Sunday, November 27, 2016

Why It's Good That 'Rogue One' Has No Opening Crawl

Back in June, it was first reported that Rogue One may not have an opening crawl, the scrolling text that gives the title of the film and provides some lengthy exposition. After several months of discussion about whether or not the film will – or should – have an opening crawl, it's finally been confirmed by Variety that it "most likely" won't.
This announcement seems to have outraged many fans who recognize the crawl as a classic, obligatory element of any Star Wars film. But the simple truth is that it's called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story instead of Star Wars: Rogue One for a reason. It's stands outside of the main saga, and it needs to set itself apart.

Fans really need to ask themselves, does an opening crawl for Rogue One even make sense? After all, this will be the first Star Wars film to utilize flashback scenes. It'll feature (if not directly open with) an extensive look at Jyn's traumatic past, and we're already very familiar with the general state of the galaxy during this time, so it's not like we'll need a few paragraphs of text to explain things to us. 

In fact, the crawl is quickly becoming less relevant. Since Episode VIII will naturally begin shortly after The Force Awakens' cliffhanger ending, it won't need the crawl to tell audiences what's happened since the previous film. At the very least, we can expect similar discussions about Episode VIII's crawl (or lack thereof) next year. 

Yes, the crawl is a classic part of every Star Wars movie up until now, but it's not the most significant common thread that links them together. And neither are the space battles or lightsaber duels or quirky droids, or even "I've got a bad feeling about this." 

Common themes like unity, perseverance, and hope – as well as the pure sci-fi spectacle – are what have made Star Wars such a popular franchise. These are the true reasons why fans love these movies, not some 60-plus seconds of textual narration. And as we've seen already, Rogue One shares all of these core elements.
So why not ditch the crawl? Why not take a few risks and set a precedent for the Han Solo spinoff and all other future Anthology movies? You may not like it, but if you truly care about Star Wars, you should be able to move past Rogue One's unusual opening and not let it automatically dampen your view of the film. Because chances are, you'll still find that it feels a whole lot like the Star Wars that you know and love.

How do you feel about Rogue One not having an opening crawl? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all.

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