I’m pretty happy with the crawl I posted above. However, I’ve been thinking about the specifics of the crawls and realized that all of them are out of sync with the music except for the 1977 version of Star Wars.
The addition of an episode number and title mean that there’s now essentially three more lines of text in the first paragraph, throwing off the music. In the original, the second paragraph is accompanied by the middle section of the main theme, but it now starts during the first paragraph. For the Force Awakens, the final paragraph is in the right place to sync with the music, but its five lines are too short.
With this in mind, I believe I’ve figured out the proper number of lines in each paragraph for musical sync:
TFA Original Crawl -
First Paragraph: 7 lines (10 with number and title)
Second Paragraph: 7 lines
Third Paragraph: 5 lines
Proper TFA Crawl -
First Paragraph: 4 lines (7 with number and title)
Second Paragraph: 9 lines
Third Paragraph: 8 lines
Original Crawl (1977) -
First Paragraph: 6 lines
Second Paragraph: 8 lines
Third Paragraph: 7 lines
Note that each paragraph in the proper TFA crawl is one line longer than in the 1977 crawl, due to the entire sequence being sped up for all subsequent movies.
Here’s a crawl that makes use of that format, even if it’s a bit verbose:
The First Order
The Empire has survived.
Founded on his secret first order,
the Emperor’s legions have built
a weapon that devours the stars.
Twisted by vengeance against
its ancient foe, the First Order
and its evil knights have driven
the last of the Jedi into hiding.
Without the Jedi to protect the
New Republic, Only General
Leia Organa, sister of the exiled
Jedi, recognizes their deadly
Mobilizing a brave Resistance
with the reluctant support of
the Republic, Leia sends her
most trusted pilot on a mission
to find her long-lost brother,
now her only hope in
restoring peace and justice
to the galaxy…
Although I like my previous crawl better, it would be nice to get it into this format.