000: The Opening Crawl
(c.1980—age 12) It’s the famous Star Wars Opening Crawl of text—and an autograph by Steve Sansweet (Ex-LucasFilm) from when I met him in April 2011. Would you look at the state of that inside cover?
So I’ll talk about the Flash Gordon/Star Wars connection; meeting Steve; and my (then) 4 year old son groaning during the interminable crawl.
“Let’s do the Crawl”
The famous ‘crawl’ – depicted here, doesn’t really become any more exciting when crudely drawn in felt-tip pen does it?
My son who also loves Star Wars (he was 4 in 2010), watches the opening crawl with mounting boredom, irritation and finally anguished tears.
“Oh, oh… here it comes!” he says, as one crawling paragraph drags to a finish.
Then another begins, “Ohhhhh! No, not more!” he groans.
I’ve grown accustomed to skipping it.
It started with Flash Gordon…
Legend has it that George’s original intention was that his Sci-Fi film would be a homage to – or even a remake of the Flash Gordon serials he’d watched in the cinema every Saturday as a boy. The scrolling crawl would seem to be directly taken from those 1940s films.
I’m pretty sure that there’s no hyphenation on the crawl in the film. But then, being professionals, I expect the crawl people actually planned out the flow of the text.
You know, planned it.
Now I suppose I COULD HAVE lightly sketched it in, in 4H pencil, got it right, marked-in horizontal lines with a ruler—to be fair, there are two light pencil lines marking the diagonals—then carefully felt-tipped-in the text and rubbed out the pencil once the felt-tip was dry…
But: nahh. Too much effort! Get the “writing” done, and then it’s“space-ship time. Whoo-hoo!”
Meeting Steve Sansweet – 2011
What a nice man he is! you can read more here >
Wobbly text fills top 2/3 of the page, in emulation of the Opening 'Crawl' of Star Wars. "It is a period of civil war, etc etc."
Below is my youthful interpretation of what the Tantive IV looked like. It's like a cross between the actual ship and an X-Wing! Space is white - as always - with the dull-looking twin-suns in black biro, beside a flaming Tatooine. Tatooine and the Tantive are rendered in colourful felt-tip marker pens.
Steve Sansweet Autograph
Steve Sansweet autographed this one, in the bottom-right corner. He wrote - thoughtfully careful not to go over any of my artwork - the following:
WITH THE FORCE!