Star Wars: The Force Awakens is shaping up to be one of the most successful films of all time and is already close to shattering records for opening box office take. That’s helped along by the fact that Star Wars is one of the most adored pop culture events in modern history all over the world — except, as it turns out, in China. During the 70s and 80s when the original trilogy changed pop culture history, western media was suppressed in China, and later, as China opened its markets to the world it enacted a still-going policy of rationing foreign media in favor of local film and TV. The result is that the world’s most popular film series remains relatively unknown to Chinese moviegoers.
Referencing a Wall Street Journal article on the challenge Disney faces as it approaches the January 9 Chinese premiere of The Force Awakens, Stephen Colbert recorded a helpful bit to help bring Chinese audiences up to speed, and you can watch it here. Funny stuff of course. It doesn’t quite top the meme going around that describes the original film as the story of a desert-dwelling teenage farmer who is radicalized after his family is massacred by invading military forces, who is then inducted into an ancient religion by an old mystic, and goes on to conduct a successful terrorist attack against an important military base. But it will do.