the part about the trainees is hit pretty hard and explained thoroughly right after this. The sentence about Captain Rex supporting Anakin but also inspecting facilities is a bit strange. Maybe change it to something like “Meanwhile, CAPTAIN REX, who normally supports Anakin and the 501st Legion, has been given a special assignment to inspect the local clone outposts, in order to prepare them for possible Separatist attack.”

I’ll revisit this. I needed to hint that failiure equals shittier jobs because originally they succeed, and I’ve changed this so they fail to better give the whole arc a three-act structure. I’ll revisit the whole though. I don’t have a big problem with Rex on inspection, because you can assume that even active assignment contains some administrative duties unless directly in combat.

  • I’m not sure that you need as many scenes about the trainees at the beginning. They seem a bit repetitive, especially with the one bounty hunter/trainer trash-talking 99. At the same time, I’m not sure quite what to trim without losing too much.

I’d need a particularly tangible idea here, I think. Back when I was reordering this episode to make it work as their failiure rather than their success, I mulled over each scene in isolation and ended up on this structure. We tried a few versions of this in the thread and this was where we ended up, though I don’t now remember the fine detail of this decision. Still, I’m open to suggestions!

  • Though not by your choice, there remains a lot of battle droid oddness in this episode. The droids communicate a lot with each other verbally and are unable to pick up on things going on around them, like when the clones are trying to pass for a droid at the door to the facility. It may not be possible to make the battle droids fully appear an efficient and lethal force, but you may wish to make adjustments that direction. Again, I’ve seen Prequel edits where they eliminate the droid chatter and imply that they are all networked - it helps.

Yeah. The commando droids are set up as particularly tactically competent, but then immediately duped in the same episode. This plotline also depends on the “roger roger” joke I’ve never been a fan of. But unfortunately I don’t think there’s a good way around this.

  • When Ventress meets Anakin in the DNA room, we again get the feeling that it isn’t the first time. Most of their interaction can go either way, but his line “without saying hello” directly implies that they know each other. If we accept episode 0 and maintain her presence in episode 1, that works. If you skip 0 and remove her scene from 1, this line also needs to be trimmed.

I personally think that this episode can serve as a good introduction for Ventress. When she first appears, Grievous calls her “assassin,” and she says that she was given orders from Dooku. This is pretty much everything that has been established in her prior appearances (besides claiming to be a Sith). If this is the first time we see her, we learn what need to know, and she gets to do something integral to what is going on.

This bears consideration. I’ll review this interaction with that in mind and see how it works.

  • Why would Grievous know ObiWan by name? This again implies a prior interaction that was never shown. It wouldn’t be hard to trim that out of the scenes, making ObiWan (to Grievous) just some random Jedi that happens to be on Kamino. I like that the first time we see Grievous fight (if you don’t count episode 0) is vs ObiWan, who will eventually kill him in a rematch.

I don’t think it requires a prior interaction - Obi-Wan’s a Jedi Master (making him a fairly prominent public figure?) and also a leading general (making him the kind of person that the Separatists would have extensive intel on, which Grievous would have studied). I think we can safely have him be recognisable by the opposing general.

This was some really, really great analysis, thanks! Please continue to tear apart the future episodes. I know when I respond to analysis like this it’s usually negative responses - either me not being able to make a change, or me arguing for a thought process which I subjectively think justifies preserving the current version - but please don’t be discouraged by that. Everything that’s presented to me I promise I’ll properly consider, including going back to review episodes where necessary. And if I seem to be hanging on to a poor decision, I can often be overwhelmed by compelling arguments and community consensus.

Please keep it coming!

Star Wars: <strong>The Rise Of Skywalker</strong> Redux Ideas thread

That’s such a sensible approach, Rogue. This isn’t a huge criticism but the sequel trilogy did a lot to bring back the aesthetic, character tropes, and villains of the OT, but it didn’t do much to make their return impactful to the Galaxy at large. It’s still an emotionally resonant story for the featured characters, but there’s no reason it needs to be a galaxywide story this time.

The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

New Bad Batch is out, which is great. Let’s not chat plot right now because I’m sure many won’t have seen it, but I have some thoughts on formatting/presentation:

