Star Wars in China: John Boyega is Shrunk in the Ad, and He Just Happens to be Black?


The new Star Wars movie was just released in Chinese theaters this week, but I won’t watch it. It was released in my country earlier, and my brother told me I’ll regret watching it, so I didn’t.

I still remember the day my parents took us to the movies (a very rare event btw), to watch “Star Wars: Episode One- The Phantom Menace”. It’s the oldest cinema memory I have, a memory I’m fond of. I am really an avid Star Wars fan, along with childhood TV action like Gargoyles, Gummy Bears and Batman (I’m no Superman fan, his outfit does not make it into the superhero league).

Back to Star Wars in China, I was shocked to discover that the British actor in the movie, John Boyega, was “stylistically” shrunk in the movie poster (in contrast with the advertisement poster originally displayed in the West. The reason is his skin color (he happens to be black) would be a factor deterring people from being attracted to watch the movie.

In China, people of relatively whiter skin are treated much more favorably than those with darker shades, and to illustrate, I’ll take the example of the whole range of skin beauty products, which almost universally contain skin-bleaching components, an aspect totally non-existent in the West. There’s also a saying in China, very famous, which says this, “Here check out the original poster in the US vs the poster in Chinese theaters.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *