Rogue One: A Star Wars Story originally had an opening crawl

But don't expect to see it anytime soon...

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Rogue One stood apart from the rest of the films in the Star Wars stable, deciding not to screen one of the franchise’s iconic opening crawls at the top of the movie. 

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It made sense. The standalone film had its own set of characters and – with some much-discussed exceptions – largely operated outside of the Star Wars universe we know and love. 

But the film’s director Gareth Edwards revealed during a Reddit AMA earlier this week that there had originally been a version, penned by the film’s initial screenwriter Gary Whitta, which adopted the traditional Star Wars opening – although it never found its way into the script. 

“Gary Whitta actually wrote one in the first draft. You’ll have to pester him for it,” Edwards wrote. “I do believe that those opening crawl words are actually floating out there in space somewhere. We just have to fund NASA well enough so their deep-space telescopes can find them, let’s crowdfund it and make it happen.”

The internet duly got excited so iO9 reached out to Whitta who put his own take on the story. “Gareth misspoke,” he said. “It was never actually in a draft of the script. It’s just in a document, like a story document that I wrote.”

He went on to explain: “Literally in the very first days working on the film we were asking ourselves those questions. Like ‘What makes these standalones different? Do they have opening crawls? Do they have John Williams music? Do they have all the same furniture and trappings? Do you do the Kurosawa wipes? Or do find your own language?’

“Initially Gareth, a hardcore Star Wars fan, was like ‘You’ve gotta have an opening crawl.’ We wanted to have all the things we grew up with. And so as an experiment, purely because it was fun to try and write one, I wrote one. But it was never in a script. It was never actually in a draft.”

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So, there you have it. That opening crawl does exist. But we’re not going to pin our hopes on seeing it anytime soon…