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.”
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.”