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The Clone Wars – Essential Cut

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' started by Slave of the Republic, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Slave of the Republic

    Slave of the Republic Clone Commander

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    I rewatched The Clone Wars in its entirety and even though I enjoyed it a lot I felt it could be easily trimmed down to around half of it. It wasn't easy at all; it took me lots of going back and forth and back again, reordering, and letting go of some of my favourite bits for the sake of narrative cohesion. I did arrange the rest of the episodes into a few spinoffs, but it was important to me that the my selection developed both the Clone Troopers' role in their namesake war and that Ahsoka Tano became the main character to follow. I also decided from the get-go to make all seasons the same length—to keep a sense of rhythm and consistency—and that they all had impressive openers and finales. I'd love for you to share your thoughts on it and maybe your own selections or greatest hits!

    We need to start with the theatrical release—to introduce the main characters—and then unfold the 4 Seasons I curated, each one consisting of 16 episodes:


    The Clone Wars theatrical release

    Season 1: Defenders of the Republic
    301
    Clone Cadets
    212 The Mandalore Plot
    213 Voyage of Temptation
    214 Duchess of Mandalore
    105 Rookies
    206 Weapons Factory
    217 Bounty Hunters
    302 ARC Troopers
    306 The Academy
    209 Grievous Intrigue
    210 The Deserter
    310 Heroes on Both Sides
    311 Pursuit of Peace
    318 The Citadel
    319 Counter Attack
    320 Citadel Rescue

    Season 2: A Galaxy Divided
    315
    Overlords
    321 Padawan Lost
    322 Wookiee Hunt
    312 Nightsisters
    313 Monster
    314 Witches of the Mist
    414 A Friend In Need
    407 Darkness on Umbara
    408 The General
    409 Plan of Dissent
    410 Carnage of Krell
    502 A War on Two Fronts
    503 Front Runners
    504 The Soft War
    505 Tipping Points
    506 The Gathering

    Season 3: Shadow Conspiracy
    419
    Massacre
    420 Bounty
    421 Brothers
    422 Revenge
    501 Revival
    517 Sabotage
    518 The Jedi Who Knew Too Much
    519 To Catch a Jedi
    520 The Wrong Jedi
    514 Eminence
    515 Shades of Reason
    516 The Lawless
    601 The Unknown
    602 Conspiracy
    603 Fugitive
    604 Orders

    Season 4: The Final Missions
    610
    The Lost One
    611 Voices
    612 Destiny
    613 Sacrifice
    705 Gone with a Trace
    706 Deal No Deal
    707 Dangerous Debt
    708 Together Again
    701 The Bad Batch
    702 A Distant Echo
    703 On the Wings of Keeradaks
    704 Unfinished Business
    709 Old Friends Not Forgotten
    710 The Phantom Apprentice
    711 Shattered
    712 Victory and Death


    Hoping to hear back from anyone who gives me a shot!
     
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  2. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Rebel Official

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    I would take out bounty hunters and the academy, and put lightsaber lost and the hidden enemy in their place. Maybe put the deception arc, because that has some ahsoka, but that's just personal preference.
     
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  3. daRinze

    daRinze Force Sensitive

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    @Slave of the Republic : if I understand correctly, you are giving a list of "must-see" episodes in the whole TCW show, and the best order, according to you, to watch them?
    Thank you a lot.
    I have got all the episodes of all the seasons, but I have been discouraged to watch 'em all, because of the number! You give me some new hope to try it again.
    I stay here to read further appreciations from other members.




    @Embo and His Pet Anooba > Would you mind, in a few words, explain your thoughts?
    Especially for the ones - like me - who absolutely still do know nothing about that show (barely the name :p ).
    Why would you "take out bounty hunters and the academy, and put lightsaber lost and the hidden enemy in their place" (just two or three words).
    Thank you.
     
    #3 daRinze, Aug 24, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
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  4. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Rebel Official

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    Bounty Hunters is based on Seven Samurai. It introduces my namesake, Embo, and does not have much character development. There is a smaller creature who is a mech suit and is a bounty hunter, and ahsoka just teaches him that you don't have to look tough to be tough, but that's about it. Lightsaber Lost is when Ahsoka gets her lightsaber pickpocketed, and she uses the help of the Cosian Jedi Master Tera Sinube. It teaches her patience, and not to rush into things. The Academy is where Ahsoka teaches some Mandalorian kids in an academy. They go on to stop some conspiracy. Its not that good. The Hidden Enemy however, is one of the good Season 1 episodes. Rex and Cody find out there is a traitor in their midst, and they have to track him down, because they are constantly getting ambushed by droids who know their every move. Good clone episode. The deception arc is where obi wan fakes his death and disguises himself as a bounty hunter. Then he joins up with Moralo Eval and Cad Bane to kidnap the Chancellor. This arc also has Embo(yay). Anyway, its just Anakin raging and trying to find obi wans killer, who obi wan is disguised as. Entertaining arc.
     
