Disney held a promotional event for Star Wars: The Force Awakens on China’s Great Wall on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, ahead of the movie’s global premiere in December. They actually projected the trailer directly on the Great Wall.
Talk about wide screen.
More than 200 loyal Chinese Star Wars fans assembled at the Great Wall at the Juyong Pass. Juyong Pass is the largest mountain pass along the Wall, and one of the first built sections of it. Having been built more than 1900 years ago, and it dates back to the Han Dynasty.
Director J.J. Abrams has promised to take Star Wars fans back to the story’s roots, going back to actors in alien suits, real sets and other practical effects after a period of reliance on computer generated effects in teh three prequels.
The four Chinese characters flas on the Great Wall in the night sky are four Chinese characters, pronounced in English as “yuan,” “li,” “jue,” “xing” and meaning “The Force Awakens,” shone from four beacon towers at the landmark. Red and blue lightsabers were also handed out to fans.
There’s no official Chinese release date for The Force Awakens as yet. China has a policy of enforcing blackouts on Hollywood films during December, so the film is expected out in January. In the meantime, Disney has been working hard on raising awareness of Star Wars in China, where it has been traditionally as well known as it has been in other Asian markets. The first three films were never released in China, while the first three together made only about $18.7 million.
Efforts on Disney’s part to raise awareness over the past year have included running all six titles at June’s Shanghai International Film Festival; entering a pact with online giant Tencent to create a single digital hub for those films which have now been available since September; and planning a Star Wars attraction at the Shanghai Disney Resort which is due to open in spring 2016. Two local superstars, Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen have also been cast in Rogue One, the first film in the Star Wars Anthology series.
Chinese fans say they can’t wait for its December 18 release.