Peter Pan said:
Honestly, the battle droids and general evilness alone should be enough to connect the Separatists and the Trade Federation. Both organizations are hilariously generic in the sense that we learn practically nothing about their precise motivations. All that is given in the movies is that the Trade Federation doesn’t want to pay taxes because they are greedy, and the Separatists? Well, they are characterized by their dislike for the Republic and the Jedi. Based on the abundance of big companies present at Dooku’s meeting, we can infer that they share the same bland motivation as the Trade Federation, money.
So, I think the distinction between the two can be put in the crawl of ROTS, without losing anything.
Actually, the bigger question is why Dooku is on their team. His supposed motivation to leave the Jedi and the Republic is the corruption of the senate, but the first thing he does after leaving is founding the League of the Uber-corrupt, super-capitalist of the galaxy. It just doesn’t make any sense. I mean, what greater good could justify this absurd action against his actual beliefs?
Yeah, visually it’s a no brainer. All the battle droids, droidekas, and neimodians are there from the start of ROTS. I just mean if I’m putting the episode 2 stuff at the end of TPM. When Palpatine says that he’s making an army to counter the increasing threats of the Separatists, it should be established that the Trade Federation is one of the groups of Separatists he’s talking about. They’re part of a trend. If anything I think it would make sense to put it in the crawl of TPM that the Federation is a Separatist group, and then reference it at least once or twice somewhere else.
For Dooku I won’t get into any detail. He’s just Sidious’s apprentice next in line after Maul. It’s a shame to leave out all the subtlety but as you said it’s not well put together anyway. His identity is tied too much to the AotC bonkers mystery plot and I’m trying to cut out 98% of that movie.
Part of a trend is a good way to put it, could be further explained in a crawl, replacing taxation of trade routes is in dispute (which bores everyone out of their skulls) to be more focused on these brand new battle droids the federation are mass producing for the first time (like the dark trooper in Dark Forces).
That is what appears to be happening anyway but it could be lifted from a background detail to opening crawl emphasis as the guiding sinister plot, then it’s super clear that Naboo is an experiment like how Alderaan was a test run for the Death Star, a power grab to seize control by ambush and sort of mob rule the galaxy, planet at a time, overwhelming through numbers. Greed motivates weapon trade and planets mean resources so it’s a vicious greed power cycle. Really show how the Clones became a neccessary evil because the Republic had their hand forced from the opposition printing droids by the thousands every day from an unknown source, supplying to any Separatist buyers who want out of the government rule of the Jedi and the Republic.
I do think that would be easy to translate because it all tracks with the movies, the crawl can help frame it better by being extremely direct and simplified, then it’s more like ANH which spends most of the first act or more repeating what the opening crawl already said was happening.