When you think of Star Wars, one of the first things that springs to mind is that iconic opening crawl laying out what’s what – an intro that affords viewers the chance to jump straight into the action.
But Rogue One is the first Star Wars story not to feature the franchise’s signature titles – a move that Dan Perri, the crawl’s creator, has labelled a “huge mistake”.
“The image is so iconic and it’s so important to tens of millions, hundreds of millions of fans,” he told Heat Vision. “I couldn’t imagine it starting without that. It’s foolish.”
Rogue One’s filmmakers have been clear on the reasons behind their decision – and they’re pretty watertight. The premise of the Felicity Jones film follows a group of brave Rebels who plot to steal the plans for the Death Star. Any true Star Wars fan will know that’s the basis of the very first opening crawl (below) created by Perri, who incidentally hasn’t seen Rogue One or any other Star Wars film since the original.
Perri also elaborated on his experience working for Lucas and it sounds like the Star Wars creator was a tough taskmaster.
“I had no idea what he was doing, so it was just this stupid space film. I didn’t think anything of it,” said Perri. “Everything I showed him, he didn’t like. So I was constantly going out there with new ideas, and he would tell me to look at certain films. The Buck Rogers films and all the serials from the ’30s that he was using for inspiration.
“He liked the idea, but then I had to start shooting and testing and setting type. I went through 20 or 30 or 40 different type styles before I settled on one. Once we did that, I shot tests for weeks and weeks and weeks. It was all on film. You shoot a test on black-and-white film and then it had to be developed the next day or late that day. I’d rush out to Van Nuys [Lucas’ office] with it and wait for him for hours to show it to him and he never liked it, and it just went on and on and on.”
Eventually Perri came up with a concept that Lucas liked. “He accepted it and they cut it in. By then, it was only maybe a month before the release,” recalled Perri. “The day I delivered it, it was such a relief to drive away from there knowing, ‘Wow, it’s done finally.'”