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: