Is it true Brian de Palma helped write the ANH Star Wars crawl?

30 September 2023
The opening crawl of "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" is one of the most iconic introductions in cinematic history. The yellow text scrolling against a backdrop of stars has become synonymous with the Star Wars franchise

But is it true that Brian De Palma, the acclaimed director, helped write this legendary opening? The answer is a nuanced yes; while he didn't pen the original crawl, his critical input significantly shaped its final form.

Brian De Palma is a renowned filmmaker known for his mastery in storytelling and his ability to create suspense and drama. With classic films like "Scarface," "Carrie," and "The Untouchables" under his belt, De Palma has a reputation for understanding the intricacies of narrative and pacing. His expertise in filmmaking made him a valuable critic and a trusted voice in the industry.

star wars crawl de palma edit

George Lucas and Brian De Palma were part of a close-knit group of young filmmakers in the 1970s, which also included names like Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola. They often served as sounding boards for each other's work, providing constructive criticism and feedback. When Lucas screened an early cut of "Star Wars," he naturally turned to this circle for opinions.

The original version of the crawl penned by Lucas was much longer and more complex. De Palma, after viewing the film, criticized the crawl for being confusing and verbose. Given his expertise in narrative clarity and pacing, his critique held weight. Lucas took De Palma's feedback seriously and worked with him to streamline the text. The result was a simplified, yet more effective crawl that set the stage for the epic saga that was about to unfold.

While Brian De Palma did not write the original opening crawl for "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope," his critical input played a significant role in shaping its final, iconic form. De Palma's narrative expertise made him an ideal sounding board for Lucas, who was navigating the complex task of introducing audiences to a completely new universe. The collaboration between these two great minds resulted in one of the most memorable opening sequences in film history, setting the tone for a franchise that would captivate audiences for generations to come.


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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.

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