Its been widely reported that JJ Abrams’ forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VII will only be drawing on the official canon, namely Lucas’ six films and the animated Clone War TV series. But Disney has excluded more from this canon than it may know.
Found by Maggie Greene Assistant History Professor at Montana State University, this hand-sized picture book ( 连环画 | Liánhuánhuà) published in Guangzhou in 1980 is a Chinese rendition of Star Wars produced at a time when the film was not available in the country. Artists copied, interpreted and remixed from a range of material including film posters and other marketing ephemera. The result is part cold war propaganda, and part (mostly in fact) engaging insight into the way ideas travel. Greene writes eloquently about Liánhuánhuà artists and their agency in cultural circulations on her blog at http://www.mcgreene.org/.
The picture book is being painstakingly translated into English by MA Modern Chinese Literature student Nick Stember.