If you were born between about 1975 and 1985, you are part of a very special sub-generation. We are the children who were just slightly too young to have ever seen the original Star Wars films in theaters. For the most part. The first movie I ever saw in theaters was Return of the Jedi when I was three years old. Ah, let me clarify. The first eight minutes of Return of the Jedi were the first eight minutes of cinema I ever saw in a theater. That’s the point at which the alien menagerie of Jabba’s Palace broke my three year old mind and I started screaming uncontrollably.
I have no memory of this happening, forever blocking it from my mind, though my parents kindly recounted it to me at various points over the years. I have in turn told them of the joys of discount Tijuana nursing homes where arts and crafts lasts sixteen hours a day.
But we few, we happy few, we were also just old enough that we got to enjoy the Star Wars trilogy on VHS all through the eighties and early nineties. None of that bullshit Greedo shooting first. These were the originals as they were meant to be seen. On an eighteen inch screen for the thousandth time so that the tape was wearing thin and distorting almost as bad as scrambled cable. But we hardly noticed since we had all the dialogue memorized, even down to the droid noises and alien languages by some phonetic autism of the science fiction obsessed.
We also walked uphill both ways in the snow, but we liked it, because we knew how to make Tauntaun tents the hard way.
In any case, while the upcoming The Force Awakens is making my heart sing with every trailer, it has one horrific problem that has only occurred to me just this week. You see, Disney is the controller now, not 20th Century Fox. Now, I don’t care what random enormous corporate entity with enough resources to actually build the Death Star holds the rights to this franchise, but the implication is obviously that some Disney Pictures logo will play right before the movie starts.
But all of us from that sub-generation know that a Star Wars movie is starting when a hush settles and then there is the trumpeting fanfare of 20th Century Fox, followed by a beat and then the upswelling of John Williams as the scrolling yellow words begin.
Oh sure, 20th Century Fox probably released other movies (I’m assuming), but that fanfare is forever linked with Pavlovian precision for us of that ten year sub-generation. Because it was drilled over and over into our head through a thousand viewings. It’s funny how you become attached to the most irrelevant of details, isn’t it? That the nostalgia is so thick on certain things that even the irrelevancies gain a religious mantle. Symbols only matter because they don’t matter.
So Disney, I appeal to you, I beseech the frozen head of Walt were he still rules from the deeper vaults of darkness beneath Anaheim, when The Force Awakens rolls on December 17th, let it be with the 20th Century Fox fanfare.