Here’s A Cool Way To Watch 6 Star Wars Openings In Under 2 Minutes

No director or studio would dare open a Star Wars movie without a text crawl. Over the years, this has become one of the signatures of this series, even though text openings went out of style decades ago. In spite of the franchise’s futuristic leanings, Star Wars has always been somewhat stuck in the past. By Lucas’ own admission, the Flash Gordon serials of the ’30s played a major role in inspiring his space saga. Delivering story in bite-sized segments, each instalment opened with an update for those who might have missed the previous episode. Here’s a quick comparison of a crawl from Star Wars to one from Flash Gordon:

It should also be noted that the Star Wars crawls have evolved/mutated over the years. While everyone now thinks of the 1977 original as Episode IV: A New Hope, its original title was simply Star Wars. Lucas’ clever decision to join the saga mid-series came later, presumably after his ill-fated decision to make a trio of prequels. Here’s the crawl as it appeared in 1977:

With all that in mind, IGN has released an intriguing new video that places crawls from Episodes I-VI side-by-side. To actually read the text, you might have to expand this to full screen, but some interesting traits emerge at any size. For one, you’ll notice Lucas’ retroactive decision to speed up the logo in Episode IV—causing it to disappear faster than the others. (You may also notice some subtle font differences.) Eventually, this starts to feel like a race, with viewers waiting to see which crawl wraps-up first. To see how it turns out—it’s a photo finish—watch the video below.