The Clone Wars: Refocused


Updated: 3rd May 2024

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Faneditor: EddieDean  
Fanedit Type: FanFix
Fanedit Release Date: 1st March 2023
Fanedit Runtime: 27h:17m:0s
Time Cut: h:0m:0s
Time Added: 0h:0m:0s
Franchise: Star Wars
Genre: ActionAdventureFantasySci-Fi
Original Title: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV Series)(2008)   
Original Release Date: 1st January 2008
Original Runtime: 0h:0m:0s
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Synopsis:

THE CLONE WARS: REFOCUSED presents the entire Clone Wars as a complete series of five seasons of about ten TV-length episodes each. Now structured and presented with the conventions of a more mature modern TV drama, it tells the complete narrative of the Clone Wars, retaining all the most important and enjoyable elements of the show, whilst trimming a vast amount of the weaker content, saving you over 17 hours total while still telling the same core narratives. Episodes have been refined, refocused, reordered and recontextualised to maximise story quality and viewer enjoyment, both for the show’s own complete end-to-end story, and for those seeking a supplement or introduction to new canon like the Mandalorian, Bad Batch, and wider Filoniverse.


Intentions:

I'd been a long-time fan of Smudger's TV-to-Movie TCW edits, and when NumeralJoker released his edit combining each arc into single episodes, I realised that, like The Mandalorian, episodes of any length could be appropriate so long as the content was engaging. I therefore set out to present the best of its content in the best possible way, making quality of experience the most important metric, improving and pacing each episode and the whole. In this way you can enjoy the most emotionally resonant and exciting moments in a coherent, digestible, engaging narrative with a more consistent tone, without filler or cringe. It’s my intention that you should be able to replace the original official release of The Clone Wars with Refocused, losing nothing of importance for your enjoyment of the wider franchise, whilst getting the maximum possible enjoyment out of the story of the clone wars.


Change List:

OVERALL STRUCTURE: - So naturally each episode itself is traditionally edited, but this is a full series edit so a lot of thought has gone into reordering and recontextualising some of the episodes themselves. As I started work, I found that the ongoing story naturally broke into five seasons of about ten episodes each - nice, digestible chunks, each about the length of a season of a Disney live-action show. Within each season, I pay attention to the overall narrative, the balance of characters between episodes, the development of the characters and most importantly the development of Ahsoka. - The most significant reordering comes from the Maul and Mandalore plotlines, which are very strong and well paid-off in the finale, so I wanted to get them running far sooner, making them almost the ‘spine’ of the show. I therefore took any episode which featured Maul or Mandalore and strung those out throughout the show - generally splitting these arcs into individual episodes rather than presenting them aggregated (as fanedits have tended to do in the past). This way, Maul and Mandalore get to act as ever-present wildcard threats (kind of like Moff Gideon in the Mandalorian). This required minor trims in a few places so as to not break canon. - I also wanted to allow Rex and his relationship with obedience and loyalty to be a plotline that developed across the show, but without drawing focus from what I want to keep as our main characters and storylines. I achieved this by having a single ‘Rex explores loyalty’ episode each season, which balances nicely. In the second season, that episode is a special anthology episode combining the Rex/Clone parts of the episodes Hidden Enemy, Gregor (from Droids in the Void), and Deserter. - I am also preserving the secret of Sidious’ identity until Revenge of the Sith, for those who want to watch this in chronological order or with a first-time viewer. - Since the original show (especially earlier on) was very much an anthology show, episodes often had little bearing on one another, main characters often didn’t appear for a few episodes at a time, and the show had quite arbitrarily allocated premieres or finales. I’ve tried to remedy this a little. I’ve cut the seasons into more thematic chunks, worked on narrative flow and character balance between episodes, and I’ve chosen premieres and finales which more punctuate the theme of the season, or particularly test our main characters. - Many episodes and arcs (more detail below) are recontextualised or otherwise improved from their original presentation, both to tighten their own content and to enhance the overall plot of the show. In a few cases I have completely changed the narrative for quality - see s02e03, s03e01, and s04e02 for the most radical changes. - And naturally, each episode features heavy trims for pacing, removing filler or cringe, misplaced humour or unnecessary action. It's a lot more enjoyable throughout.


Additional Notes:

