The Opening Crawl – Dagobah Day #17

Dagobah Day - 2016

In less than five months, we’ll all have seen the first Anthology Film in the Star Wars-franchise. This marks the opening of a new chapter in the franchise and blockbuster filmmaking as a whole. But one thing has me worried about Lucasfilm, Rogue One, and the Anthology Films: they may not include the opening crawl.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

It’s the stand-up-and-clap moment of the Star Wars cinema-going experience. It never falls to capture your attention. It always, always, always has a big effect on me. In the next moment, you wait in silence for the opening crawl, the best title sequence in the history of filmmaking, and suddenly the score kicks you into the action. For the next minute, you become focused on reading the beautiful yellow text on the screen. A captivating experience.

It’s also such a big part of the identity of Star Wars. The unique fingerprint that instantly makes it clear to an audience that you are about to watch something epic, something important. You are about to watch Star Wars. However, it recently came to my attention that Kathleen Kennedy is unsure whether or not to include the opening crawl in the Anthology Films.

To abandon the crawl, would be to abandon an important piece of the experience that is Star Wars. To abandon it would be a misrepresentation of the universe. I can’t stress enough how important that opening crawl is. It would lessen the experience to not include it in the Anthology Films.

The crawl matters. It matters. I get why Lucasfilm is considering dropping the opening crawl. They think it just signifies that we are watching an episode of the Skywalker-saga. But no, it is a part of Star Wars. It may sound like a very small change, but trust me it isn’t. All Star Wars-films need opening crawls (the Marvel Star Wars comics even have it!). You don’t set the Anthology Films apart from the Saga films by dropping the opening crawl. No, instead you explain it in the opening crawl.

– Jeffrey Rex

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