'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Crawl Text Will Bring You Back To A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Ad failed to load

With the sole exception of Rogue One, every Star Wars movie begins the same way. There is darkness and silence, and then the words "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...." appear. The crash of cymbals, the fanfare of horns, the ringing of bells, and then John Williams' iconic opening theme kicks in while the long-awaited yellow scroll of text slowly floats across the screen. The first time the Star Wars: The Last Jedi crawl text appears on screen, it's is an emotional gut punch, an introduction to a Star Wars story told anew.

In George Lucas' original screenplay, he describes the text as such:

Ad failed to load

Those iconic "roll ups" which have since become the "Chapter Openings" for the Star Wars films are not just any old introduction either. For many hardcore fans, they are scripts to memorize and recite on command. So when a new writer comes on board at Lucasfilm/Disney, the prospect of writing the movie begins with the daunting task of creating those opening lines.

The prospect can be so intimidating that some choose not to write them at all. (See also, Gareth Edwards, deciding that Rogue One didn't need a crawl.) But for those doing the core trilogy, they're not optional. Prior to The Last Jedi's release, writer and director Rian Johnson admitted to The LA Times the concept of doing it nearly "petrified" him... but then he just got on with it.

So what is the opening crawl that Johnson came up with? (Or "roll up," to use Lucas' phrase.) Check out this footage from opening night, complete with fan reaction.

Ad failed to load

WARNING: Literal Spoiler Footage from Star Wars: The Last Jedi follows.

MovieFails on YouTube
Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

Trying to describe what it is to write a crawl like this, Johnson said that he found a behind the scenes clip with George Lucas talking about the earlier films, where he likened it to trying to write a haiku.

Ad failed to load
lord4SHOT on YouTube

Johnson said he realized what Lucas meant as he tried to edit his initial drafts down.

Ad failed to load

So how did the opening crawl become such an icon? It wasn't exactly new. Lucas was calling back to old school 1940s and '50s Westerns, which opened the same way: an opening chunk of text, silent movie style. In fact, in an interview with Art Of The Graphic, designer Dan Perri name-checks Cecil B. DeMille's 1939 film Union Pacific as the opening that inspired the "roll up" effect for the graphic.

Mediocre Bowl on YouTube

Those plot expositions that set the scene are also where the habit of capitalizing certain important words in the text comes from as well. But by the 1970s, these early era films had dropped such openings, leaving Lucas to revive them for a science fiction generation.

Ad failed to load

The original crawl was actually opposed by 20th Century FOX when Lucas suggested it. They wanted a narrator to voice over the opening text instead. Thankfully, they relented after director Brian DePalma came in and helped Lucas streamline down the original text to what we know it today.

The icon was born. Eight movies later, those crawls are still getting applause when they arrive ahead of every new Star Wars film. Let it be ever thus.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

These Subtle Red Flags Could Mean You're About To Get Sick, So Here's What To Do

When you're constantly on the move, it can be easy to miss the signals your body is trying to send to you about how you're really feeling. Knowing how to tell you're getting sick isn't necessarily a complicated process. It's more about taking the tim…
By Caroline Burke

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

I Tried Vegan "Spacepaste" & It Looks Like Straight-Up LED Lights On Your Face

As you might have noticed, 2018 is the year for glitter. So many brands have been releasing shining, shimmering formulations like they're going out of style. We're not even halfway through February, and Lemonhead LA has already launched the best glit…
By Kim Carpluk

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Everyone Is So Thirsty Over This “Photo” Of Obama With Facial Hair

It's been a hot minute since President Barack Obama left the Oval office (though it feels like ages), and a lot of us miss him dearly. After leaving the White House, the 44th president remained out of the public eye for a little while, decompressing …
By Daniella Bondar

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas

7 Subtle Red Flags About The Way The Person You're Dating Treats Other People

You've done it. Against all odds, you've found the seemingly perfect person. All of your dates have been amazing, filled with endless hours of deep conversation and sweet affections. And how is it possible that you have, like, everything in common? T…
By Lily Rouff

Opal Hair Is The Latest Color Trend & It's So 'Zenon: Girl Of The 21st Century'

If you were a fan of the unicorn highlighters or mermaid hair hues that took over 2017, then you’re in for a treat. A new beauty trend has arisen and it's as fantastical as it gets. These photos of opal hair color prove that too much rainbow is never…
By Ariana Marsh