So, the world is seeing Star Wars today. Well, most of the world, anyway.
My Facebook feed has blown up with pictures of movie tickets, friends in Star Wars T-shirts and costumes, and threats that they’ll unfriend me if I share spoilers.
No worries there, folks. Because I’m one of the people who live in these four sad countries:
You’ll notice that China is the very bottom of the list of release dates for The Force Awakens. Dead last. Last by a long-shot, lapped a few times by Pakistan. Over three weeks late to the party. That basically means that the movie will be in the dollar theater in the States before it gets to the silver screen in the Middle Kingdom. ‘Cuz that’s how Zhongguo rolls.
Supposedly, this is because China used up all its foreign film slots for 2015 and needs to wait until 2016 to allow this plum into theaters. If that was the case, then why not January 1? Why wait an additional week? And, really? No one in the film industry here thought, “Maybe we should save a slot for Star Wars rather than using it for Seventh Son”?
Yes, that’s some bitterness leaking out. I know it’s stupid. It’s Christmas, for J.J.s’ sake, and I should have my heart focused on the coming of Jesus, the incarnate deity. The Messiah. Peace on earth and goodwill to all. Things like that.
But I can’t help feeling like we’re being left out of the most-anticipated movie of the past four decades. (Sorry, Episodes 1, 2, and 3. Not even close.) By the time it opens here, it will be old news everywhere else. Everyone will have moved on with their lives. The world will be over the excitement of the movie.
When I found out about the ghastly release date, I really and honestly started looking at plane tickets. The movie was due to come out on December 17 in Hong Kong, thanks to time zone wizardry, and there are often ridiculously cheap flights on Hong Kong Express. I was thinking of making it a Christmas present for our family, or at the very least, for my husband and son.
Sadly, there were no cheap flights that would work for us. So, we had to resign ourselves to fate.
January 9th it will be.
I started mentioning it to friends here, saying I was serious about having a Star Wars movie night this weekend. If we couldn’t see 7, we could at least console ourselves with 4, 5 & 6 and a giant batch of Wookie Cookies. But, as mentioned above, we happen to be right in middle of the Christmas season and everyone’s schedules are full. So, even our consolation party will have to wait.
We got a tiny bit of Star Wars joy because they released a trailer in China that had exclusive footage (or so it claimed) that our dear American friends would not find in any of their trailers.
Too bad we didn’t see the trailer until basically the day of the U.S. premier.
So, here’s a couple big ol’ eye rolls to the whole situation.
I suppose in another three or four decades, it really won’t matter if we saw the movie in December 2015 or January 2016. But for now, I’m just hoping everyone will keep their “no spoilers!” promises for a good long time, well after they think everyone on earth should have seen the movie already.
Because some of us do indeed live under a rock.