If you’re a Star Wars junkie, you probably already know that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story does not begin with the iconic opening crawl that has preceded every movie thus far in the franchise. (You may also know that there are plans to omit the opening crawl from Ep. VIII, as well.) For a well-supported argument for including an opening crawl in Rogue One, see this piece by Ted Davey on TheCantinaCast.com.
The book Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel really helps set the stage for the greater context and, maybe even more importantly, the interpersonal relationships that make Rogue One such a compelling and heart-wrenching story.
I decided to create an opening crawl for fans who haven’t yet had the chance to read James Luceno’s novel . Since my iMac, home to all my cool video editing software, is currently in Australia and I am currently in the United States, I used a nifty site called Star Wars Intro Creator to make my crawl. You can do the same for free (or for a small donation to the site’s creators for rush rendering service.)
This crawl has a minor spoiler because it says where the movie opens but the rest is just a couple-sentence summary to give context for viewers of the film. I hope that you enjoy it and that you run out and grab Catalyst to get a much better backstory to the film for yourself!
Disclaimer: Obviously Lucas and Disney own all rights to everything and I am just having fun.