What Star Wars' Opening Crawl Was Originally Going To Read

It’s a well-known fact among Star Wars fans that the opening crawl of the original 1977 film was actually co-written by George Lucas and famed director Brian De Palma, but have you ever found yourself wondering what the text said before the Scarface filmmaker got a crack at it? Thanks to the magic of the internet, the answer to that rather random question has been uncovered.

A user on the image gathering website Imgur has posted a collection of rare behind-the-scenes photos and script images from the original Star Wars, and scans of the screenplay owned by Continuity Supervisor Ann Skinner have revealed what the original crawl was going to say while the film was still in development. You can see the first page in its entirety over at the source, but you can read the early draft of the crawl below:

It is a period of civil wars in the galaxy. A brave alliance of underground freedom fighters has challenged the tyranny and oppression of the awesome GALACTIC EMPIRE.Striking from a fortress hidden among the billion stars of the galaxy, rebel spaceships have won their first victory in a battle with the powerful Imperial Starfleet. The EMPIRE fears that another defeat could bring a thousand more solar systems into the rebellion, and Imperial control over the galaxy would be lost forever.To crush the rebellion once and for all, the EMPIRE is constructing a sinister new battle station. Powerful enough to destroy and entire planet, its completion spells certain doom for the champions of freedom.

Of course, this is actually what we ended up with:

Comparing the two Star Wars openings, you’ll notice that the differences are actually pretty massive. Both do include the baseline information about the galaxy being in the midst of civil war and the Empire building a Death Star, but the final version throws the audience into the plot far faster than the earlier version, not only including details about the spies that were able to successfully steal the Death Star plans, but also immediately introducing movie-goers to Princess Leia, the rebellious member of Alderaan royalty who is willing to risk everything to release the Empire’s iron grip on the galaxy.

In the grand scheme of things this is kind of just a random bit of fun trivia and good knowledge for any Star Wars fan to know, but if we are going to dig for something important to take away from this interesting reveal it is this: rewriting your work is tremendously helpful.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.