Cultural tastes differ around the world, so it's expected that public relations materials for films may differ slightly around the globe. However, China's version of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster is attracting attention for the all of the wrong reasons.
Can you spot the difference?
It doesn't take laser vision to notice some, not so subtle changes – John Boyega's character being shrunk significantly, as well as being placed in a position that is a lot less prominent than before. Chewbacca has also been removed completely.
Connecting With Fans In China
What purpose do the changes serve? On a technical level, as one of the main characters in the film, it makes sense for him to be given the same prominence. Instead, he's barely visible on altered versions.
Considering the vastness of the Chinese audience, and of course the potential box office gross, it's a shame to see one of the leading stars given a disservice, regardless of the motive.
Just take a look at the trailer below to see Boyega's importance to the story:
It's especially disappointing considering Disney is deliberately targeting the market – they even flew in 500 Stormtroopers for an event at the Great Wall in a bid to increase interest in the area.
The highly anticipated film will be released in China on January 9th. John Hsu, General Manager at the Walt Disney Company, spoke about looking forward to bringing the movie to a new audience:
“We’re excited to be rolling out our marketing campaign and to connect with new fans in China through Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
"The Chinese Poster Is Sad"
However, many fans are disappointed with the changes to the promotional poster. Star Wars fans have taken to Twitter to express their surprise at making Finn infinitely smaller:
"Get Used To It"
Unfortunately, it's not the first time that Star Wars has been embroiled with a racism row. In October, the hash tag #BoycottStarWarsVII was launched in protest to Boyega being a black Stormtrooper.
Boyega himself has a fitting response to bigots who were upset at his inclusion of the film. Taking to Instagram to express his views, he said:
“To whom it may concern… Get used to it.”