The First Draft Of 'Rogue One' Had An Opening Crawl

Aside from being the first live-action feature film set in the Star Wars universe that wasn't a milestone episode of the sci-fi saga, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story strayed from the tradition of the franchise in another big way. While the film still opened with the text, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," it didn't feature the signature Star Wars fanfare accompanied by an opening crawl to set the stage. However, the original draft of the script by Gary Whitta (who has a story credit on the movie) actually has an opening crawl.

Find out what happened with the Rogue One opening crawl after the jump.

Rogue One director Gareth Edwards recently chatted with Empire, and he revealed that the first draft of Rogue One had the signature opening crawl:

The first screenplay that Gary Whitta wrote had a crawl in it – and you learn doing that that 'a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away' has four dots in it, not three. You get extra marks for that. And then at some point, probably like 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. And if I'm honest, there was an initial kind of like, "whaaaa? I want the crawl!" The opening sequence is kind of the crawl of our movie. It's like 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.

So the opening crawl was something that was debated rather early on in the pre-production process. In the end, while the lack of a crawl may be jarring for fans, what Edwards says makes sense. Everything we see before the title hits the screen is like an opening crawl in itself. If there was an opening crawl before that, it would have only really set the stage for that opening sequence, and then a long period of time would have passed, and the context provided at the opening wouldn't have been all that relevant.

Will we ever get to see what that original Rogue One opening crawl said? There's always a chance, but since Lucasfilm is pretty secretive about stuff like that, it might stay under wraps for awhile. In the meantime, one fan made an opening crawl that has made the rounds on the internet that sets the stage pretty well for Rogue One, despite the flash forward that happens after the opening scenes.

One other thing you might have noticed missing from Rogue One was the signature, classic transitions such as wipes from one scene to the next. Edwards says they had versions of the movie with wipes in place, but he explains why they abandoned using them:

We did have versions of the film [with] wipes, and then it just felt like we were doing it because we could. The wipes are the cheesiest thing in the world. The only time you can ever do it and not be cheesy's in Star Wars. There's part of me that wanted the wipes and things like that, but the film is supposed to be different. We were given a license by the studio to be unique from the others, and we just took that license and ran with it as an excuse to try and be a bit more out there.

All this makes me want to see the various versions of Rogue One that almost came into existence, but that's just not going to happen. At the very least, maybe we'll see some deleted scenes when the movie hits home video, but I can't imagine it'll be anything significant like an alternate cut of the movie.