Despite all those reports of reshoots and big changes being made at the last minute, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story still turned out pretty great. Fans and critics alike embraced the movie and with a worldwide haul of just over $1 billion, it’s fair to say that the first of Disney’s Anthology films was a resounding success.
However, if there’s one nitpick that almost everyone can agree on, it’s the fact that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story didn’t include an opening crawl. Of course, we knew long before the movie’s release that that would be the case, but it was still strange for an installment in the Star Wars franchise to kick off without one.
As it turns out, though, the original plan was to feature a crawl, with scribe Gary Whitta revealing on Twitter that not only did he write one, but it also had a fun little Easter Egg referencing A New Hope.
I did write a crawl, and I remember thinking it was neat that it was the same number of words as the one in A New Hope. This was before the (correct) decision not to have opening crawls for the standalones.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’re hearing that Whitta intended to include a crawl in the early stages of production, as director Gareth Edwards told Empire the same thing in an interview done around the time of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s release.
“The first screenplay that Gary Whitta wrote had a crawl in it – and you learn doing that that ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’ has four dots in it, not three. You get extra marks for that. And then at some point, probably like six months before we were filming, we were in a meeting, and they talked about not having an opening crawl, because these are standalone films, not part of the sagas.
And if I’m honest, there was an initial kind of like, “whaaaa? I want the crawl!” The opening sequence is kind of the crawl of our movie. It’s like the setup. And our film is also born out of a crawl – the reason we exist is because of a previous crawl, so it feels like this infinite loop that will never end. It’s a small thing to give up to get to do Star Wars.”
Interesting, eh? And oddly enough, this isn’t the only bit of trivia emerging about the pic this week, as Whitta also revealed their original plans for Vader just the other day. Which, by the way, sound awesome.
Looking to the future, though, and next on the studio’s radar is the 2019 threequel, Star Wars: Episode IX, which is all set to begin filming in the coming days. The United Kingdom will host J.J. Abrams’ follow-up, and Internet scuttlebutt appears to have identified a possible opening for Lando Calrissian – Billy Dee Williams, not Donald Glover – to make his long-anticipated return.