To help promote The Force Awakens in the Middle Kingdom, ScreenCrush reports that Lucasfilm has named Chinese pop star LuHan the “official China Ambassador for Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the singer was also enlisted to create an official, Star Wars-themed music video, which you can check out above.
According to Disney, the video will be “aired on national TV programs, streamed on online video platforms, and screened as a pre-movie ad at cinemas across China.” The hope is that LuHan — who boasts roughly 12 million followers on Weibo (China’s most-used social media site) — will draw attention to a franchise that the Chinese are less familiar with, given that the original trilogy was once banned from Chinese theaters and aired on the country’s big screens for the first time in June of 2015.
That seems like sound reasoning, but unless something is being lost in translation, this thing is pretty darn awful.
Musically, it’s a mishmash of English-language cliches and awkwardly translated Chinese phrases, set to a beat that sounds like a parody of something you might hear at your local EDM festival. Video-wise it’s little more than a montage of unrelated images from The Force Awakens paired with a few shots of LuHuan singing. He does don a Jedi robe while wielding a lightsaber around the 1:48 mark, but it’s not enough to salvage the effort.
Silly as this all seems, it would be a mistake to dismiss the marketing power of LuHuan, who holds the Guinness World Record for most comments on a single social media post, with 13,163,859(!) on a comment about the Manchester United football club.
The Force Awakens hits Chinese theaters on January 9, 2016, so we’ll have to wait until then to see if LuHuan and the rest of Disney’s marketing machine can help it succeed there. It would be rather ironic if one of the most popular films of all-time flops in the most populated country on Earth.
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