China has finally shown the original Star Wars film at its cinemas for the first time, ever. This is almost four decades after the film became a global phenomenon and a highlight of Western popular culture.
All six Star Wars films are being shown this week at the Shanghai International Film Festival. According to the festival organisers that includes the first screenings in mainland Chinese theatres of the original trilogy. Although, a nation-wide release is still not underway.
1977 was the year when most of the world’s audiences began following the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, China had just risen from the problematic, cultural revolution.
The shows were sold out at a central cinema today. Joy Han who works as a Sales Assistant, took a day off work to experience the film on a big screen for the first time, even though she has seen the whole franchise before, both the original films and the modern versions, through illegal downloading and streaming she informed. The DVD box set of all the star wars movies is priced at $12 in the Chinese commercial city.
“It looks better on the big screen,” she tells AFP.
“This is the first time for China.”
Some of the audience stated said they were more familiar with the modern versions, or prequels we can say: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and ‘Revenge of the Sith, than with the original trilogy, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Walt Disney are hoping that the screenings will prepare the Chinese audience for the seventh installment in the series, which is due for a December release later this year.
Kerwin Lo, vice president and general manager of Walt Disney Studios China, told AFP before the movie’s screening: “This will be the first-ever theatrical screening of the original trilogy in China.”
He added, “The huge buzz and excitement generated is going to be great for the Star Wars franchise and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Notably, on the Chinese website Douban, the original Star Wars received an impressive rating of 8.3 out of 10 and drew more than 35,000 comments.
One of these comments emphasised, “We should view it with a comparative perspective. In 1977, the United States already had such stunning imaginative creativity and movie special effects, while China had just ended the Cultural Revolution period and its people had just emerged from a dark era.”
Although, numerous Chinese viewers threw a lot of criticism towards the film, highlighting that it consisted of weak characters.
An example is a viewer named Xiaosi Buxiang stating: “Although the character design is weak, the leading actress not beautiful, the leading actor not handsome and the action parts like children fighting, placed in 1977, the visual effects are amazing.”
You can read more at- http://www.9news.com.au/afp/2015/06/16/19/33/china-screens-star-wars-in-cinemas-for-first-time#YeyBTbqHXSFxjPGT.99
Meanwhile, here is a trailer just to jog your memory: