The fact that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn't have an opening text crawl appears to be one of the most controversial things about the movie. It seems everybody has an opinion about whether or not it was the right decision. One fan decided to stop talking and do something about it. Rather than just be upset about the fact that there wasn't a crawl, he created one, and it's pretty damn good.
The Jedi are all but extinct, the Republic has fallen and in their wake, the Galactic Empire has engulfed the far reaches of the galaxy in fear. Persecuted members of the Old Republic have been thrust into hiding. Only members of the REBEL ALLIANCE dare take a stand against the ruthless Imperial forces. Deep in the Outer Rim territories, the dastardly Director Krennic has discovered the location of a long lost friend; one capable of completing the Empire's most powerful weapon yet...
The man behind the crawl is a reporter in Los Angeles named Andrew Shackley. While he tells The Hollywood Reporter that the lack of the opening text doesn't make or break the movie, he felt that the opening was needed in order to both help the movie feel like it was a Star Wars movie, as well as to contextualize the action contained in the film. He wrote the text, and then dropped into the Star Wars Intro Creator to make it look real
On the whole, we have to say it reads very much like something one of the previous Star Wars films. The language feels right, though the word "dastardly" may be a bit melodramatic, even for Star Wars. Beyond that, it fits. If somehow you had come into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story without having seen any of the other films in the franchise, this would give you the basic information that you need to understand the state of the world that the film takes place within. It tells you what has happened since the end of Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith, that the Jedi are all gone and the Empire has successfully taken over. It then sets up what's going to happen in this film.
The decision was made by Lucasfilm not to include the same opening as the other films for a couple of reasons. First, since this is the first movie in the Star Wars franchise not to deal with the Skywalker family, they wanted to take steps to intentionally differentiate it from those movies. In addition, the fact that the plot of Rogue One came out of the first text crawl itself made it seem that adding one there wouldn't make a lot of sense.
Many, including the creator of the original Star Wars text crawl, feel that the omission was a mistake. It's remarkable how many people feel passionately about the topic. Would you have rather seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story open with this text? Let us know in the comments below.