I wonder if it could be done with just music and images--no subtitles, speech, and maybe only a few actual animations, like the pistol-whip one.
Anyway, I think there are a few parts of these you could drop: the Tempus 477 bit, and Mar's "Treban" line. That way you're throwing less non-crucial data at the viewer, who has to take this all in very quickly. And the "assassination" animation seems to pop abruptly as it starts--that one for instance you could just take one frame, and fade in/out.
It's interesting to think about what you could really boil the episode down to--what's the minimum that would convey the main thrust of the story without words (neither subtitles nor voiceover)? For instance, although it leaves a lot of detail out, does the viewer need to know more than this to get into episode 2:
- on a space station
- a guy pulls a gun on another guy
- can't shoot him
- knocks him out
- calls for an attack on the station
- of two missiles
Of course, once episode 2 arrives (>_>) you'll have a much better idea of the minimum info you'd need to include.
Hm, your "previously on" text reminds me that I don't think I've mentioned the fonts I use in A*. They are:
- Trebuchet (subtitles, "supermassive black hole" title text, credits)
- OCR A Extended (computer text)
- Georgia (the large "A*" title text)
The Trebuchet and Georgia I use are licensed versions, but the "MS" versions included with Windows are pretty much identical, which is quite convenient for designing a web site that matches the look of the comic. ;]