In a Market Far, Far Away, ‘Star Wars’ Launches Chinese Web Novel

With its first original “Star Wars” story in Mandarin, Disney has new hope of finally building a China fan base for the sci-fi franchise.

As the second season of “The Mandalorian” wraps up, “Star Wars” is hoping to rocket local fandom in China to new heights by releasing its first-ever original web story in Chinese.

Existing fans of the franchise, however, have a bad feeling about it.

On Thursday, the opening chapters of “Star Wars: The Vow of Silver Dawn” were announced by the official “Star Wars” Weibo microblog and released to internet literature apps under China Literature, a group owned by tech conglomerate Tencent.

Although numerous “Star Wars” opinion leaders on the Chinese internet have given the project a collective thumbs up, the mere release of the book has already upset many “Star Wars” fans, who consider the chosen format of internet literature as a cheapening slight against the franchise.

Web novels are written and released in daily installments by contracted writers, and are shaped by the readers’ feedback as they’re released. The social and interactive aspects make the format wildly popular, with more than 450 million readers in China, but it is also widely regarded as low-brow fiction of highly variable quality.

“What we care about more is actually the reader’s daily reading experience, and not how the novel will be read in one go once it’s finished,” the “Star Wars” web novel’s author, Wang Shiyuan — known by the online pen name His Majesty the King — told Sixth Tone during a break from writing the novel in Beijing. Continue to read the full article here


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone