Disney+ is here, and it didn’t take fans who were ready to dive into the mostly-complete library of Star Wars movies (save the two that are currently licensed out to Netflix) to notice that something familiar was back. That’s right, the classic 20th Century Fox fanfare has returned to the original and prequel trilogies! In addition to this, the new 4K versions of the films come with some other changes, one of which may ease a 22 year controversy. But first, the fanfare!
John Williams’ triumphant Star Wars fanfare was composed in such a way to naturally follow the introductory tune of the old Fox logo, and as such, its absence was something that a number of longtime fans were dreading when Disney bought Lucasfilm. The fanfare was replaced with pure silence for the new films to make the blare of the title card stand out that much more, but re-releases of the old films had a new snippet of Return of the Jedi‘s score re-purposed for all movies but A New Hope, and while it captured the spirit of Star Wars to some extent, it just didn’t feel the same.
So, for a generation that grew up hearing the iconic sounds of the Fox fanfare play as a warm-up before the iconic Star Wars symphonies that followed, today’s launch of Disney+ came with some great news: it’s back! With Fox falling under Disney’s fold after the big acquisition that completed in March, there’s no reason for Disney to not acknowledge the franchise’s roots, especially since A New Hope was to be Fox’s movie forever due to an agreement that George Lucas made during that film’s production. So all movies of the original and prequel trilogies will have the Fox fanfare lead into the declaration that what you’re watching took place a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
It’s also fitting that all of the movies of the George Lucas era of the franchise are marked accordingly. Naturally, since this only covers the Fox movies, the fanfare has not been added to The Force Awakens or Rogue One, which Fox had absolutely no involvement with. Nor will it be added to The Last Jedi and Solo when those movies are added to the streaming service at a later date, in spite of the Disney-Fox merger moving forward at the time that both of those movies hit theaters. This change is a wonderful little addition for old-timers, and something for newer fans of the franchise to appreciate.
Fanfare aside, that is not the only changes made to the Star Wars films. In a thread by Star Wars Visual Comparisons, it looks like 4K upgrades of the 2011 release are the versions of the films being used by the streaming service, and some changes came with them. We will likely do a more extensive piece on all changes down the line but we wanted to address this one that has carried controversy for the last 22 years.
Han and Greedo now shoot at the same time! A compromise? Sure, but better than Greedo shooting first.
On my early morning scrub-through, it looks like the timing has been adjusted farther and they now shoot on the same frame. pic.twitter.com/5ZIC5w0kRW
— Star Wars Visual Comparisons (@StarWarsVisComp) November 12, 2019
Like we said, we’ll have a more extensive piece on other changes made to the films later, but if there are any changes you noticed drop them in the comments and if they are substantial we may update this piece with them!
As of right now, Disney+ subscribers can watch the Star Wars movies The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens on the streaming service. The Last Jedi is expected to be added right around the time that The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters, with Solo being added a few months after that (possibly even after The Rise of Skywalker is added).
Disney Plus is here, The Mandalorian is out, and Star Wars films have righted some wrongs in the eyes of many fans. May the Force be with you.