When Star Wars came out in 1977, China was still in the immediate aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, and foreign films were not screened in Chinese theaters. And even in recent years, China has maintained strict quotas for overseas movies. So it’s taken 40 years for Star Wars to reach Chinese movie theaters.
According to AFP, Star Wars was shown at the Shanghai International Film Festival, and this was apparently the first time anyone in China could see it legally.
Sales assistant Joy Han took a day off to see the film, even though she has seen all six through illegal downloads and pirated copies. The six-DVD box set sells for around $12 in the Chinese commercial city.
“It looks better on the big screen,” she told AFP.
“This is the first time for China.”
Some audience members said they were more familiar with the newer, prequel films: “The Phantom Menace”, “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” than with the original three films — “Star Wars”, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”. ...
“This will be the first-ever theatrical screening of the original trilogy in China,” Kerwin Lo, vice president and general manager of Walt Disney Studios China, told AFP before the films showed.