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Chinese people want their space agency to save Iron Man

Avengers: Endgame trailer begins with Tony Stark dying in space, and netizens want to help

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

Tony Stark is dying.

“Food and water ran out four days ago… oxygen will run out tomorrow morning,” says the leader of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the first Avengers: Endgame trailer.

Without Iron Man, what are we going to do? That’s not just a question I’m asking. It’s bothering netizens on Chinese social media, too.

So they wrote to the Chinese space authority -- China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) -- to request a rescue mission.
To which… the CASC wrote back! While it didn’t promise anything, it said on Weibo, “The good news is Chang’e 4 has brought potatoes.”
CASC’s post is attached to a picture from the trailer, where Stark uses his Iron Man mask to record a message. (Picture: Weibo)

That might seem underwhelming. But there’s more to this.

Firstly, it’s not a joke. The Chang’e 4 does have potatoes onboard, along with a few other things. But why potatoes?
Well, remember The Martian? Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) survives being stranded on Mars by farming potatoes. So it’s also answering one geeky call for help with another geek reference.

To be fair, China isn’t the only country pledging to help Iron Man. NASA beat CASC to the punch, with this hilarious reply to the pleas of fans.

Anyway, if CASC does lend a hand to Iron Man -- and they friggin’ better -- Stark wouldn’t be the first Hollywood hero to owe his life to China.

For starters, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) was saved by China’s space station Tiangong in Gravity. (Though I guess the ghost of George Clooney kinda helped.)
Then two years later, the aforementioned Mark Watney was saved by the generosity of China’s space agency after it shared its rocket with NASA to get supplies to Watney. (Donald Glover’s clever maths would have sent many astronauts to their death without those supplies.)
Chinese netizens are generally happy with CASC’s response. But, as always, there are also the sardonic ones. One netizen wrote, “It’s fine. This is just a socialist reform for Iron Man, which prepares him for his final fight with Thanos.”

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