Will Someone Please Think About the 20th Century Fox Logo?

01Nov12

George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 Billion. Then they announced they will make at least one more “Star Wars” movie. And while I knowI know when you’re talking about a FOUR BILLION DOLLAR deal like selling Lucasfilm to Disney, the question of “What will play at the very beginning of this proposed new movie?” seems minor, if not a little idiotic. I mean, Disney paid all that damn money. They now reserve the right to put their name on every frame if they want to.

But… the pattern! 

Try to think of a “Star Wars” movie without those opening drums. You can’t. For the geeks, it became an alert. Any time I heard it after “Star Wars,” I didn’t even think of it as the 20th Century Fox logo. I thought of it as part of “Star Wars.” I remember I was actually surprised when — a little later in life — I put it together that the music existed prior to “Star Wars.”

It’s completely unimportant, but it feel very important. The 20th Century Fox Fanfare is even included on the soundtrack albums. It’s part of the movie. No doubt, this has much to do with the fact that in 1977, Lucas chose to break tradition — and the rules — by starting his movie without official credits. The close proximity of the 20th Century Fox Fanfare and the words “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” unified the movie. The Fanfare became part of the film.

I’m totally fine with this business deal, in terms of what it means to “Star Wars.” I mean really, when you think about it, A.) how could it get worse than what we’ve had so far with the prequels, and B.) it’s not the biggest thing to worry about. It really means we’ll see more exploitation of the brand… and when you think about it, how much more could there really be?

But I’m having a hard time picturing the proposed Episode VII beginning with the classic Disney castle. During the prequel releases, those opening 20th Century Fox Fanfare snares sounded a call to all in the audience: something familiar and comforting (however shoddy it was) was about to appear. Even if the acting, dialog and general filmmaking were less than the original trilogy, the prequels still managed to feel like “Star Wars” through sheer familiarity.

Prepare yourself for the unfamiliar.

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