Growing up, the 20th Century Fox Fanfare elicited a Pavlovian response from me:
STAR WARS is about to start.
I’ve written before that STAR WARS was the closest thing the Vanderbilt household had to religion; we never made it to Sunday mass, but I watched the original STAR WARS just about every day as a young man, if only because it was one of the only videotapes we had growing up. It was by watching George Lucas’ space opera that I learned how to work a top loader and adjust the tracking.
When THE FORCE AWAKENS hit theaters last December, the lack of the 20th Century Fox logo was distressing; for six films, that music meant you were about to be transported to a galaxy far, far away…even if you’d rather not ever visit Naboo ever again—and the less said about that CLONE WARS movie, the better. That said, even without the 20th Century Fox logo leading into the Lucasfilm one, (for the record, I still prefer the original one in green Helvetica) THE FORCE AWAKENS was infinitely more entertaining than the prequel trilogy.
THE FORCE AWAKENS blasts onto home video tomorrow, and not only will it not feature the 20th Century Fox Fanfare, the original CBS/FOX logo will be nowhere to be seen. Those of us who grew up on STAR WARS in the 1980s certainly remember the original, classic logo that was featured on the earliest VHS copies of the 1977 original, as well as the more dignified edition that appeared on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI. This clip, uploaded by You Tube user Watcher3223 also includes the “Special Widescreen Edition” version of the logo that appeared on the STAR WARS TRILOGY DEFINIITVE COLLECTION VHS and Laserdisc box sets that were released in 1993.
The CBS/FOX logo was also absent from the 1995 THX remasters that were advertised as “your last chance to own the original version of STAR WARS.” I don’t think any fan knew exactly what that meant, and how it would impact public opinion on George Lucas for years to come.