Rogue One: A Star Wars story is a film that certainly has quite the task ahead of it. Though the stakes aren’t quite as high as they were with last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the film does have to accomplish a couple of key things. First, it has to be of a certain quality so that it doesn’t make The Force Awakens look like a complete fluke, and second, it has to firmly establish itself as a unique beast from the main saga so that mainstream audiences will know what to expect from future anthology films.
With the mostly-positive response to the recent trailers, they seem to be on their way, but not all audiences are convinced, namely the Chinese audience. According to THR, Rogue One is currently facing a mixed response from the Chinese, mainly in regards to the casting of Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen. While Disney and Lucasfilm are making an extra effort to appeal to that overseas audience with their casting (as the Chinese market is growing increasingly vital in today’s box office landscape), some don’t buy that these two actors will be as important as they’re being sold.
Speaking with THR’s Heat Vision, Alexander Leung of Hong Kong-based social media analysis film Lamplight Analytics stated:
“There are mixed sentiments regarding the two Chinese stars. Some are saying saying they don’t believe the characters are pivotal to the plot at all; others are praising Disney for increasing diversity in the Star Wars franchise.”
Surprise, surprise. It looks like over the years the Chinese audiences have seen certain casting decisions for what they are: blatant pandering. The outlet points to the brief appearances of Wang Xueqi and Fan Bingbing in Iron Man 3 of instances where audiences have been burned. On the whole, they seem to be hopeful that Yen and Wen’s roles will amount to much more, but they seem to be cautious about the issue.
And speaking of “issue,” for those of you who are looking to catch more info on the Rogue One gang may not have long to wait, as Star Wars UK has shared the cover of the latest issue of Empire Magazine, which features Jyn Erso and the rest of the cast front and center.
Check it out below!
The cover is boasting “unprecedented access to the war filmtransforming the Star Wars universe,” so I expect when the magazine hits the newsstands next Thursday, we’ll have a lot of great news to report on.
What do you think of China’s mixed response to the trailer? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 15, 2016.