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Every 'Star Wars' Opening Crawl, Ranked

Updated December 23, 2019 2.3k votes 349 voters 10.8k views9 items

List RulesVote up the opening crawls that make you most excited for the shenanigans to come.

The opening moments of 1977's Star Wars ushered in an instant tradition that carried through every episodic installment over the four subsequent decades: John Williams's bombastic main title theme accompanied by an opening crawl that sets up the ensuing story. With the Skywalker Saga wrapping up with The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final installment, it's time to decide which of these was far, far, and away the best.

  • 1

    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

    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....

    • Released: 1977
    • Directed by: George Lucas
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  • 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....

    • Actors: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness
    • Released: 1980
    • Directed by: Irvin Kershner
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  • 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....

    • Actors: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness
    • Released: 1983
    • Directed by: Richard Marquand
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  • 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....

    • Actors: Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Hayden Christensen
    • Released: 2005
    • Directed by: George Lucas
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