“Episode IV: A New Hope” opened in the US in 1977 and though it also played all over the world, it didn’t make it to China as the country was in the wake of their Cultural Revolution, in which Chairman Mao Zedong banned the import of foreign culture.
Hollywood films began making its way into the country in 1986, meaning Chinese citizens had the opportunity to see the “Star Wars” prequels — “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” and “Revenge of the Sith” — during their original theatrical releases in the late 1990s/early 2000s.
The prequels are also screening at the Shanghai Film Festival.
However, it’s likely many in China have seen bootlegs of the saga over the decades. The six-DVD box set currently sells around $US12 in the Chinese commercial city.
But this is still a clever move by Disney.
As China is the largest film market outside of the US, it’s good to give the country an opportunity to get properly caught up on the complete saga before the latest “Star Wars” chapter, “The Force Awakens,” opens December 18.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.