- The opening "crawl" was an optical effect used by Cecil B. DeMille in two of his films produced forty years previous to the premier of Star Wars. The Plainsman (1936) used crawling text for it's opening title, cast list, and other credits using the same style as the Star Wars opening crawl. The Plainsmen used the crawl for the opening credits, but the subsequent text narrative for the story did not use the crawl.
- DeMille returned to the crawl for the opening credits of Union Pacific (1939), although the text appeared to be moving down railroad tracks away from the viewer as a train would move.
- Star Wars used the crawl for the opening text narrative to describe the setting for the story.