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What's Going On With Opening Crawls In The Star Wars Stories?

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Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Solo: A Star Wars Story

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Solo: A Star Wars Story doesn't have a traditional opening crawl, but it does have a string of text that sets up the story. One of the many things that differentiates Star Wars from other franchises is its opening crawl, which are a few written paragraphs that offer audiences a quick backstory. It was an idea inspired by the opening crawls from Flash Gordon, which itself was a huge inspiration for Star Wars. In fact, legendary filmmaker Brian De Palma edited the opening crawl for George Lucas' original 1977 Star Wars film, A New Hope.

While the opening crawls have been a part of every mainline Star Wars movie since the very beginning, Lucasfilm decided to go a different route with Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 2016. That was Disney-owned Lucasfilm's first Star Wars anthology movie, so to differentiate the flick from the saga episodes, the studio opted to start the film outright and then show the logo (which was also changed) after the opening sequence; Rogue One didn't have an opening crawl. Something similar happens with Solo: A Star Wars Story, though a key difference between the two anthology blockbusters is that Solo: A Star Wars Story actually has an opening crawl, just not a... traditional one.

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Related: Star Wars Timeline: When Is SOLO Set & How Old Is Han?

Instead of kicking off Solo: A Star Wars Story with a traditional opening crawl following the iconic static blue text - "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." - the film has multiple lines of text appear on-screen similar to what audiences see when watching a movie like Blade Runner. But, to maintain a semblance of Star Wars' DNA, the text is written in the same blue colored font that audiences are familiar with. The text sets up Han Solo's (Alden Ehrenreich) life on Corellia and his job of acquiring coaxium for who appears to be the leader of the criminal underworld, Lady Proxima (Linda Hunt). Here's the full text:

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"It is a lawless time. CRIME SYNDICATES compete for resources - food, medicine, and HYPERFUEL. On the shipbuilding planet of CORELLIA, the foul LADY PROXIMA forces runaways into a life of crime in exchange for shelter and protection. On these mean streets, a young man fights for survival, but yearns to fly among the stars...."

Keeping the blue typeface is a subtle nod to the Star Wars saga, and it connects this film to the saga in a simple way that Rogue One wasn't able to, mostly because this movie is an origin story for an iconic character from the original trilogy. And what's interesting about the specific text is that, in addition to setting up Solo: A Star Wars Story's plot, the blue text also keeps the tradition of mentioning the state of unrest in the galaxy. For this movie, the text exclusively mentions the unrest on Han's homeworld of Corellia: "It is a lawless time," the text reads above.

Solo: A Star Wars Story starts right after the text disappears, but not like how audiences expect with the camera panning down from space. Again, while the movie does have an opening crawl (of sorts), it's not the traditional crawl that Star Wars fans are accustomed to. Furthermore, it's different enough to distinguish itself from the Skywalker saga as a whole, yet also familiar enough to make the anthology flick feel very much like a Star Wars movie from the start, which it also does throughout the rest of the story.

More: Solo: A Star Wars Story's Ending Explained

Key Release Dates
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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