Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a movie at the center of many silly controversies. Is Rey a Mary Sue? Would a gay Star Wars character kill the entire franchise? People get so worked up that the latest controversy, which is completely apolitical yet somehow even more ridiculous, is almost a relief. What are nerds arguing over now? The fonts in the opening crawl.
No, we’re not kidding. /Film has a lengthy breakout of the controversy, which includes a discussion of the original crawl and the ridiculous amount of effort that has gone into repeating it, warts and all, over the course of four prequels and a sequel. But the short of it, according to this essay, is that The Force Awakens uses News Gothic instead of Univers. Why is that important?
It’s subtle, but noticable. The ‘S’ and ‘R’ glyphs, in particular, are very different. Overall, it’s boxier, and feels more staid. Less urgent.
Only adding to the controversy is the fact that apparently marketing materials and online goofiness like the Star Wars crawl creator get the font right. While there’s no confirmation, per se, it appears to be a deliberate choice. Really, considering the amount of effort that went into this movie, with all the practical special effects and location shooting, it’d be a bit strange if they weren’t fussy about fonts.
Still, this seems like a criticism that should just be let go of, as it really doesn’t get more minor than this. Either that or Abrams should double down: We can think of a few fonts he could use if he really wanted to rile up fans.