We Might Finally Know How Rogue One Is Handling Its Opening Crawl

The stylized version of the classic A New Hope crawl that kicked off Rogue One’s Star Wars Celebration 2016 panel earlier this year.

Since the film was announced, the question of whether or not Rogue One would stick with the tradition of the mainline Star Wars films and have its own ‘opening crawl’—has been asked a bunch of times. Disney has seemingly been back and forth on this, but we might actually have an answer now.


Making Star Wars reports that a recent fan event for the film in Mexico revealed the first 20 minutes of the film to attendees. And if you don’t want to know how Rogue One handles the crawl, well... fire up those loud Imperial klaxons and turn away now.

Illustration for article titled We Might Finally Know How iRogue One/i Is Handling Its Opening Crawl

According to the site, the answer is pretty simple: Rogue One keeps the “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...” opening that has preceded every other Star Wars film, which fades into a space scene as the movie carries on as normal, with no opening crawl. The Rogue One title card allegedly shows up a little later on in the film’s opening sequence.

It’s not a huge surprise. Despite the back and forth, Disney has recently leaned towards saying they don’t expect Rogue One, or presumably any of the future Star Wars spinoff films, to feature an opening crawl, keeping that tradition specifically for the mainline movies. But considering Rogue One’s got special history with the concept of the opening crawl—after all, its story was inspired by the lines featured in A New Hope’s—fans might have expected differently just for this movie.

At this year’s Star Wars Celebration, the Rogue One panel opened with the classic ANH crawl before distorting and flickering when it reached the lines about rebel spies secreting away the plans to the Death Star, accompanied by the deafening radio chatter of distraught Rebel troopers as it flickered out to reveal the Rogue One title card.


I always thought that would’ve been a cool way to open the movie, but I guess this is just the simplest and cleanest way to do so.

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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It wouldn’t make sense to include the ANH opening crawl at the start of Rogue One, because that crawl is supposed to be a recap of these events after they occurred. The film was an homage to Flash Gordon and other vintage chapter serials, and the conceit was that the crawl was recapping the events of a nonexistent previous chapter — which is now no longer nonexistent. So if R1 had a crawl, it would have to be a recap of even earlier events.

Of course, as it turned out, the SW crawls never exactly followed the serial practice of recapping the previous chapter, because they were instead used to fill in events between consecutive chapters. And then Lucas went back and made “Episode III” a completely different story from what was recapped at the beginning of “Episode IV.” So it’s an homage that turned into something distinct from what it was homaging.