The Shanghai Film Festival will be screening all six Star Wars films this week, including the original trilogy. For the first time ever, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi will be shown in Chinese theaters, nearly four decades after the first film was released.
Global audiences first laid eyes upon a galaxy “far, far away” in 1977. China, meanwhile, was still launching reforms in the wake of the Cultural Revolution, during which time Mao Zedong had banned the import of foreign culture.
Not until 1986 did various Hollywood studios sign movie deals with China, which is why Chinese audiences never saw the first three films on big screen and are, unfortunately, more familiar with the 90’s prequel films, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith.
Today, the film festival is screening A New Hope, but fans already experienced the back-to-back original trilogy on Sunday. Joy Han, a sales assistant, took a day off from work to watch the movie.
“It looks better on the big screen,” she was quoted as saying in 9news. “This is the first time for China.”
Some netizens based in Shanghai worried that the films’ Chinese subtitles would be lost in translation, as was the fate for the (still record-breaking nonetheless) Avengers 2.
“I’m assuming the films will be shown in English with Chinese subtitles. I just hope the subtitle quality is decent, unlike Avengers 2,” said one user.
Walt Disney hopes the screenings will get the Chinese audience pumped up for the sci-fi saga’s newest installment.
“The huge buzz and excitement generated is going to be great for the Star Wars franchise and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Kerwin Lo, vice president and general manager of Walt Disney Studios China, told AFP.
Even though Disney has no plans to make a nationwide release of the original films, the upcoming movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will hit Chinese theaters later this year.
[Images via Baidu]
By Sharon Choi