It kind of kills the momentum of the sequence for me. It’s pretty much an epilogue (essentially extraneous to its conclusion) to the Yoda vs Palpatine fight: Yoda has already fled and Palpatine has comfortably moved on to the next order of business in the plot - but Anakin vs Obi-Wan hasn’t even finished yet. It’s just a preference thing.
So, there was a big mistake in my previous workprint. I’ve since taken it down and using that as an excuse to replace it with a new version. This one has a few huge changes (based on ideas from sade1212) that might end up being temporary.
First, a couple of the smaller fixes to clips from before:
Cleaned up Padme/Anakin reunion rescore, right to left wipe to Kashyyk, removed “…and not be pushed around”
Anakin’s “Nothing…” in the fountain scene given more room to breathe before Utapau transition
“Is that bad?” tweaks (sound fx, lipsync, minor direction, and holding on shot before transition
Okay, so courtesy of sade1212, I tried my hand at implementing an idea of theirs from the Radical Redux thread I really liked. Subject to change back.
Anyway, the basis for this change is that Anakin’s exact mindset in turning to the dark side has always been somewhat muddled and nearly inscrutable. We probably understand why he chooses it, but not how he can. How can a good man do these terrible things? The theatrical asserts that he’s always kind of been troubled and scary in that way, but I’ve obviously moved away from that to make him more well-adjusted. I’ve previously leaned on Anakin developing this philosophy of “ends justify the means;” where he visibly feels remorse and never explicitly extols the virtues of galaxy-ruling. He knows he’s done terrible things but it’s for Padme!
The underlying issue with that execution of it - while it has worked for me and others - is that Anakin then becomes almost a secondary character for what should arguably be the most important part of his development. The next time we see him there’s distance between us and him - he’s done all the bad things offscreen and how he feels about it is only given to us after that fact.
Anakin visits Padme before he marches the temple
So sade’s idea was to have Anakin visit Padme directly after his christening as Darth Vader. I like this for a lot of reasons. Where this scene is placed originally, is exactly what I mean when I say there’s distance between us and Anakin. He’s acting somewhat normally, seemingly unfazed by what we know he’s done. Any empathy we had for him is lost because we can’t relate to that. Sure, we can extrapolate an internal justification process or him burying his feelings, but there’s no real payoff for that understanding (unless you count the “Nooooo”/scream from Vader, which I have removed), no elucidation that that’s what’s happening.
With this new placement, Anakin has only betrayed Mace and only just agreed to march on the temple. He has yet to commit his crimes, so now this scene is contextualized as cold feet, trying to re-affirm why he would do the things he will while he’s still relatively “innocent.” I tried to play up how he doesn’t know what he’s about to do, and avoided him talking about his allegiance to Palpatine. He knows Padme would be against him, and now the scene is rife with half-truths and uncertainty. When Padme brings up Obi-Wan, he’s taken aback because it’s the first real consequence he has to face.
In looking for a scene to replace the previous, I felt like the youngling scene might work now as its own beat in the story, rather than glossed over in a montage. It used to be a 180 that was hard to justify, but now we have context for Anakin’s state of mind. He was hesitant, but he has to do what he has to do. Turning it into its own beat makes it a point of no return in his descent into depravity, especially as Anakin is never even slightly optimistic after this. He just wants to save Padme. I think it adds to the tragedy now rather than confuse it.