Outside it’s raining, but you can’t hear it in the massive room. Ceiling high above like a cathedral, and seats full of worshippers.
The lights fade out. The curtains open wider with a barely heard turning of pulleys and gears.
Someone rustles in a bag of snacks, a chair squeaks, and someone else scrapes their straw through the lid of a 6 Litre cup of Coke.
For my entire life, the 20th Century Fox Fanfare has meant one thing. It’s Star Wars time. Whatever went wrong today, doesn’t matter. You failed a test, got a parking ticket, dropped your open lipstick on the carpet….doesn’t matter. It’s Star Wars time!! The Fox Fanfare silences the audience and heralds the masterpiece about to appear before you. The only non Star Wars thing I can 100% identify with Star Wars no matter when or how I hear it, directly preceded the movie itself.
Until 2008 when Lucasfilm made a deal with Warner Bros to distribute The Clone Wars theatrical movie. Warner Bros went on to show the subsequent episodic series on it’s subsidiary The Cartoon Network. I knew it wouldn’t have the Fox Fanfare when I saw it in the theatre, and it did actually detract from my experience. Not a great first impression for what ultimately became an indispensable part of the Star Wars franchise. A deals a deal, and Warner needs to get paid too.
‘As Time Goes By’, from Casablanca. Classic song, classic movie, but we are already light years from where we started. The Disney purchase in 2012, of Lucasfilm and its various properties brought many changes to the galaxy far away. Fox retained it’s distribution rights and the fanfare preceded A New Hope as it always had, but then change came again. The release of the Digital Editions introduced a new, more concise Lucasfilm title card. Definitely on brand, but more New Coke than Classic Coke.
Disney owns Lucasfilm and Star Wars, Marvel Comics, and with the deal to purchase Fox for a little over $70 Billion there are searchlights at the end of the tunnel. Marvel fans will soon be able to enjoy movies with Spidey, The X Men, Avengers and Fantastic Four together again like they should be. It’s only right that we get a chance to see Wolverine fight the Hulk after all these years.
This is also the perfect opportunity to restore the Fox Fanfare to it’s rightful place at the beginning of all Star Wars movies, where it should remain for all time. Disney has been criticised by some fans for not making the movies they imagined. For not being ‘Star Warsy’ enough. I’m not a lawyer, and couldn’t interpret contractual law around the Fox merger but I think this is not only the right thing to do, it’s an easy and also a cheap thing to do. Restore the Fox Fanfare to the beginning of the Star Wars movies. Let the world know Star Wars is whole again, and that Disney respects the traditions and origin of these great movies as much as the properties and companies they have spent just under $100 Billion dollars to unify.
December 2019 audiences around the world will bring their giant Cokes to watch Episode IX : The Rise Of Skywalker.
Let it end as it began, with those thunderous drums.
Disney. Bob Iger. Please restore the Fox Fanfare.