'Corrupt' Star Wars film cancels Egyptian premiere

'Corrupt' Star Wars film cancels Egyptian premiere
2 min read
17 December, 2015
A Cairo theatre cancelled the country's first screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, after receiving "corrupt IMAX copy" of the film. Fans were left fuming.
Star Wars fans in Egypt were left seething after the eagerly anticipated premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was cancelled on opening day.

An IMAX theatre in Cairo was given the honour of being the first picture house in Egypt to screen the latest installment of the film series on Wednesday night.

Cinema organisers were forced to call off the premiere at the last minute after receiving a "corrupt copy" of the Star Wars film.

"We are extremely sorry to let you know that the IMAX copy of Star Wars shipped to our theatre is corrupt," the theatre said on its Facebook page on Wednesday.

Ticket holders were fuming not only by the cancellation - which many had been looking waiting months to see - but also the cinema's handling of the issue.

"I was livid. We have been planning it since November, reserved tickets online and everything was under control, then they tell us 'Sorry'," 34-year-old fan Mahmoud Salem said.

"They are lucky people here aren't die-hard fans. If this had happened in the US, they would have set the theatre on fire."

IMAX Egypt said Star Wars fans will be able to watch The Force Awakens on Thursday, but many feel it is too late and a reflection of the current state of Egypt.

In Abu Dhabi - where some of The Force Awakens was shot - Star Wars fans were lucky to experience a smoother screening.

Star Wars enthusiasts showed up to the regional premiere dressed as storm troopers and in Darth Vader costumes.

They were joined by celebrity guests, including Italian football legend Alessandro del Piero and US actor Richard Dreyfuss.

Some travelled thousands of miles to attend the premiere.

"I came all the way here from Los Angeles for this premiere," Benjamin Bernard, an US visual effects artist told UAE newspaper The National

He proudly waved his lightsabre at the screening.

"I'm really excited to see what J J did with the film. Every time he's rebooted a film it's been amazing, so this should be a lot of fun."

Props and costumes from the original set were placed displayed around Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi where the regional premiere took place.

It transformed the opulent urban setting into the desert planet Jakku for the night.

Is also spurred on many ticket holders to make a trip to the real location in Abu Dhabi's Empty Quarter that weekend.