In July, when it was first suggested that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would have no opening crawl, fandom was instantly split. "All the other movies had crawls!" they exclaimed, as support both for and against the move. No crawl differentiates the standalone films from the Skywalker Saga movies, and that was the reasoning Lucasfilm used when they were first testing the idea with fans: it should feel different.
Still, it wasn't confirmed until November, when longer magazine features were being released and executives like Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director Gareth Edwards finally said outright: there's no crawl. Now that press have screened the movie and further confirmed it, fans will see the way the movie opens - with a prologue and brief title screen (click here for the full description: How Rogue One Opens Without a Crawl) later this week for themselves.
Interestingly, after the way they seemed to tease and test the audience with the idea of not having a scroll, it turns out there was never one to begin with. The opening crawls are typically part of the script, after all, and it simply wasn't there.
"The script never had [an opening crawl]," Star Wars Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo revealed in response to a fan question on twitter Wednesday. "[It] always had the prologue. It was always a back-pocket possibility if the movie needed it. It never did."
Hidalgo's contention is that the limited backstory we receive via the prologue, which takes place fifteen years before the main story, and what's revealed in dialogue throughout the film, then, is all that was needed for audiences to understand the characters. In our review of Rogue One, we agreed, and said that the short intro helped quicken the pace for the war-focused film.
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Are you excited for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Get your tickets here!
Will the future Star Wars Story films, like Han Solo have no opening crawl then? Most likely. Kennedy previously said that if they went this route, she'd like to keep the crawl to the Skywalker Saga. But always changing, the future is.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits US theaters December 16, 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue One tells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star. The story spins directly off the opening crawl from the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. In that crawl, it read: "Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet."