The ‘Rogue One’ Script Originally Had an Opening Crawl

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Jonathan Olley

When all was said and done, the biggest movie of 2016 in the United States was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the only film of last year to gross more than $500 million domestically. Director Gareth Edwards managed to do something not even George Lucas had accomplished: Make a well-liked Star Wars prequel.

A lot of Edwards’ success hinged on his ability to mix up the old Star Wars formula with new elements, giving people familiar notes amidst new environments and genres. Case in point: The lack of an opening title crawl, a first for a (live-action) Star Wars movie. Instead of beginning with John Williams’ classic fanfare and those iconic blue-on-black letters, Rogue One jumped right into the action with an effective cold open.

Throughout production, there was a lot of speculation about that scene. Would Rogue One open with a classic Star Wars crawl, even though the movie took place outside the main saga? Ultimately, it didn’t, but in his Reddit AMA yesterday, Edwards revealed that the original script for Rogue One did include the text for a crawl:

Gary Whitta actualy wrote one in the first draft. You'll have to pester him for it ;) ...I do believe that those opening crawl words are actually floating out there in space somewhere. We just have to fund NASA well enough so their deep-space telescopes can find them, lets crowd fund it and make it happen.

Someone quickly followed Edwards’ instructions and pestered the writer on Twitter. Could we potentially see what Whitta wrote?

Well, so much for that.

In a follow-up tweet, Whitta added that he “wrote it but Lucasfilm owns it,” and thus it was not his to share. So I guess you’re going to have to petition your representatives in Congress to get Lucasfilm to reveal this intriguing little secret. Rogue One arrives on Digital HD on March 24, and on Blu-ray on April 4.

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