China screens “Star Wars” for the first time, four decades late

Chinese "Star Wars" fans finally get to see the movies on the big screen.
By Christine Linnell
  • Star wars poster
  • “Star Wars” fans in China finally got the chance to watch the movies in theaters, four decades after they first came out.

    The Shanghai International Film Festival is showing all six “Star Wars” films this week, including the first screenings in mainland Chinese theaters of the original trilogy. Today was the first showing of “A New Hope,” and on Sunday hard-core fans got to watch a specially-arranged screening of the original trilogy back-to-back.

    When the films first launched in 1977, Communist-ruled China had just emerged from the Cultural Revolution, so American pop culture wasn’t high on their list of priorities – not even when it involved Death Stars and light saber battles.

  • Dark side
  • Many Chinese people have seen the “Star Wars” movies through illegal downloads or pirated DVDs, but this is the first time the films have appeared on the big screen.

    There are no plans for nationwide release, though, and Chinese movie-goers probably had to watch the re-released versions with the weird CGI rather than the classic originals. Still, progress is progress.