China only releases a limited number of foreign movies theatrically each year, but as you can imagine, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is going to be one of the lucky few American movies that makes the cut. This likely answers the question of whether or not there will be any Force Ghosts in the new movie, as the China Film Bureau has an actual ban on movies which depict ghosts in them, which recently cost Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak a Chinese release. Apparently, they don’t allow for movies that “promote belief in the supernatural” or something. But wait, isn’t the Force technically supernatural too? (Shhh…no one tell the Chinese government!)
In other Star Wars–related weirdness, the official Chinese theatrical poster for The Force Awakens has been unveiled, and it’s a lot like the North American poster…but with a few somewhat controversial changes. First off, Oscar Isaac’s character of Poe Dameron has been cut out entirely from the poster, as well as Lupita Nyong’o’s CGI character, Maz Kanata. Even Chewbacca has been removed. (No Chewie? Blasphemy!) In their place is droid BB-8, who has a bigger image than on the domestic poster. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
The most offensive change however, is that John Boyega’s character of Finn has had his prominent stance holding a lightsaber right next to his co-lead Daisy Ridley removed, and then reduced to a teensy-tiny image at the bottom right of the poster. Considering his status as one of the film’s most important roles, this move feels deeply problematic and more than a little questionable. Not cool, China. Not cool.
The difference was first spotted by Twitter user Guy Lambert, who put the UK poster and the Chinese poster side by side.
You can see a higher-res version of the new Chinese theatrical poster below. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in China on January 9.
Who will play Young Han Solo? Find out on Nerdist News!