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Aug 10, 2013

The opening text of every Star Wars crawl


The opening words of every Star Wars movie


The Star Wars opening crawl is one of the first truly great things about the Star Wars films.

While not an original movie making concept (Flash Gordon has that claim, we believe) it made the idea very popular and is these days is expected as part of the opening of every Star Wars film.

Many other works have sort to emulate or parody the concept of the opening words scroll.

Each crawl's prologue gives a quick explanation of the most immediate events leading up to the start of the film.

While the text is crawling up the screen, John William's famous Star Wars theme is blasting it's familiar notes, creating an attention grabbing start to the film. 

Here's the opening text to each film. Note the animated Clone Wars movie did not have a word crawl. 

Episode IV: A New Hope  - the one where we learn a blaster at your side is no match for a hokey religion…


"It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. 

Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy…."

Trivia: Film director Brian De Palma convinced George Lucas to shorten the original text he had drafted.
Trivia 2: When Star Wars was first released in 1977 the crawl did not feature the text "A New Hope" that came later after the film was a success.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – the one where things get icy between all parties involved.


"It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy.

Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth.

The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space…."




Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi – the one in which the evil empire is taken down a peg or two.

Luke Skywalker has returned to his home planet of Tatooine in an attempt to rescue his friend Han Solo from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. Little does Luke know that the GALACTIC EMPIRE has secretly begun construction on a new armored space station even more powerful than the first dreaded Death Star. When completed, this ultimate weapon will spell certain doom for the small band of rebels struggling to restore freedom to the galaxy...

The Prequel Trilogy also featured the Star Wars crawl and introduced many fans to the concept of there being tax in space...

Episode 1: The Phantom Menace – the one in which Star Wars becomes a lesson in trade disputes and economic sanctions. 


"Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.

Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships, the greedy Trade Federation has stopped all shipping to the small planet of Naboo.

While the congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, to settle the conflict...."

There's always a bigger fish..
Episode II: Attack of the Clones: – the one in which Yoda turns out to be a bad ass. 

Here's the scroll

"There is unrest in the Galactic Senate. Several thousand solar systems have declared their intentions to leave the Republic. This separatist movement, under the leadership of the mysterious Count Dooku, has made it difficult for the limited number of Jedi Knights to maintain peace and order in the galaxy. Senator Amidala, the former Queen of Naboo, is returning to the Galactic Senate to vote on the critical issue of creating an ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC to assist the overwhelmed Jedi...."

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – the one in which everyone dies, one way or another. 

War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere. In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate. As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage, two Jedi Knights lead a desperate mission to rescue the captive Chancellor....

The Force Awakens Crawl

Luke Skywalker has vanished.
In his absence, the sinister
FIRST ORDER has risen
from the ashes of the Empire
and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi,
has been destroyed.

With the support of the REPUBLIC,
General Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE.
She is desperate to find her
brother Luke and gain his
help in restoring peace and
justice to the galaxy.

Leia has sent her most daring
pilot on a secret mission
to Jakku, where an old ally
has discovered a clue to
Luke’s whereabouts . . . .

So there you have all 7 Star Wars crawls. Which one do you think best reflects the movie in which it features?

The prequel film Rogue One does not feature a crawl at all and its the first Star Wars movie to not have the text.

Here's the opening lines of all the movies.

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