How Should Rogue One & Other Star Wars Stories Begin?

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we know we have a lot to look forward to in Rogue One (as if we didn’t already):  Deathtroopers take time out of their busy lives to play with Stormtrooper dolls, Darth Vader will be making his triumphant return to the silver screen, and Saw Gerrera has stayed the rebellious course and is now a grizzled veteran member of the daring team that steals the Death Star plans, just to name a few…so, yeah, its shaping up to be an amazing Star Wars experience…but how’s it going to begin? Will we get the classic Star Wars opening crawl, or will it start with a cold open like most other films? Or will it be something else altogether? I have a few ideas that I think would work well, so read on and see what you think…

The Classic Crawl

“Oh boo, you tricked us, boo!” Yeah, I know, it’s kind of a cop-out (okay, a huge cop-out), but sticking with the classic crawl is a legitimate idea. It’s an easy way to immediately identify the movie as a Star Wars movie; it will put viewers into the Star Wars mindset, and let them know they’re about to be transported to a galaxy far, far away…but maybe that’s not a good thing…bear with me:  for hardcore Star Wars fans like us, the difference between the episodic Star Wars movies and Rogue One is obvious, but for the casual fan or common movie-goer, they may see the crawl and expect to see Rey, Finn, Poe (as has already happened) Jedi, Sith, lightsabers, the Force, and other things that are common with the episodic Star Wars films that begin with a crawl. For some people, a crawl may be like false advertising; that said, though, I still think an opening crawl would be an acceptable way to begin Rogue One, I just don’t think it’s necessarily the best option. Now, I’m not trying to say that Star Wars films should be created to please everyone, but I also don’t think that they should be catered completely toward only the hardcore fans. Star Wars should be for everyone. I have a couple other ideas that I’d personally prefer instead of a crawl…

The Simple Solution

Picture this:  You see the traditional “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” in blue over black, then a title card appears with the Rogue One:  A Star Wars Story logo, and bam! we just jump right into the movie. You’d get a taste of that nostalgic Star Wars opening without copying it completely. It would plant the viewer firmly into the Star Wars universe without giving them any sort of false expectations of a movie that’s directly linked to the episodic Star Wars films (which is somewhat ironic since Rogue One is rumored to literally link right up to A New Hope, but you know what I mean…I hope). Plus, with something simple like this, you could do it with all the anthology films and it would make sense. I’ve heard people mention opening Rogue One with a Clone Wars-style voice-over, which would be awesome for this movie, but would be an odd choice for the Han Solo movie, for example. And I suppose they don’t have to do the same opening for all the anthology films, but I’d prefer if they let the crawl be the episodic Star Wars opening and then whatever they do for Rogue One becomes the standard for all anthology movies; if they did that, then, eventually, the anthology opening would be as iconic as the crawl itself.

Journal of the Whills

Alright, I saved the best idea (well, my favorite anyway) for last:  the movie opens on an ancient book with “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” inscribed on the cover. The book opens and pages flip until we get to a title page that says “Rogue One, A Star Wars Story.” The page turns and there’s a penciled sketch of maybe Jyn Erso or Saw Gerrera with a bit of text that serves the same purpose as the first paragraph of the crawl. It carries on like this, basically mimicking the crawl, but in a mixed art/text book/journal style, until the last page is a full sketched image that then morphs into the opening shot of the actual movie and we’re off, transported into “a Star Wars story” straight out of the original Star Wars storybook, the Journal of the Whills…oh yeah, goosebumps, right? I hope so. I think it’s a great idea. I’m pretty sure Lucasfilm will be calling me as soon as they read this (yes, I know nobody from Lucasfilm will probably ever read this…you don’t have to rub it in). Anyway, wouldn’t that be great though? And you could easily do that for any anthology film. It’s simple, yet complex, and something that really digs deep into Star Wars lore for the hardcore fans while staying accessible for everyone else. I’m so stoked about the idea that I’ll be disappointed when it doesn’t happen…

So, what do you think? They should totally use my idea, right? I thought so, you guys have great taste…okay, seriously, what do you think? Are you classic crawl or bust? Should they just do a cold open and forget about it? Should each anthology film start differently, or should they be the same or at least similar? I’m curious to see if people like any of my ideas or if they’ve come up with other, different ideas of their own. I mean, I’m open to competition for my Journal of the Whills idea, but I’m not going to hold my breath expecting someone to come up with something better…okay, I’m kidding, I can’t even phone in that kind of egotistical confidence…anyway, leave a comment and let me know how you’d open up Rogue One and/or the other anthology films and we’ll keep the topic going; otherwise, and I bet you saw this coming, may the Force be with you…


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