If you’ve seen even just the first minute of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” then you know the film differs in one major way from every other film in the franchise. Unlike episodes 1-7, this side story does not start off with an opening crawl. That development was first hinted at back in June and came about because unlike every other “Star Wars” film, “Rogue One” does not take place in the main Skywalker family saga.
That wasn’t always the case, though, as was revealed in Empire’s podcast interview with director Gareth Edwards. According to Edwards, the first draft of “Rogue One’s” screenplay written by Gary Whitta included an opening crawl just like every other “Star Wars” film.
“At some point, probably six months before we were filming, we were in a meeting, and they talked about not having an opening crawl, because these are standalone films, not part of the sagas,” said Edwards. “If I’m honest, there was an initial kind of like, ‘Whaaaaat? I want the crawl!'”
Instead of having an opening crawl set up the backstory of the film with a few sentences of exposition, “Rogue One” has a flashback opening sequence showing Imperial Director Orson Krennic capturing Galen Erso as his young daughter Jyn goes into hiding. “The opening sequence is kind of the crawl of our movie,” explained Edwards. “It’s the setup. And our film is also born out of a crawl -– the reason we exist is because of a previous crawl, so it feels like this infinite loop that will never end. It’s a small thing to give up to get to do Star Wars.”
Edwards is right about that. The original opening crawl used in 1977’s “A New Hope” basically runs through the general plot of “Rogue One.” It reads:
It is a period of civil war. 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.
Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy….
Directed by Gareth Edwards from a script by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker and is now in theaters.
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