What does China think of Star Wars?

"The Force Awakens" : Poster of Star Wars film in China racist?

The official poster for the new Star Wars film "The Force Awakens" has been changed in China. Black actors were pushed into the background or even completely deleted from the picture. Many internet users around the world accuse China of racism.

In the original movie poster, the focus is on the black main character "Finn", played by John Boyega. In the official Chinese version he finds himself the size of a supporting actor between Harrison Ford and the droid BB-8. Many critics believe that the character is "hidden" in the poster and suspect racist tendencies behind this change.

Two other black actors have been completely removed from the picture: Kenyan Lupita Nyong'o, who plays the computer-animated character Maz Kanata, and X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac. He is described as one of the three main characters. The fact that the Star Wars cult figure Chewbacca has also been removed from China not only confuses the critics who accuse China of racism in the poster design.

Ray Kwong, a columnist from Hong Kong, had already received negative attention shortly after its presentation in early December, when it was changed in mainland China. As a result, a "Find the difference" game broke out on the Internet - the US version and the China edition were compared. More and more differences became clear. A user on Twitter calls the China version "completely wrong".

Walt Disney did not want to comment on the allegations after a request from cnn.com. The media group had taken over Lucasfilm, the previous producer of the Star Wars series, at the end of 2012.

Chinese state media have denied allegations that the poster intentionally omitted or hidden the colored actors and characters, according to cnn.com. The Chinese state media "The Global Times" quotes various experts, including Chen Qiuping from the Beijing Film Association. The changes in the picture have "nothing to do with racism."

Under the hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII, there was also a call from racist groups on Twitter to boycott the film because it had a black leading actor.

Now the Chinese trailer for the film was shown for the first time. It shows some scenes that have not yet been shown and is therefore making the rounds on the Internet. Finn, the black character, can be seen.

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