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No opening crawl for 'Rogue One'? 'Huge mistake,' says creator

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, that familiar slow-moving Star Wars text seemed a staple. But not anymore.

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is the first in the series to lack the iconic opening crawl.

Lucasfilm

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" has many of the elements that have become so familiar to Star Wars fans since the first film in 1977. Gritty rebels and evil Darth Vader, lovable droids and the terrifying (if expensive) Death Star.

But it's also lacking an iconic staple of the previous seven films. It begins without the iconic text crawl, a brief introduction that crawls through space at the beginning of each of the other movies.

There's no memorable explainer slowly wandering off into space following the words, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...." There's not even a snooze-worthy history such as "The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute" from Episode I -- "The Phantom Menace."

Dan Perri, the title designer who created the crawl for the original film, told The Hollywood Reporter that he feels the lack of a crawl was the wrong decision.

"Frankly, it is a huge mistake, because the image is so iconic and it's so important to tens of millions, hundreds of millions of fans," Perri told THR. " I couldn't imagine it starting without that. It's foolish."

"Rogue One" director Gareth Edwards addressed the crawl issue with Entertainment Tonight back in July, five months before the movie's Dec. 16 opening. "The idea is this film is supposed to be different than the saga films," Edwards said then.

The lack of an opening crawl hasn't stopped the film from selling out across the nation. It took in an estimated $155 million on its opening weekend, making it the second largest opening weekend for December in box office history.

Perri also told THR that getting series creator George Lucas to accept the original crawl was a tedious process, and he would often wait for hours only to have the director reject his latest crawl attempt. And Perri himself never saw "Rogue One" and its lack of a crawl -- he says he hasn't seen any of the films since the original.