The text of every Star Wars Opening Crawl from the Movies

30 November 2023
In a galaxy far, far away, a unique storytelling technique has captivated audiences for generations, ushering them into the heart of epic space opera adventures. 

The Star Wars opening crawls, those iconic yellow texts that roll across the screen at the start of each film, are more than just an introduction to a saga; they are a gateway into a universe where destinies intertwine, conflicts unfold, and heroes rise against the backdrop of a galactic struggle. 

Much like the opening lines of an ancient sith myth, these crawls have become an indelible part of popular culture, setting the stage for the dramatic narratives that follow.  

They are (and the font style) now synonymous with the Star Wars franchise, and are a key element of its branding and marketing. The yellow font on black is as recognizable as any brand logo of corporate America. 

Here's the yellow text of every Star Wars crawl put to the silver screen!

star wars yellow crawl opening text saga films

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.

During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy...

star wars crawl text

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy.

Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth.

The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space...

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Luke Skywalker has returned to his home planet of Tatooine in an attempt to rescue his friend Han Solo from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt.

Little does Luke know that the GALACTIC EMPIRE has secretly begun construction on a new armored space station even more powerful than the first dreaded Death Star.

When completed, this ultimate weapon will spell certain doom for the small band of rebels struggling to restore freedom to the galaxy...

star wars yellow text crawl

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.

Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships, the greedy Trade Federation has stopped all shipping to the small planet of Naboo.

While the Congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, to settle the conflict...

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

There is unrest in the Galactic Senate. Several thousand solar systems have declared their intentions to leave the Republic.

This separatist movement, under the leadership of the mysterious Count Dooku, has made it difficult for the limited number of Jedi Knights to maintain peace and order in the galaxy.

Senator Amidala, the former Queen of Naboo, is returning to the Galactic Senate to vote on the critical issue of creating an ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC to assist the overwhelmed Jedi...

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.

In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate.

As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage, two Jedi Knights lead a desperate mission to rescue the captive Chancellor...

Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed.

With the support of the REPUBLIC, General Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE. She is desperate to find her brother Luke and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy.

Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to Jakku, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke's whereabouts...

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

The FIRST ORDER reigns. Having decimated the peaceful Republic, Supreme Leader Snoke now deploys his merciless legions to seize military control of the galaxy.

Only General Leia Organa's band of RESISTANCE fighters stand against the rising tyranny, certain that Jedi Master Luke Skywalker will return and restore a spark of hope to the fight.

But the Resistance has been exposed. As the First Order speeds toward the rebel base, the brave heroes mount a desperate escape...

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

The dead speak! The galaxy has heard a mysterious broadcast, a threat of REVENGE in the sinister voice of the late EMPEROR PALPATINE.

GENERAL LEIA ORGANA dispatches secret agents to gather intelligence, while REY, the last hope of the Jedi, trains for battle against the diabolical FIRST ORDER.

Meanwhile, Supreme Leader KYLO REN rages in search of the phantom Emperor, determined to destroy any threat to his power...

Extra for Experts

The Disney+ Show Ashoka Season One Episode One opened with a red crawl"

“The EVIL GALACTIC EMPIRE has fallen and a NEW REPUBLIC has risen to take its place. However, sinister agents are already at work to undermine the fragile peace.

A plot is underway to find the lost IMPERIAL GRAND ADMIRAL THRAWN and bring him out of exile. Once presumed dead, rumors are spreading of Thrawn’s return which would galvanize the IMPERIAL REMNANTS and start another war.

Former Jedi Knight AHSOKA TANO captured one of Thrawn’s allies and learned of a secret map which is vital to the enemy’s plan. Ahsoka now searches for the map as her prisoner, MORGAN ELSBETH, is transported to the New Republic for trial….”

Some trivia about the crawls:

  • The Star Wars opening crawl was inspired by the Flash Gordon serials from the 1930s, which also began with a similar text crawl.
  • The text in the opening crawl was created using a combination of physical and digital techniques. The text was first written on a paper scroll, which was then filmed with a camera that moved across the scroll to create the scrolling effect. Later, this footage was digitized and composited with other elements to create the final crawl.
  • The thematic Rogue One and the Solo: A Star Wars Story film did not have crawls.
  • The opening crawl of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope was originally longer than what was shown in the final film. The text was shortened during post-production to make it easier for audiences to read.
  • The opening crawl for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens was the first to be created by Disney, following its acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012. The crawl was written by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan.
  • The opening crawl for Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi was the longest crawl in the Star Wars saga, with over 400 words.
  • The opening crawl for Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker was the first to use the phrase "the dead speak!", which refers to the broadcast of Emperor Palpatine's voice from beyond the grave.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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