  • First up was the new silver Lucasfilm logo, over silence. Great, as I’m already borrowing that from Mandalorian.
  • Second was not only the silver-blue-red ‘Star Wars’ franchise logo, but it was actually a custom one featuring battle droids and other prequel-era elements! I’d love to swap this out and use it in TCW:R once I can get a good DVD ripped version (or if someone can rip it from Disney+). Even if it turns out that these are specific per show, it’d be best to use Bad Batch’s rather than Mandalorian’s.
  • Third was not only the new Bad Batch logo, but they actually opened on the Clone Wars logo (in red) followed by a burn effect into the Bad Batch logo. They are really leaning into this being a sequel series. Nice! I’d be very suprised if they kept ‘burning off’ the Clone Wars logo for future episodes, though I guess we’ll see on Friday.
  • Fourth was the episode title, in extremely simple red text on black. I wonder if they’ll keep that up too, but it was cool for TCW:R that its sequel series will also put the names front and center.
  • Fifth was, suprisingly, the news reel! Same music and narration as ever. Again, I’d be interested to see if they preserve this for all episodes or just this transitional one. They’d done a very good job at recreating some shots from ROTS in the TCW/BB animation style. If this is indeed preserved, that poses an interesting conundrum - keep my opening text or return to TCW’s newsreel? I think, having now got so much value out of being able to edit my opening text, that I must really preserve it - though it’ll be a shame that I had to break what would have otherwise been nice connective tissue. Ultimately the flexibility that my own text affords me will likely give the most value, especially for my first couple of seasons which do the heavy lifting in terms of improving the worst episodes of TCW.
  • Notably absent was the TCW ‘fortune cookie’, the little moral lesson text preceding original TCW episodes. It was a cute-ish idea, but I’m glad I dropped it and I’m glad to see that Bad Batch dropped it too.
  • The end credits were simple blue-on-starfield, with no attempt to dress them up any further than that. I could choose to downgrade mine back into something less heavy, but I think I’ll retain my new standard of credits over concept art borrowed from Mandalorian. Where Bad Batch doesn’t need the extra polish, TCW still does, I think, to help allow moments to land and be reinforced, and to help sell the human labour of love that went into this.
  • We end on a new Lucasfilm Animation logo, which I might also steal.

So, to summarise, I think I’ll steal the Bad Batch’s franchise logo and final Lucasfilm Animation logo, although I’d be curious to see if they preserve the TCW>BB burnoff logo and the newsreel intros.

I might also steal the TCW>BB burnoff logo for the actual Bad Batch episodes of TCW:R though! (If I don’t just turn those episodes into Bad Batch’s episode zero instead.)

The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

OK, I really want to make that last idea work, because it’s way more emotional.

I want it to play out as:

  • Dooku announces to the Republic: “Fuck you, and also Mina Bonteri is dead”
  • Padmé and team desperately try to rally senators, to find Onaconda has been attacked
  • Padmé goes wandering alone, to echoing voices in her head, something along the lines of:
    ** Onaconda: “I just want peace”
    ** Mina: “To peace.”
    ** Dooku: “Mina Bonteri is dead”
    ** Mina: “To peace.” (again)
    ** Padmé: “To hope.”
  • Padmé gets jumped, but gets away. This is Dooku’s plan succeeding - she now can’t rally the senators and heads back to her apartments to recover.
  • Whilst being tended to by Tecla, she really listens to a real citizen’s problems
  • Padmé makes the speech - she didn’t need to nudge potential on-the-fence senators into supporting her since her impassioned speech created a groundswell of support
  • Padmé’s team celebrate. I realised that in order to pay off my idea of going a bit emotionally deeper with this one, that Mina Bonteri deserves a bit of payoff at the end (which she never got in the original episode), so as they celebrate I’ll try to have the team toast Mina, something like- Bail: “To Senator Bonteri.” Padmé: “To Mina.”

This is going to take some time!

The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

Right, I’ve got the first two thirds fully edited with transitions complete. The last third is a little trickier than expected while I play around with a few options for scenes which transition us from seeing Onaconda’s injury to Padmé being out alone to get jumped by the thugs. I want to get in something realistic - though I know Padmé’s a little careless with this sort of thing so I do have some leeway. Ideally I’ll be able to use the scene I’m working on now, taken from Senate Murders, where she and Bail and Mon Mothma discuss what was Onaconda’s murder but is now his assault (plus references to Mina’s murder) to make Padmé seem like she’s going to brashly start knocking on undecided people’s doors because she’s pissed, though I might have to settle for something more minor like her just checking in on Onaconda, or maybe even just leaving the senate building to go home (in which case the street where she’s jumped is just a far lower level of the senate block). Mainly I want to minimise the chance that someone would accuse Padmé or her retinue of outright stupidity. We’ll see where it ends up.

That said, I’ve spent my edit-brain for now, so I need to take a break, so I probably won’t get this done today. Not far now though!

Edit: Hm, I just had another idea. I could go straight from the news of Mina’s death and Onaconda showing he’s injured to Padmé wandering alone in the undercity. There I’d play some echoing audio of both Mina and Onaconda talking about their desire for peace, to show that it’s filled Padmé’s mind and she’s taken herself for an unsafe walk. I’ll give this one a try too.

Dammit, I really want to keep going, but I know I’ve spent my energy for today.

