By Tom Bendall
Star Wars is one of the greatest Sci-Fi sagas of all time, with the film rights recently being sold to the Disney Corporation for 4 billion dollars. The original released in 1977 is one of the highest grossing films of all time, and features on IMDB’s 250 greatest films ranking at 16th place. Due to the success of the film it has been translated into various languages around the world, and now Navajo is going to become one of these languages.
Manuelito Wheeler director of the Navajo Nation Museum in Arizona came up with the idea as a way to preserve the Navajo language spoken by over 100,000 Native Americans. According to the Navajo Nation Museum, this is the first time a major motion picture has been translated into a Native American language.
Wheeler suggests that translating star wars into Navajo is a natural fit as Native American mythology helped shape Joseph Campbell’s theories about the universal “Hero’s journey” something which Lucas has cited as blueprint for the Star Wars saga.
The team behind the project has described it as a challenge. For example, there is no word for “droid” in the Navajo language. One of the main aims of the team was to have an end product that didn’t end up like a kung-fu movie, where the dubbing doesn’t match what’s going on for example someone speaks but you don’t hear it till a few seconds later.
I think the force is strong in this one.
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