Malaysian Clones Attack Star Wars

Kuala Lumpur: | Updated: May 15 2002, 05:30am hrs
Science-fiction saga “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” is facing an attack from pirated Malaysian clones ahead of its worldwide launch on May 16, film officials said on Tuesday. Illegal copies of the movie, part of US filmmaker George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise that started in 1977, hit the streets of Kuala Lumpur last weekend.

“We have received report of pirated copies in the market,” said Chow Will Pin, whose company 20th Century Fox distributes Star Wars in Malaysia.

Malaysian cineplexes have started showing trailers of the latest Star Wars movie but queues to buy the movie tickets are short as pirates have cloned the film onto cheap video compact discs (VCD) and digital video discs (DVD).

Although the quality is often suspect, the VCDs and DVDs offer value for money to cash-strapped film buffs. The pirated versions, with a VCD copy going for five ringgit ($1.35) and a DVD copy being sold for 10 ringgit ($2.70), hit Malaysian streets last Saturday, officials said.

Movie theatre tickets in Kuala Lumpur cost 10 ringgit. Pirated Star Wars copies are being sold alongside rival “Spider-Man”, with some reta-ilers even offering discounts for tho-se who buy several copies.