Skip to navigationSkip to content
A CRIMINAL AND HIS SCREAMING DOG-FRIEND

Video: Stephen Colbert explains Star Wars in two fantastic minutes

colbert star wars
CBS/YouTube screenshot
Colbert explains the plot of Star Wars either really well, or really poorly.
  • Adam Epstein
By Adam Epstein

Entertainment reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

A simple farm boy buys two robots, defeats a “handicapped man who needs a full-body respirator just to stay alive,” and then becomes a hero. That’s the entire plot of Star Wars—at least according to comedian and renowned nerd Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’s Late Show.

Prompted by a Wall Street Journal article about how people in China are unfamiliar with the Star Wars film series (paywall), Colbert gave a condensed plot summary of the original trilogy on his show last week (Dec. 18):

Disney is hoping China learns the ways of the Force quickly—the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, premieres in the country on Jan. 9, and will need a strong showing if it’s to continue breaking box office records. The film already dethroned Jurassic World for the highest-grossing opening weekend ever, raking in $238 million.

One of the franchise’s many charms is that the plot is fairly simple, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages from all over the world. Colbert’s recap is essentially an extended version of the popular Twitter hashtag, #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly, which is precisely what it sounds like. Here are a few examples:

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.