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Chinese 'Star Wars' Poster Nearly Omits Black Hero

12/07/2015 06:03 EST | Updated 12/07/2015 06:59 EST

A Chinese poster for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is drawing accusations of racism after fans noticed a difference in the size of the film's black hero.

Here are the U.S. and Chinese posters, side by side, as spotted by Twitter user Alex Muniz.

The Chinese version shrinks the character Finn, played by actor John Boyega, compared to the American version of the poster.

Instead of appearing alongside Daisy Ridley's Rey, he's edited to look smaller than droid BB-8.

And other characters have been omitted entirely. Missing from the Chinese poster are Oscar Isaac's character Poe Dameron, Lupita Nyong'o's Maz Kanata, and Chewbacca.

Allegations of racism have flown on Twitter:

Boyega's character was changed so that designers could incorporate more starfighters, an anonymous source close to the movie's marketing told The Wall Street Journal.

Though Twitter users may wonder why Boyega's prominence was so reduced, Chinese fans are reportedly asking why Chewbacca and Maz Kanata don't make an appearance in the poster, Chen Tao, who runs website "StarWarsChina," told the newspaper.

"Both are important characters," he said. "We are really disappointed that they took out Chewbacca."

This isn't the first time a movie has faced controversy for reducing the importance of black characters in promotional materials.

In 2013, an Italian poster for the movie "12 Years a Slave" showed star Chiwetel Ejiofor looking smaller than supporting players Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, The Guardian reported.

It later emerged that those posters were not approved by the film's licensors or producers.

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