Star Wars fans are a hard group to please, so it was a huge deal when Disney acquired Lucasfilm and eventually released 2015’s The Force Awakens, 2016’s Rogue One, and now The Last Jedi. While all are divisive amongst the hardcore fans, they’re all missing one key point of nostalgia, which is the iconic 20th Century Fox fanfare. The marching snare drums, the pounding timpani, the soaring horns and strings are just as synonymous with Star Wars as the Jedi. One can probably hear the 20 seconds worth of music in their heads right now. So, now that Disney has bought a portion of Fox, will Disney add the Fox fanfare back to the Star Wars franchise?
Star Wars fans of a certain age have missed the Fox fanfare ever since Disney took over. Never before has studio fanfare been so iconic. The MGM lion was okay, but he/she wasn’t attached to the power of George Lucas’ Star Wars, a franchise that shook the world. The option is there for Disney to bring back the legendary fanfare and attach it to Star Wars 9, but will Disney even consider it now that they own it, that’s the real question.
The theme, originally composed in 1933 by Fox music director Alfred Newman, may have very well faded into obscurity by the 1970s had George Lucas not taken a particularly liking to it. The filmmaker insisted it be played before A New Hope, and the fanfare began to flourish shortly after. Lucas wanted the fanfare so bad that he even had John Williams write the Star Wars theme in the same key as the Fox fanfare, which may add to the reason that it’s become a part of the Star Wars franchise, it was treated as an extension. It was a very important, often overlooked detail that made cinematic history.
The rest of John Williams’ original themes pop up in the new Disney owned movies, but a key to this happening again is that they don’t work with George Lucas anymore. Lucas was the one championing the fanfare and had the score based off of it. Basically, we will more than likely not ever see the return of the Fox fanfare in Disney’s hands. This is Lucasfilm and Disney that have been taking risks and putting out mega successful Star Wars movies, not Fox, so it seems highly unlikely that we’ll ever see the return of the Fox fanfare just because Disney owns it now. Disney is intent on creating their own legacy and that has nothing to do with 20 seconds of iconic fanfare. Mickey Mouse will not starve for avoiding the Fox fanfare.
The Fox fanfare is a relic of the past anyway. Filmmakers and producers have slick logos or tiny animated short scenes that have taken place of the epic announcement that you’re about to see something that you won’t forget. In all fairness, Disney and Lucasfilm appear to be doing pretty well for themselves without the Fox fanfare as they now have the top 2 highest grossing debut weekends ever with The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, respectively. You can read more about the 20th Century Fox fanfare via The Hollywood Reporter.