Vader on the radar for Star Wars fans

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Two novels set in the Star Wars universe have been translated into Chinese in a bid to get young Chinese up to speed with the US franchise ahead of the release of a new movie in the series in December.

Chinese versions of The Phantom Menace and The Attack of the Clones were released at the China Children Book Expo in Beijing on May 31. [Photo/China Daily]


The two books, which tell the same story as the first two episodes in the sci-fi series-The Phantom Menace and The Attack of the Clones, were written by United States fantasy writer Patricia C. Wrede. The Chinese versions of the books were released at the China Children Book Expo in Beijing on May 31.

The books were translated by Zhang E, associate professor of translation at East China Normal University, and proofread by Nanfang Zhanshi, the webmaster of the largest Chinese online community of Star

The remaining four books have already been translated into Chinese and will soon be available to the public, according to Nie Zheng, editor-in-chief of the Children's Fun Publishing Company.

With each book dedicated to one Star Wars film, the series, aimed at young readers, faithfully recounts the wars between good force Jedi and bad force Sith "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away".

Since the success of the first Star Wars film in 1977, the sci-fi franchise has become part of the collective memory for a generation of people in the United States and part of global popular culture. It has spawned a large number of spinoffs such as comics, video games and novels.

But the films were not screened in China until the US Film Week II held in 1985 under a 1979 cultural exchange accord between the US and Chinese governments.

"I was very impressed by the film when I walked out of the cinema, but one famous non-fiction writer beside me said that he thought the film was too childish," recalls Wu Yan, a professor of sci-fi literature at Beijing Normal University, speaking about the first time he saw the movie in 1985.

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