By |October 17th, 2016|Featured Stories, People, Uncategorized|

A second trailer for the upcoming Star Wars offshoot Rogue One gives some screen time to its two Chinese stars. 

“Take hold of this moment … The Force is strong,” says Donnie Yen to his band of plucky rebels in the latest trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The Hong Kong action star is depicted as a sort of happy warrior making easy work of Stormtroopers, with the help of “perhaps the Beijingiest of all Beijingers,” actor and director Jiang Wen.

Yen’s line could also be heard as an appeal to Chinese audiences who have so far lacked the ardor of more welded-on Western fans of the sci-fi franchise.

The previous installment in the space opera franchise underperformed in China but Disney execs are no doubt hoping the inclusion of Chinese stars Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen will help the latest reboot get some purchase in China.

Jiang may not have helped when he accidentally revealed a huge spoiler at a high-profile panel about the film in Europe in July.

The ensemble cast is more diverse than ever – not just with the two Chinese stars, but also with a female hero in Felicity Jones’s Jyn as well as Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Diego Luna, Jimmy Smits, and Forest Whitaker. Australian actor Ben Mendelson gives a sinister and fittingly imperious performance the malevolent Orson Krennic, the film’s main antagonist.

The pressure for the film to perform well is even greater now since it went back for reshoots, rumored to have cost up to USD 30 million.

Rogue One opens December 16 in North America. Given the inclusion of Yen and Jiang, it’s pretty likely it will be coming to Chinese screens too.

— This article originally appeared on the Beijinger.