Since the film was announced, the question of whether or not Rogue One would stick with the tradition of the mainline Star Wars films and have its own “opening crawl” has been asked a bunch of times. Disney has seemingly been back and forth on this, but we might actually have an answer now.
The stylised version of the classic A New Hope crawl that kicked off Rogue One’s Star Wars Celebration 2016 panel earlier this year.
Making Star Wars reports that a recent fan event for the film in Mexico revealed the first 20 minutes of the film to attendees. And if you don't want to know how Rogue One handles the crawl, well... fire up those loud Imperial klaxons and turn away now.
According to the site, the answer is pretty simple: Rogue One keeps the "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." opening that has preceded every other Star Wars film, which fades into a space scene as the movie carries on as normal, with no opening crawl. The Rogue One title card allegedly shows up a little later on in the film's opening sequence.
It's not a huge surprise. Despite the back and forth, Disney has recently leaned towards saying they don't expect Rogue One, or presumably any of the future Star Wars spinoff films, to feature an opening crawl, keeping that tradition specifically for the mainline movies. But considering Rogue One has special history with the concept of the opening crawl -- after all, its story was inspired by the lines featured in A New Hope's -- fans might have expected differently just for this movie.
At this year's Star Wars Celebration, the Rogue One panel opened with the classic ANH crawl before distorting and flickering when it reached the lines about rebel spies secreting away the plans to the Death Star, accompanied by the deafening radio chatter of distraught Rebel troopers as it flickered out to reveal the Rogue One title card.
I always thought that would have been a cool way to open the movie, but I guess this is just the simplest and cleanest way to do so.