The way Rogue One will address not having an opening text crawl in the existing style of every single previous episodic Star Wars film is both simple and intelligent. The exact wording at the beginning of the film is now known, and it is minimalist brilliance.
Stop reading right now if you don’t want to know how the very first scenes of Rogue One slickly honors the classic Star Wars text-style, but will also be different.
According to numerous reporters who all saw the first 28 minutes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the film definitely will not have the yellow-text opening crawl explaining what has happened before and what will happen now. But, the movie will begin with the other iconic Star Wars text. Before anything happens, the familar blue letters which have begun every single Star Wars film to date will appear: “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….”
From there, however, the film won’t have yellow text on the screen, and not the words “Star Wars” either. Instead, it will simply cut to the first moments of the film: a young Jyn hanging out with her father, Galen Erso.
By cutting out the opening text crawl, Rogue One is jumping into the movement of its story arguably a little faster than other Star Wars movies have ever done before.
It’s a bare-bones approach to the narrative framing of the film, which is both the opposite of other installments in the series, but also classically honors the basic fantasy setting. All of this suggests that ditching the opening-text crawl might have unburdened the movie from too much heavy-handed exposition.
Maybe hitting the ground running will be Rogue One’s real secret weapon.
Rogue One opens next week on December 16.