When Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released in theaters this December, it will surely reveal itself as unique within the franchise in many ways… but there is already one that’s been identified. Unlike any other sequel in the saga, it will be the first one to pick up exactly where the last story left off. This makes sense given that Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended on a cliffhanger, but it does leave us questioning one thing: what kind of information could the opening crawl possibly provide? According to Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, there is a surprising amount of ground to cover in the preamble:
Even if it picks up right where the last one left off, there’s still a lot of unanswered questions about what the state of everything is. Put it this way – we were able to fill three paragraphs.
Rian Johnson was down in Orlando, Florida the last few days for the Star Wars: The Last Jedi presentation at Star Wars Celebration, and it was while speaking with MTV that the filmmaker commented on what fans can expect in the film’s opening crawl. Evidently just because there is no gap between the movies doesn’t mean that there still isn’t room to catch up with all of the key players in the story.
We obviously won’t know exactly what will be featured in the opening crawl of Star Wars: The Last Jedi until the film is actually released, but we can speculate on the “unanswered questions” it may address and how it may explain “the state of everything.” For starters, what happened to Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) after his defeat at the hands of Rey (Daisy Ridley)? How is Finn (John Boyega) doing after he sustained injuries in the same battle? What is the next move for General Organa (Carrie Fisher), now that the First Order is weak following the destruction of the Starkiller base? Hell, what has Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) been doing right up until the moment he meets Rey? This is all fertile ground that the opening crawl can cover.
Still, there is the unfortunate sense that Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s place on the timeline does defeat the purpose of having an opening crawl. Without trying to sound pretentious, there is a kind of epic sense that comes with having a chapter start a good amount of time after the end of its predecessor. It provides the idea that the story is so incredibly vast that films can really only focus on certain portions of it for their runtime. Plus, the reality is that no matter what the opening words tell us, we already have a basic understanding of all the lead characters, as nothing that could have happened between stories could have changed who they are or their relationships to one another.
It may wind up being that Star Wars: The Last Jedi has one of the best, beautifully written opening crawls in the franchise’s 40 year history — but it will be an interesting curiosity given how it stands apart from every other title. Hit the comments section below with your thoughts on the matter, look for the blockbuster in theaters on December 15th, and get all the latest updates about the project with our What We Know So Far guide.