SHANGHAI, June 16 (UPI) -- All six Star Wars films will hit the big screen in succession for the first time in China at the Shanghai Film Festival this week, nearly four decades since the first film was released.
Diehard Star Wars fans in the country will finally know what it feels like to watch the original trilogy on the big screen, since most have only seen the films via illegal downloads or pirated DVDs.
During the 1977 release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, when the world took intergalactic flight with Han Solo, Chewy, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, China was recovering from the Cultural Revolution, a time when foreign films were not favored by the establishment.
The intention of the screenings, brought to the festival by Disney, is to pique Chinese fans' interest in the franchise's seventh installment Star Wars: The Force Awakens, scheduled for release Dec. 18.
The screenings are reportedly limited to the film festival and are not planned for national release.