China has had its first taste of a galaxy far, far away, as the Shanghai International Film Festival holds a special screening of all six Star Wars films this week.
“Star Wars: A New Hope” was shown today, according to 9News, after a special marathon screening of all three original films took place on Sunday. Viewers have given warm reviews of the original film, with local film review site Douban listing an 8.3 out of 10 rating.
Xiaosi Buxiang, left a comment on the site, saying: “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.”
Others noted that a historical perspective was necessary for viewing. At the time of the film’s 1977 release, the Communist-governed nation was emerging from the Cultural Revolution. One person noted the sharp divide between the two countries’ histories, with special effects-laden “Star Wars” arriving during one of China’s darkest periods.
The festival screening was almost sold out, despite the fact that pirated copies of the entire series can be bought in Shanghai for $12. Disney hopes that the festival will introduce China to the first six films, ahead of the seventh film’s release in the country later this year.
“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 Agence France-Presse.