When viewed on Disney+, the original Star Wars film, Episode IV – A New Hope, still retains the classic 20th Century Fox fanfare and introduction. Disney's long-awaited streaming service is finally out in the wild, with Disney+ beginning to rollout internationally, at least for a select few beta users. The prospective "Netflix killer" app contains a wealth of Disney content, from classic animated films, live-action oddities, and the entire Star Wars saga. All 10 movies in the series are included with Disney+, as well as shows like The Clone Wars, Rebels, and Resistance, to say nothing of The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars television series.
Back in 1977, Star Wars was distributed by 20th Century Fox, and the studio owned permanent distribution rights to the film, even after Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas back in 2012. Thus, when the Original Trilogy and Prequel Trilogy were re-released for digital distribution, A New Hope still retained its 20th Century Fox opening, even when the other five films did not. Of course, with Disney's subsequent acquisition of Fox, many fans were left wondering if A New Hope might lose the 20th Century Fox opening for its streaming debut on Disney+.
Now that Disney+ has launched, albeit in beta form, the Star Wars Visual Comparisons Twitter has confirmed that the 20th Century Fox introduction has been retained for the Disney+ version of A New Hope. Additionally, the page tweeted that the films on the streaming site are the 2015 digital versions, not a prior release or a souped-up "ultra special" edition.
One has to wonder about the reason for retaining the 20th Century Fox logo. Now that Disney effectively owns Fox, it's not strictly necessary. Or perhaps the original deal, stating Fox's perpetual distribution rights to the 1977 movie, means A New Hope is legally obligated to keep the original opening as long as Fox exists in some form. Or maybe Disney was aware of the backlash regarding removing the fanfare from the films, and decided to keep it in just one movie to placate the masses.
The legend goes that John Williams wrote the opening theme of Star Wars knowing it would play immediately following the age-old 20th Century Fox Fanfare, and that's why both pieces of music are in the same key. For all the changes made to the original Star Wars trilogy over the years, perhaps removing all traces of the series' origins at 20th Century Fox would simply be a bridge too far for some fans. While it's possible this will be changed before Disney+ officially launches in the U.S. on Nov. 12, it's nice to know that at least one Star Wars movie still opens with a one-two musical knockout combo, beginning with the 20th Century Fox fanfare before launching into the legendary John Williams theme.
Source: Star Wars Visual Comparisons
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