The film has no opening credits. Instead, the first credits seen at the end of the film are presented in the order in which they would have otherwise been shown at the start. Although by the late 1990s it was commonplace for films to not have opening credits, in 1977 it was somewhat unusual for a major film to not have opening credits.
The film's opening prologue: 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 Emperor's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the Emperor'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 ....
When first released theatrically, prior to the film, a generic screen reading in green letters "A Lucasfilm Limited Production" appeared. In all versions from the Special Edition onward, this is replaced with a more elaborate Lucasfilm logo that shines and glows.
To compensate for the new special edition credits inserted in versions 1997 and beyond, a longer instrumental suite plays during the credits roll, integrating various themes from throughout the film.
The Star Wars main theme leads in from the 20th Century Fox fanfare.