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The 1980 Star Wars Bootleg Chinese Comic That Is Crazy
A long time ago in a China far far away...
In 1977 a humble little science fiction film came out that changed the future of cinema, even making science fiction cinema a viable genre to produce after the oversaturation of said genre in the 1950's, you may have heard of this film, its called STAR WARS.
Star Wars influenced a generation of people and made science fiction accessible to a mainstream audience, Star Wars was and still is a cultural phenomenon all over the world.
All over the world except one giant communist country called China.
You see Star Wars never found its way to China, like a lot of western films it just never passed the Chinese censorship, and for whatever bizzar reasoning the film was banned.
Chinese censorship is still a problem to this day, and even if western imported films do make it to China they are heavily censored.
At the time in 1977, China was coming out of the cultural revolution started by communist leader Mao Zedong, his agenda was to prevent foreign influences on Chinese society.
Now one of the ways Chinese people got around these censorship issues was producing book forms of these banned movies.
How did they do this without seeing the film? Well easy... They would acquire a point by point breakdown of the plot to help with the writing and use any limited promotional materials as a reference to help with the creation of artwork.
Then they would put together an adaptation to be sold to people who could not afford or were not allowed to go see the movie.
And all this is how we ended up with a crazy bootleg comic adaptation of Star Wars.
This comic adaptation is amazingly strange and different, obviously, as the creators clearly never saw the movie and the results are spectacular.
I like to call it 'Star Wars episode 4.5 The Chinese Bootleg.'
Uber-sexy Asian Princess Leia, blimps and aircraft carrier spaceships, Chewbacca is now a monkey, Uncle Owen is now a cowboy, the Jedi were once motorcycle riding bazooka firing peace keepers, one shameless J&B Whisky promotion and now Darth Vader rides a dinosaur... as well a much much more craziness
You have to see and read it to believe it.
So there you have it folks, the Chinese bootleg/adaptation of the first ever Star Wars movie.
I find this really interesting from an artistic cultural perspective and love that this exists.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did and hope to find more things like this on my travels through the interweb...
I have to point out that I did not provide the translation below the panels. I only provided the presentation of both the images and the translated text together.