When you sit down to watch a Star Wars movie, you expect to do a bit of reading. George Lucas’ sci-fi franchise is known for its iconic opening crawls which give moviegoers needed exposition about the series. The yellow-lettered crawl debuted with Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, and the tradition was carried on in every movie until now. When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters, the movie was notably missing the lengthy introduction, and the crawl’s creator is now saying the exclusion was a huge mistake.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Dan Perri frankly discussed his frustration over the crawl and its absence. "Frankly, it is a huge mistake, because the image is so iconic and it's so important to tens of millions, hundreds of millions of fans," he said.
“I couldn't imagine it starting without that. It's foolish."
In the interview, Perri also shed light on how difficult it was to finalize the famous intro. The designer bemoaned all the hours he spent waiting for Lucas to review - and ultimately - reject his crawl prototypes as the release date for Episode IV neared.
"I had no idea what he was doing, so it was just this stupid space film. I didn't think anything of it," Perri said. "Everything I showed him, he didn't like. So I was constantly going out there with new ideas, and he would tell me to look at certain films. The Buck Rogers films and all the serials from the '30s that he was using for inspiration."
However, Perri did eventually get the crawl down to Lucas’ exact specifications. After testing 40 different type styles, the pair found the perfect aesthetic which eventually made it into the films. While Perri is certainly proud of his work on the franchise, the designer wholly admits it was not an enjoyable time.
"When I think back on it, it wasn't fun," Perri confessed. "It was a difficult project, but I'm happy with the results."
Of course, some fans were stunned to learn that Rogue One had no plans to use Perri’s crawl. On Twitter, Star Wars Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo told fans the film never had the lengthy expose.
“[It] always had the prologue. It was always a back-pocket possibility if the movie needed it,” he wrote. “It never did."
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now. 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."
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