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  5. Slave of the Republic

    Slave of the Republic Clone Commander

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    I struggled with The Academy as it's not so great, but one of my main concerns was to properly introduce characters that were to reappear, so I needed it to get Korkie and the other cadets into the roster. In fact it was left out at first, but when The Lawless time came I was thinking who the heck is this dude calling Satine “auntie”?. We also learned some truths about Almec that would pay off later on.

    Bounty Hunters serves the same purpose—as we have all of them popping in throughout the series—but I do consider it one of the best episodes, so I didn't have many doubts about including it. Also got obsessed with placing it as episode 7 because Seven Samurai, but that's just me OCDing.

    Lightsaber Lost is very exciting indeed—the best chase in the whole series probably, next to Embo's-in-the-snow—but as I've said, some difficult decisions needed to be made to keep it focused. It does introduce Master Sinube, but after that his appearances are background only, so I got away with it.

    The Hidden Enemy was never considered to make it into the cut, as I wanted to start the whole thing with the movie and the episode clearly takes place before it. Also I consciously introduced two teams of Clone Troopers and stuck with them to their very end: Hevy, Droid-bait, Echo, Cutup and Fives on one hand and Jesse, Hardcase, Kix and Tup on the other. Sorry, no time to spend on Jester, Punch, Sketch, Gus or Chopper!

    One of the hardest—maybe the hardest—choices I made was to leave Cad Bane completely out of my cut. After very serious consideration I did put together four spinoffs featuring all of the the unused episodes:

    The Clone Wars – Masters
    (focusing on other, less developed Jedi Knights)
    The Clone Wars – Hunters (including all of Cad Bane's and Aurra Sing's appearances)
    The Clone Wars – Diplomats (starring Padmé Amidala and highlighting the Galactic Senate's intrigues)
    The Clone Wars – Droids (bringing back the original Droids nostalgia but spicing it up with some Grievous' badness)

    Also reiterating these aren't my greatest hits. There are several lists like that around—usually the 10 or 20 best or must see episodes—some even from StarWars.com or DisneyPlus; I did check them out for inspiration but then tried to do my own thing, and it took me months to be satisfied.

    Mine was actually a job of making it as cohesive as possible within certain narrative rules I made up in my head. I'll finish by saying that I do like the whole series, but I did feel the drag after 121 (then 133) episodes and wanted a condensed, refined (if I may dare) version of it.
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 25, 2020, Original Post Date: Aug 24, 2020 ---
    No worries, thank you for even reading my first thread. You truly honour me with your new hope! I actually started working on it after my best friend came up with the same problem (too many episodes) and started watching a must-see list of 20 of them he found elsewhere, only to quit after being dissatisfied with a chopped, disjointed narrative.

    Last year I watched both Mad Men and The Sopranos in full, and those series inspired me to give The Clone Wars a go at trimming it out in an attempt to both get my mate to watch it and to polish an already good but probably overly extended narrative. I chose four (IV: A New Hope!) as my lucky number: 4 seasons, 16 episodes each (4 × 4) and four main themes to develop—all of them coming together during the much anticipated Siege of Mandalore:

    1. The role of the Clone Army in their namesake war through the Clone Troopers' individual struggles.
    2. The coming of age of padawan Ahsoka Tano and her relationship with her Master, Anakin Skywalker.
    3. The return of Darth Sidious' former apprentice and the conspiracy he starts building to rise to power.
    4. The Mandalore plot, highlighting Obi-Wan Kenobi's and Duchess Satine Kryze's impossible romance.

    About the episode order: I did play around and took some liberties with it to improve the pacing of the seasons and impact of some events—always double-checking for inconsistencies—but as the series matured I needed to do less and less of it, as it clearly felt more focused and less stuffed with filler episodes. Don't be turned off by the seemingly random order, I assure you it's quite the opposite!
     
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  6. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Jedi General

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    I would personally add in the Ryloth, Slaves of the Republic, and Rise of Clovis arcs.

    I consider the Ryloth arc to be the highlight of Season 1. It shows Ahsoka maturing and becoming a better leader, which will be an important skill of hers going forward. The bond between Boil, Waxer, and Numa is one of the most heartwarming parts of the whole show and really goes a long way in humanizing the clones. Not to mention the fact that it introduces Hera Syndulla’s father and it has that badass scene of Mace Windu crossing the chasm when the bridge goes out.

    The Slaves of the Republic arc is the most underrated of the show in my opinion. Not only is it a compelling story, but it’s also such a good showcase of Anakin Skywalker’s character: in this arc, we see him grappling with both his good side and bad side, his fierce loyalty to his friends, and it’s one of the few times we see acknowledgement to Anakin’s past as a slave.

    The Clovis arc depicts a pivotal moment and dissection of Anakin and Padme’s relationship. Their marriage almost falls apart here and how their relationship isn’t the perfect lovey dovey thing the films make it out to be. You can see that the two love each other, but it’s not a very healthy one and Anakin’s extreme possessiveness over Padme is very apparent here. This arc also shows how Palpatine was able to gain more political power through his acquisition of the Banking Clan.

    Other than that, I think you’ve got a solid episode list right here! I still recommend that everybody watch the show in its entirety at least once before skipping around a lot, but I just might take advantage of this guide the next time I go through the show!
     
