For a huge number of people in the United States, December 18 has become most highly anticipated day of the year – and maybe even the decade – because that’s when Star Wars: The Force Awakens will finally blast its way into theaters. For the China, though? Later... sadly.

A new statement from The Walt Disney Company (courtesy of Comingsoon.net) has confirmed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released in China on January 9, 2016 – about three weeks after the film is released in America. However, just because the film is experiencing a late start does not mean that Disney doesn’t understand the importance of the Chinese box office. China has become one of the biggest markets for movies over the last few years, even proving powerful enough to save films that absolutely floundered at the domestic box office – see Terminator: Genisys.

Excitement for the next installment of the Star Wars saga may in fact be just as great – if not even greater – in China. Just last month the country saw 500 Imperial Stormtroopers march along its iconic Great Wall in a major marketing stunt for the film’s release.

Much of this excitement stems from the fact that China only recently allowed for the films to be screened in public theaters. Much of this has to do with the fact that the Chinese don’t like seeing their own films pulverized at the box office, and as such they delay certain major releases in order to give their native films a fighting chance; we think Star Wars: The Force Awakens definitely qualifies as a major enough release to warrant that decision. Many Chinese citizens had already seen the Star Wars film in their homes through bootlegged versions of the film, but 2015 saw the saga come to the Chinese silver screen for the first time, and everyone knows that Star Wars is a film series that must be seen on the big screen in order to be fully appreciated.

Hell, even the international trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens proved to be one of the best moments in the film’s marketing campaign thus far. Check it out below:



We think it’s safe to say that Chinese audiences are going to flock to The Force Awakens just as much as western audiences. With Star Wars fever gripping China like Darth Vader to an insubordinate General, we have to say we sorta feel bad that they have to wait even longer to see the force awaken in The Force Awakens in theaters.

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