One aspect that sets Rogue One: A Star Wars Story apart from the other films in the franchise was the absence of some traditional elements found in the saga films, such as the opening crawl and the transition wipes.
Speaking with Empire, director Gareth Edwards has now revealed that at one point in production the standalone film was originally set to have an opening crawl of its own before he and others nixed the idea.
Edwards said the idea of using the opening crawl was something they stuck to until filming had actually begun: “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!'”
He explained that the reasoning behind abandoning the crawl was not just because this was a standalone movie, but also because Rogue One has its own unique set-up at the start of the film with a mini-prologue of sorts as Director Orson Krennic ‘recruits’ Galen Erso back into the Death Star project.
“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.”
One smaller aspect fans noticed Rogue One lacked was the transitional scene wipes that every other Star Wars film has incorporated. Edwards said: “The wipes are the cheesiest thing in the world. The only time you can ever do it and not be cheesy’s in Star Wars.”
Despite being a subtle part of the Star Wars films, Edwards decided not to use the wipes because “the film is supposed to be different. We were given a license by the studio to be unique from the others, and we just took that license and ran with it as an excuse to try and be a bit more out there.”
Rogue One recently crossed the $800 million mark in the worldwide box office and is continuing to do well. It opens in China on Friday, so we should expect a big bump in its earnings this coming weekend.
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sees Gareth Edwards (Monsters) directing a cast that includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Milk), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Alan Tudyk (Con Man), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), Genevieve O’Reilly (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Jimmy Smits (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones), James Earl Jones (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope), Valene Kane (The Fall), Alistair Petrie (The Night Manager), Warwick Davis (Star Wars: Episode IV – Return of the Jedi), Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones) and Jonathan Aris (Sherlock).