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  7. Slave of the Republic

    Slave of the Republic Clone Commander

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    Thanks for the input!

    Ryloth appears on most must-see lists, but after several trials I felt Ahsoka's character a bit over the top—recklessly sending Troopers to die—so I decided to build her up from a different angle, actually gaining true command of her own unit near the end. One of my main focal points was to humanise the Clones by closely following the full arcs of a selected few, so I also needed to leave lots of them on the editing room floor. I tried to include some links to Rebels, but in the end decided to keep TCW self-contained, as the list started to quickly stack up. Ryloth actually is the first season finale for my spinoff, The Clone Wars – Masters.

    Slaves of the Republic is great as a stand-alone adventure (being itself a comic book adaptation) and I actually borrowed my Cantina name from it, but again, it ended up as an important part of another one of my spinoffs, The Clone Wars – Diplomats. It's the kind of arc I'd play to casually watch on a Sunday morning. The Clovis arc also ended up as the finale for this same spinoff, as he also fell victim to my need of streamlining the plot.

    I agree with you on watching the full series at least once in your lifetime to see what's what, but there are lots of people out there asking for condensed versions of it (I was one of them) and I just couldn't help myself to give it a try until I was happy with the final result, even leaving some of my personal preferences aside.
     
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  8. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Rebel Official

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    The Academy i think is quite useless, because when i first saw the lawless, i had not seen the academy, and then korkie comes and says auntie, and i said oh, its her nephew.
    maybe more ventress episodes, because we have rex, ahsoka, and ventress as original characters. I do like some political episodes because they show all of palpatines plotting that led him to his current position. Like not firing representative binks for being an idiot because he knew that jar jar could be manipulated, getting control of the banks in the clovis arc so he could start with his empire building after order 66.
     
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  9. Slave of the Republic

    Slave of the Republic Clone Commander

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    I still needed this episode because of Almec's role in the Mandalore plot; I did get rid of Corruption because I've stretched it enough with The Academy. After rewatching the whole series I felt everyone were such idiots for ever failing to see through Palpatine's deceptions and cons, so I decided for him not to be one of the pillars of my cut. Still very good points my friend! I've known for a while you're a fan of the Clovis arc in particular :)
     
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  10. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Rebel Official

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    yep
     
  11. Slave of the Republic

    Slave of the Republic Clone Commander

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    I'd also like to share the spinoffs I put together, particularly dedicating Diplomats to @Embo and His Pet Anooba who made me feel welcome to The Cantina from day one:


    The Clone Wars – Masters

    Season 1: Freedom Fighters
    116
    The Hidden Enemy
    303 Supply Lines
    101 Ambush
    109 Cloak of Darkness
    110 Lair of Grievous
    119 Storm over Ryloth
    120 Innocents of Ryloth
    121 Liberty on Ryloth

    Season 2: Jedi Knights
    113
    Jedi Crash
    114 Defenders of Peace
    205 Landing at Point Rain
    211 Lightsaber Lost
    316 Altar of Mortis
    317 Ghosts of Mortis
    608 The Disappeared
    609 The Disappeared: Pt. II


    The Clone Wars – Hunters

    Season 1: Aurra Sing
    308
    Evil Plans
    122 Hostage Crisis
    309 Hunt for Ziro
    207 Legacy of Terror
    208 Brain Invaders
    220 Death Trap
    221 R2 Come Home
    222 Lethal Trackdown

    Special: Attack of the Zillo Beast
    218
    The Zillo Beast
    219 The Zillo Beast Strikes Back

    Season 2: Cad Bane
    201
    Holocron Heist
    202 Cargo of Doom
    203 Children of the Force
    307 Assassin
    415 Deception
    416 Friends and Enemies
    417 The Box
    418 Crisis on Naboo


    The Clone Wars – Diplomats

    Season 1: Galactic Senate
    216
    Cat and Mouse
    108 Bombad Jedi
    111 Dooku Captured
    112 The Gungan General
    115 Trespass
    204 Senate Spy
    305 Corruption
    215 Senate Murders

    Special: Slaves of the Republic
    411
    Kidnapped
    412 Slaves of the Republic
    413 Escape from Kadavo

    Season 2: Front Lines
    304
    Sphere of Influence
    401 Water War
    402 Gungan Attack
    403 Prisoners
    404 Shadow Warrior
    605 An Old Friend
    606 The Rise of Clovis
    607 Crisis at the Heart


    The Clone Wars – Droids

    Season 1: General Grievous
    102
    Rising Malevolence
    103 Shadow of Malevolence
    104 Destroy Malevolence
    117 Blue Shadow Virus
    118 Mystery of a Thousand Moons
    106 Downfall of a Droid
    107 Duel of the Droids
    405 Mercy Mission

    Season 2: Young Jedi
    406
    Nomad Droids
    507 A Test of Strength
    508 Bound for Rescue
    509 A Necessary Bond
    510 Secret Weapons
    511 A Sunny Day in the Void
    512 Missing in Action
    513 Point of No Return
     
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  12. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Rebel Official

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    damn, thanks. You know i love those political episodes!
     
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