PRELUDE & PROLOGUE (Optional) - s01e00 - DARK FORCE RISING (51:05) is a prelude to this series which covers the Anakin and Dooku/Ventress/Grievous plots from the start of the Tartakovsky microseries up to the point where Anakin gets knighted, reordering it into a single narrative. It brings the characterisation far closer to TCW, so the episode can act as a bridge between Attack of the Clones and The Clone Wars. - s01e00b - LIFE AND DEATH (20:30) is Ahsoka's prologue, a flashback to her birth and discovery by the Jedi, taken from the Tales of the Jedi miniseries. SEASON ONE: “Conflicts erupt in the early days of the Clone Wars.” (5h37m, cutting ~6h) begins the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka, shows the initial separatist strikes, establishes our key villains, starts to explore Clone culture and Republic overreach, and has the triggering events behind our rolling plotlines: - s01e01 - THE NEW PADAWAN (21:02) covers the Christophsis arc from the original Clone Wars movie plus the Ventress plot from Hidden Enemy. It’s now one tight episode that gets us through the key parts quickly, cleanly, and far less painfully, serving as an alternative (and more enjoyable) introduction to The Clone Wars. - s01e02 - MALEVOLENCE (29:10) heavily interleaves the Plo Koon rescue from Rising Malevolence and the bomber strike from Shadow of Malevolence into one more compelling narrative focusing on Ahsoka’s character and Anakin’s training, and only a couple of scenes from Destroy Malevolence are maintained as a conclusion. - s01e03 - THE DUCHESS OF MANDALORE (36:42) covers The Mandalore Plot and Voyage of Temptation, removing Obi-Wan on the Bond-villain conveyor belt (clip here), adding a scene to explain Ahsoka’s occasional future absences, and cutting the below-decks mystery on the Coronet and the mini-spiders (whilst maintaining the horror element and an assassin spider droid). - s01e04 - ASSASSIN (21:59) is Cloak of Darkness with slightly tighter focus and character work. - s01e05 - THE 501st LEGION (46:06) gives us a little mid-season peak, concluding a few threads with the focus that I’ve now set up in my first five episodes. It aggregates the whole Domino Squad arc together, tightening Rookies, and cutting quite a lot from Clone Cadets to make this full story have a natural three-act structure, having the combat test end in failiure and their punishment being the Rishi outpost, allowing their victory there and on Kamino in the content from ARC Troopers to be what makes them members of the 501st. - s01e06 - RESISTANCE ON RYLOTH (38:04) cuts Storm Over Ryloth and Liberty on Ryloth into a single narrative where Anakin and Ahsoka (in her first command) try to break the blockade above Ryloth while Mace Windu on the ground tries to enlist Cham Syndulla and deals with Ryloth’s politics. - s01e07 - THE DEATH WATCH (24:34) is the original Duchess of Mandalore episode with only a couple of light trims and one scene moved, with the addition of a scene originally from the Holocron arc disciplining Ahsoka for her disobedience at Ryloth and effectively explaining her absence until the finale. - s01e08 - CHILDREN OF NIGHT (52:13) cuts the whole Nightsisters arc into one, removing the invisible Dooku fight (which is good but returns us to the status quo), reduces the recruitment trial to focus just on Savage and Feral, and removes Anakin and Obi-Wan visiting the Nightbrothers (a redundant scene). (A future extended version will reinstate the invisible Dooku fight for those who miss it.) - s01e09 - A STRIKE AT THE HEART (Part 1) (35:12) borrows Smudger9’s idea to turn Hostage Crisis into a distraction to enable the Holocron Heist. - s01e10 - THE FUTURE OF THE FORCE (Part 2) (37:10) covers Cargo of Doom and Children of the Force, removing Ropal and the concept of the ‘Kyber Crystal’, and adds a scene from Lightsaber Lost to bring Ahsoka’s season one arc to a solid conclusion and emphasise a major aspect of her character that’s developed in future media. SEASON TWO: “The Clone Wars spread chaos and instability across the galaxy.” (5h37m, cutting ~4.5h) showcases Ahsoka’s growth and maturity, explores more of the galaxy’s scum and villainy, shows the cost of the war to the ‘little guy’, and continues our ongoing plotlines: - s02e01 - SEVEN WARRIORS (24:00) is Bounty Hunters pretty much untouched. - s02e02 - MASSACRE (34:17) recontextualises a tightened Lair of Grievous as being triggered by Ventress leaking its’ location to the Jedi, leading into Massacre which is now more personal for Grievous and more of a source of guilt for Ventress. Old Dahka no longer appears, making Talzin the resurrector. - s02e03 - CORRUPTION ON MANDALORE (26:30) intercuts Corruption and The Academy into an all new, far tighter single narrative, bringing Ahsoka and Padmé to Mandalore at the same time, cutting out the poisoned drinks subplot, making everyone’s decisions sensible, and minimising the annoying kids. - s02e04 - LIKE FATHER, LIKE.


Other Sources:

* Tartakovsky 2003 Clone Wars miniseries (as an optional prelude and one optional episode) * TCW Movie * Some Forces of Destiny shorts (as part of an optional interlude episode) * 'Ahsoka's Decision' CG animated version of a cut scene by Cinematic Captures on Youtube (used with permission) * TCW Season Six * Tales of the Jedi (as optional prologue, interlude, and epilogue) * A little of the Rebels episode 'Twin Suns' (as an optional coda).


Special Thanks:

* McFibb, for some incredible musical arrangements * Hal9000, for early and consistent support, and for vouching for this project * ArtIsDead, for patience and support, and most importantly for a huge amount of help getting this over the line and into your hands * My many much-valued collaborators and supporters at Fanedit.org and at OriginalTrilogy.com This has been a long journey, and I couldn't have done it without you all.


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