Many of you are familiar with the Star Wars motion picture franchise and the fact that the final episode — Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith — has opened in America to huge fanfare and even larger box office receipts. A quick scan of the international release dates will show that unprecedented technological progress, high consumer demand, and greater globalization have created a world in which all of God’s children can enjoy the saga of Anakin Skywalker within a mere two days of the U.S. release.
Except of course, Japan. Release date: July 9th.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Japan ain’t playing “the game.” She’s a dreamy rebel you can’t tame, playing by her own rules, and just because “everyone” is watching Star Wars on May 19th, doesn’t mean that Japan is going to do what everyone else is doing! She’s a loner, Dottie, a rebel.
Japan is apparently the only country in the world self-absorbed enough in its own Star Wars traditions to actually postpone the release — in this case, until the beginning of summer vacation. No one in the Japanese film distribution world seems to have had faith that the Force (“that ancient belief system!”) would bring kids to the theaters in May. So Japanese fans will have to wait, because they should be hard at work/school and not gallivanting at moving-picture nickelodeons!
Of course, this is just one more example of Japan refusing to follow the ever-greater trend of global cultural convergence. And if they want to punish their consumers in order to snatch onto petty control of their own traditions, more power to them! When I finally see Star Wars in July after hearing two months of nonchalant references to plot points on the Internet, I’m sure I’ll be ecstatic that Japan’s the kind of dude who runs on his own clock. They’re fighting the power, brother.