See An Early Draft Of The Original 'Star Wars' Opening Crawl

The opening crawl from Star Wars is familiar to most of our readers by now — even the people who don't know it by heart would recognize the text immediately. But that crawl, like any other part of a film, took some editing and whittling to knock into final shape. Brian De Palma helped George Lucas trim down the opening crawl after seeing a rough cut of the original film. Now the text of the first draft crawl has been revealed, thanks to a draft of the script from the film's script supervisor Anne Skinner.

An Imgur gallery featuring some of Skinner's possessions, shown in a museum exhibit, reveals the original Star Wars opening crawl text. Here's a transcription of the early text, sourced from a 1976 draft of the script. There are some big differences, and this may not even be the longest version of the crawl that was eventually cut back down by Brian De Palma.

It is a period of civil wars in the galaxy. A brave alliance of underground freedom fighters has challenged the tyranny and oppression of the awesome GALACTIC EMPIRE.

Striking from a fortress hidden among the billion stars of the galaxy, rebel spaceships have won their first victory in a battle with the powerful Imperial Starfleet. The EMPIRE fears that another defeat could bring a thousand more solar systems into the rebellion, and Imperial control over the galaxy would be lost forever.

To crush the rebellion once and for all, the EMPIRE is constructing a sinister new battle station. Powerful enough to destroy an entire planet, its completion spells certain doom for the champions of freedom.


This is the Star Wars opening crawl as it was originally seen in 1977. It looks even more different now, after further revisions were made. (Such as the addition of the "Episode IV" tag.)