I just noticed Netflix has added Voyager, and watched the first episode for nostalgia's sake.

It starts with an opening crawl describing a political situation including plucky rebels. The crawl then gives way to a damaged rebel ship besieged by a much larger ship from a fascistic galactic superpower.

It seems a pretty clear homage, but googling only reveals a singular twitterer making the same observation. The pictures below are his.

Voyager opening crawl Cardassian ship attacking a maquis rebel ship

None of the (extensive) lists of star wars references in the trek canon list this. Has any member of the production team ever commented to confirm that this is a deliberate homage? The references Trek makes to its frenemy are usually a little more subtle.

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    FWIW - DS9 opened with a small crawl as well, so Voyager doing this wasn't entirely unprecedented.
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 22:51
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    Many movies begin with crawls such as these; they did so even before Star Wars! So, if this one would have had the same tilt as Star Wars' (i.e. rolling away from us) then it would have been a homage. But not the way it is now.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 17:21
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    @MrLister I absolutely agree. In fact Star Wars took it from Flash Gordon (leading to an awkward four dot ellipsis). However moving from an opening crawl to a damaged ship fleeing from a much bigger ship seems like it must be a conscious homage (specifically to A New Hope, not SW in general). I must admit, though, I'd forgotten that DS9 also had a crawl...
    – Peter
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


Its a narrative tool, just like how some movies will start with some dialog in the background to give some backstory. Now, the question of whether this is a good tool to use, or if the director could have done it better by weaving in the backstory in the story itself... that should be a question of its own.

The answer may come from the who took over after Gene Roddenberry died. Roddenberry had some strict rules for Star Trek canon, (Shape of Federation ships, for example), and how he visioned the future. When he passed, two big names came in to fill his shoes, Rick Berman, and Brannon Braga. These two wanted to make Star Trek more bold and exciting. There's where you see the simultaneous shoot offs. DS9 now being on a starbase, and Voyager far off in the Delta Quadrant. You also see new changes to ship designs, like the Defiant and the Intrepid. It makes sense to try to tap into the Star Wars movies, its direct competitor.

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