Might the next two Star Wars movies spell the end of one of the most iconic scenes in movie history?
Thus far in the Star Wars franchise, all 7 of the films have featured a prologue opening crawl establishing the lay of the land as the film kicks off. More importantly, it's a focal point as John Williams score explodes into your ears and the audience has a moment to compose themselves through all the whooping and cheering. This even happens in Britain, it's all terribly odd.
Anyway, since Lucasfilm is looking for a way to clearly delineate the mainline Star Wars films from the anthology standalones, it seems they're dropping the scrawl - at least from Rogue One anyway.
Speaking with ET, Kathleen Kennedy suggested that they'd already basically confirmed their intentions at Celebration:
“You know, we’re in the midst of talking about it, but I don’t think these films will have an opening crawl. I think that’s what we kind of telegraphed at the beginning of the event today.”
She refers, of course to this incredible little tease (which I actually would like to see at the start of the film)...
Fans will inevitably fixate on this, but the real revelation might be that Episode VIII is actually missing one too. If you think about the purpose of the crawl, it's to fill in the gaps, and every Star Wars film so far has had one to fill. But that is not the case with Episode VIII: which was confirmed at Celebration as starting immediately from where The Force Awakens ends.
Are we to believe that the crawl is simply going to talk over the events of The Force Awakens? That would be a bit odd. And given the fact that there hasn't really been enough time for any of the other characters to really achieve much while Rey has been on her journey to visit Luke, it's not like there'd even be much to say.
Perhaps we'll get a different type of crawl - an introspective one dealing with Snoke and Ren's reactions to the end of the film? Or setting up their plan for revenge, rather than relying on exposition within the film itself. It's an interesting question, and I can't help but feel that the simplest answer would be to abandon it all together. Surely not, though, right?
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16th, 2016, with Star Wars: Episode VIII following on December 15th, 2017.