‘Star Wars” Rian Johnson on crafting the crawl for ‘The Last Jedi’ – Los Angeles Times

“Star Wars” canon dictates that all episodic films in the Lucasfilm franchise must begin with four things. First the intro (“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”), then the “Star Wars” logo accompanied by John Williams’ bombastic score and finally the crawl.

As if gliding through space itself, a collection of carefully crafted, bright-yellow words float upward across the screen, explaining what has happened and setting the stage for the upcoming action. The writing sets the tone. In “The Empire Strikes Back,” for example, the crawl readied fans for a slightly heavier film with the ominous sentence, “It is a dark time for the Rebellion.”

When “Star Wars” debuted in 1977 the crawl helped introduce a whole new universe with phrases like “Galactic Empire,” “Princess Leia,” and “Death Star.”

Some may see the crawl as more mandatory than cutting edge, but there’s an art to its creation. Plus it remains the first thing viewers see of any new film so clearly, there’s a lot riding on a handful of sentences.

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