The International Space Station hovers a couple hundred miles above the Earth’s surface, yet it appears it, or at least one of its patches, is not above commercial plugs. Officials have unveiled the new mission patch for the U.S. national laboratory aboard the ISS that will adorn the apparel of our astronauts.

The patch, in the shape of the rebel spaceship Millennium Falcon, includes the silhouettes of the spherical spacecraft called the Death Star that the Galactic Empire and their evil dictator Darth Vader use to blow up entire planets full of innocent people; and three robots from the movie franchise, BB-8, K-2SO and Chopper, meant to symbolize technology. The bots were featured in the two most recently released Star Wars movies, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” chosen over the highly identifiable R2-D2 and C-3PO that people grew to love in the original three films from the late 1970s and early ‘80s. To cap things off, the bottom of the patch is emblazoned with “Star Wars” and “Lucasfilm.”

Oh, and there is also a small silhouette of the ISS itself squeezed onto this pretty monstrosity and the words “ISS National Lab” at the top.

The patch is supposed to commemorate progress in science and research made over the past year. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see how imagery from a fictional universe — including, let me reiterate, that universe’s spherical symbol of evil — accomplishes that goal.

“This collaboration connects the scientific promise of the International Space Station to the scientific inspiration of the iconic Star Wars franchise,” according to Gregory H. Johnson, the president and executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, the organization that runs the U.S. lab aboard the space station where NASA’s astronauts work.

CASIS worked with Lucasfilm to design the patch for the astronauts.

It is the second patch in a row that incorporates fictional imagery into the emblem of the government-funded lab aboard the space station. Last year, the mission patch focused on the characters Groot and Rocket Raccoon from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The tree-man Groot and his smaller friend Rocket were quite large on that patch, which also included “Marvel” across the bottom, but somehow it seemed infinitely less tacky and heavy-handed than the 2017 Star Wars version.

Before the 2016 patch, CASIS released much more official-looking patches that incorporated the words “Advancing Research Knowledge” and made illustrations of the ISS and Earth central to their design.

The official CASIS press release about its unveiling claims that the patch “highlights how science is at the root of the Star Wars™ franchise” — the trademark symbol conspicuously included in some references to the series name — and notes an upcoming web series called “Science and Star Wars” that is meant to “engage the public on the science associated with the Star Wars universe.”

It is worth mentioning that the latest movie in the franchise, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” is due to be released just a few months from now, and that Disney owns both Marvel Entertainment, which runs the Marvel cinematic universe, and Lucasfilm.

This is not to say that I dislike the Star Wars movies; in fact, aside from pretending the prequels don’t exist, I have watched and thoroughly enjoyed all of the movies. There isn't a problem using popular culture to get the average person interested in science, a strategy NASA has repeatedly leaned on in the past. But this patch, designed for astronauts, is not convincing that interest in space is pure motive here.