The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

Thanks! I’m ultimately not going to be reframing Onaconda, but I’ve reordered some scenes and cooked up some dialogue to achieve the following:

  • Padmé, Bail, and Mon Mothma are now more of a team. There’s a feeling that they’re competent strategists - deliberately drawing the Senate conversations into a particular direction so that essentially Bail and Mon Mothma set 'em up, so Padmé (the best speech maker) can knock 'em down. (I did cut a lot of good Bail stuff from the episode, so I’m glad I got to reemphasise him in this capacity.)
  • The two thugs are now not mere thugs used for hassling senators, but assassins who specialise in killing them. What was dialogue where they talk about how many senators they’ve just intimidated is now them giving Dooku their senator-killing credentials because they expect to be asked to put a hit on her. But Dooku now references “my master’s plan” - which now refers to (1) the now-preceding conversation where Padmé spilt the beans to Palpatine, making Dooku’s use of the assassins an immediate reaction to this suprise threat, and (2) the fact that he CAN’T have them kill her, implicitly because Padmé is necessary to the corruption of Anakin to the sith. (Why Dooku would allude to this to some assassins is a little stretch, but I think it’s important for him to tell the audience, and the Sith in TCW do have a history of oversharing with their assassins, so I think it’s fine.) So now their plan is simply to harm Onaconda to draw Padmé out, and then to only injure Padmé enough for her to not be able to deliver her speech, which fails due to some lucky police presence.

Edit is coming along nicely, I’m really excited to share it!

The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

I hope I can do them justice. Bear in mind this is mainly removal and reordering rather than addition, so there’s a limit to how much value I can add.

I’m not quite able to use that idea I mentioned above, since Onaconda accompanies Padmé to the talk with an on-the-fence Senator. (I’ll still be able to get some value out of reframing Onaconda though - and I can actually use more scenes from Senate Murders to put Padmé in danger and continue to highlight some more of Padmé’s opposition.) But this bit of work just now has helped me realise I can trim a lot more whilst keeping it focused.

I’ll be keeping the storyline centered on a single political issue (other than the attempt at peace via Mina Bonteri) - the Republic needing a loan to buy clones. I’m vastly reducing the way it was originally split into two parts and the volume of those two elements - firstly the deregulation of the banks, and secondly the loan against huge interest, because those just aren’t emotionally interesting. A lot of their context is still present, it’s just said the once instead of emphasised about three times each, and our main focus is “the clone loan is expensive and war is harmful to our people”.

I’m instead using scenes from Senate Murders to bookend things, because they set up Padmé’s support network, and now the whole episode becomes more of a study of the people around Padmé - both those who support her, and those who oppose her - so it essentially works as a study on the depths and complexities of the political arena, around Padmé in particular.

I’ve also changed the bad guys’ motivations - now, the Separatist-aligned Republic Senators plan the bomb plot, but after Padmé talks to Palpatine, Dooku quickly contacts the thugs to have them specifically target Padmé’s retinue. This way, the thugs’ relative incompetence is explained by the fact that this was a relatively spur-of-the-moment plan to take advantage of the chaos that their plan A was otherwise already going to cause, to specifically target Padmé now that she’s shown quite how competent a threat she is.

(I’m aware this is the third plan/essay I’ve written up on this episode! I had thought it’d be an easy one, but in the end, cutting three different-but-similar politics plots into one single narrative has been quite the challenge!)

The episode is fully planned now. I’m going to chill this evening, but I hope to crack the execution of it tomorrow.

Knight, if you’re up for a bit of homework, I’d be very interested in your review of my episode if it’s watched with the three original episodes which went into it freshly in mind. No obligation if that’s too much of an ask though!

The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

Thanks buddy! I love to hear words like that, I like to share the process. It’s a shame this episode’s taken longer than expected, but I’m glad I paused - it means the end project will be that much better! I’m going to get to work on that idea now - though it’ll take a little while as I need to dig back through what I’ve removed in case I need to re-include it.

The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit. [SEASON THREE COMPLETE!]

Ah, YES! I think I’ve cracked this politics episode.

I was having a bit of a problem with two Padmé-Bail conversations, trying to trim them down and combine their audio to streamline the plot a bit, but it was really hard to make that work with matching the lipsync whilst tying it to the geography of the two walking around a room together and keeping the coversation flowing properly. So I decided to take some time to mull this all over, and I think I’ve got the answer:

I realised that, since I’m massively minimising Onaconda in TCW:R, I could reframe him into some other role, in order to emphasise Padmé’s importance and have Dooku recognise her as a very legitimate threat.

Now, instead of being the senator for Rodia, Onaconda becomes Padmé’s liaison with her constituents. Dooku’s hiring of thugs to hassle senators now becomes a specific attack on Padmé’s support network to force her out in the open. They beat up Onaconda, meaning that Padmé now needs to directly spend time talking to her constituents, which lets the thugs catch up with her. I’ll preserve much more of the action scene now to emphasise the physical threat. We drop some of the complexities of the loan etc, and this way the focus is much more on Padmé’s competence as a humanising orator.