Star Wars doesn’t have a great history in China. While The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi have been record-setting megablockbusters in the United States, in China they have done considerably worse, with The Last Jedi netting only $US41 ($51) million in the country during its meagre three weeks of wide screening.
So for Solo: A Star Wars Story, it appears that the marketing is taking a slightly different tack. Namely, by not calling it a Star Wars movie. As reported by a media analyst following Chinese film, the movie has a more simple title in Chinese:
According to local media Mtime, Official Chinese title of Solo: A Star Wars Story is Ranger Solo(游侠索罗). And STAR WARS(星球大战) is abandoned in Solo’s local title after Star Wars: The Last Jedi flopped in China. pic.twitter.com/FsOTZcxENW
— Gavin Feng (@weier1231997) January 26, 2018
While every Star Wars film released thus far in China has included the characters for Star Wars in its Chinese Title, Solo is being referred to simply as Ranger Solo. No Star Wars need apply.
Whether or not that shift will change the tenor of the film’s marketing or reception is unclear. But it is a pretty catchy name — albeit one that sounds more like that solo Green Ranger Power Rangers movie I’ve been dreaming of since childhood than Star Wars.
As a translation, “ranger” is sort of a fun way to think of the smuggler, renegade and hotshot pilot that is Han Solo. It’s cleaner, too.