Stephen Colbert Explains Star Wars

In case you didn’t know, Chinese audiences aren’t really familiar with Star Wars. As The Wall Street Journal explains:

“’Star Wars’ phenomenon predates China’s modern movie market. When Luke Skywalker first appeared on U.S. movie screens in 1977, China had just emerged from the Cultural Revolution—which had suppressed art as entertainment. The film’s 1999, 2002 and 2005 prequels grossed a total of $18.7 million in a time when only a small number of Chinese went to the movies.”

That’s why Disney has been making a big marketing push to the most populous country on the planet. And for those in China who have been seduced by the marketing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens but don’t have time to see all the movies before it premieres there on January 9th, Stephen Colbert has them covered by explaining the plot of Star Wars in just one minute.

Here’s how Stephen Colbert explains Star Wars to China from The Late Show:

For someone who is a massive Star Wars fan, Colbert doesn’t make it sound all that appealing, but he does remind everyone how weird some of the story elements of the movie are, especially as the original trilogy continued. Why does C-3PO seem to be the only droid who is scared and paranoid all the time? Can’t we fix that with some programming? I know, if we did that to old goldenrod then there wouldn’t be anyone for Han Solo to get annoyed with, so I guess we can let it slide. Also, kudos to the graphics department for using two shots from the non-Special Edition of Return of the Jedi.

This likely isn’t going to help anyone over in China get interested in Star Wars, but Disney has been doing everything they can to make that happen. The studio’s marketing push has included getting some of the countries most beloved pop stars to help promote the movie. One “baby-faced heartthrob” named Lu Han was named the official Chinese ambassador for the film and will have a new song on the way called “The Inner Force.” In addition, Lu’s former Chinese-Korean K-pop group EXO has a dance tune called “Lightsaber” and you can check out the video for it right here:

As you can see, there’s barely anything Star Wars in that video, but if it somehow helps get butts in Chinese theaters, then that’s fine. It just goes to show you how important the Chinese audience has become for international box office. We’ll have to wait until next year to see if the marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens worked over there or not.

If you want to know more about China and Star Wars, read The Wall Street Journal‘s full article right here.

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