Star Wars flying text - word spacing problems

ebensorkin's picture

Has anybody alreay discussed ( & condemned ) the word spacing on the flying text at the beginning of the most recent Star Wars films? It happens in part because the text is not allowed to be ragged right....

Probably all the others too - but this one was especially obvious to me.

jay's picture

I don't know if it's been discussed, but I do know the word spacing was pretty bad on the 1st film (episode #4). I didn't notice it at the time (I was too young, and the effect was so new, my only feeling was "WOW"), but recently I re-watched the original, and I noticed the bad spacing.

I also noticed that Harrison Ford was extremely young, and that the acting could have been better in spots.

It seems impossible that that came out 25+ years ago.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

You'd have to adress John Knoll -- he did the original titles (probably still does them), but he's like a saint, because he co-invented PhotoShop. And where would the world be without PhotoShop?

ebensorkin's picture

Thanks. I thought I HAD to have been.

aluminum's picture

Ruined the ENTIRE movie.

ebensorkin's picture

Actually, the odd thing to me was the abscence of anybody reading anything ever. That was probably the result of a non-stop action, but I did like the original star wars for it's 3d games (chess in 3d), combat computers and GUIs. The last star wars is textless - i think. Apart from the opening of course...

wesseltoft's picture

Oh well, thank you very much, Dan for your hyperlink to me. I wonder of this referrer from to my website, so that I visit this link. So now we meet us again. :)

Nick Shinn's picture

>The last star wars is textless

Yeah, all those advanced civilizations without street advertising.
De-texting must have caught on.

Maybe it's like in The Diamond Age, where you get the ads beamed straight into your visual cortex. If you're rich, you can see the world without them.

As a sports fan, I really enjoyed Wimbledon for the lack of commercial images on the playing surface and surrounds. Even the tennis players' clothing is de-texted.

Sorry, wandering off topic again.

kris's picture

The word spacing is pretty terrible. But, oddly enough, I don't actually care.
I like to go to the pictures to not think about what I think about most of the
time. I find it helpful and relaxing. The Star Wars logo is pretty terrible too,
but I still don't care!


ebensorkin's picture

I find I can't stop noticing & thinking about text/fonts anymore, especially at films. Like Erik Spiekermann said : paraphrasing : Typophilia is a terrible disease.

Nick, text on de-texting! :-)

Actually it is relaxing for me to be without texts, for the reason above. Have been somewhere where there is lots of text which you can't read? I find that also relaxing...

I guess I was thinking of the most recent star wars film as a kind of vision of the future like the film 2001 was meant to be* and the abscence of writting seemed to me somehow not like wimbeldon as you describe it, but as kind of purposely bland, almost neutered vision - because of the abscence of incidental text - as opposed to simply advertising.

*silly already i know. Really it's just a marketing vehicle after all.

This is the opposite of The Lord of the Rings, where text is central. It's on the ring. Or Blade Runner where incidental text is everywhere to create atmosphere.

I think what I am getting at is that there was a missed opportunity to make this Star Wars more compelling. But then with dialog like that - it is not too surprising...

hrant's picture

I haven't seen episode 3 yet (I know, I know) but maybe it's a good thing it doesn't have any text: the text in episode 2 (like outside the bar on Coruscant) was just horrid.

BTW, Tolkien was a linguist, that's why!


Norbert Florendo's picture

Knowing that Speilberg is often faithful to his inspirational sources, I tried finding pics of Flying Crawl chapter titles seen in old Flash Gordon serials of 1936.

Of the few I found (very poor resolution) it is evident that the visual effect of words gliding off to the distance is best achieved with justified copy. That way both left and right margins clearly follow one-point perspective.

Oddly enough, the Flash Gordon title seemed fairly well spaced, but too small to see any detail.

I remember being slightly irked by the opening crawl in Star Wars Episode III, but really, I was too excited to care.

Yes, I'm old, but I remember Yoda when he had hair!

dan_reynolds's picture

I just saw this online today. If you thought that Episode III's flying text was bad, the album cover is just…

ebensorkin's picture

Too too right.

kris's picture

If you have the chance, for the sake of comparison, play the
lego star wars game on ps2. The titles are hilariously bad,
they have split each episode into about 6 chapters. The best
bit: they are set in FF Sari!

hrant's picture

So I just finally caught Episode 3. Amazing movie, one of the best I've seen - much better than I expected. No stupid one-liners, very intense, both in emotion and action - reminds nicely of the original long, long ago, in a state of youth far, far away. I especially liked the little things, like catching a glimpse of the young Grand Moff Tarkin on the sidelines.

BTW, I did notice some type: on the computers on Musafar. It looked a little bit like those ancient Hebrew Dead Sea inscriptions. But yeah, otherwise type was absent. And the titles? I was too excited to check. I can hear Jabba scoffing: "He's no type Jedi!"


dan_reynolds's picture

Did you notice that the big shuttle ship that Obi Wan gets into on Coruscant, when he and Anakin part as friends, has "CIA" written on it?


hrant's picture

Well then I'll have to go see the movie again won't I! :-)


dan_reynolds's picture

To be fair, I think that the CIA-like glyphs are part of a bigger word. And I haven't heard anyone else notic this. But I have seen the film four times, and I noticed it each time.

ebensorkin's picture

Hmm Maybe somebody will post some stills when the DVD comes out...

Syndicate content Syndicate content