Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, dubbed into the Dine' language—and commonly referred to as "Navajo Star Wars"—opens tonight as part of the Fourth of July festivities on the Navajo Nation.

Many are hailing the entertainment event as a watershed in the constant struggle to keep Native languages alive. Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum, which partnered with Lucasfilm and Deluxe Studios to make the project happen, called the dubbing of such a mass-audience film into Navajo a "cultural mindshift."

Navajo speakers who can't make the premiere—or Natives who care about preserving Native languages—or fans of Star Wars in all its incarnations—will find the following bootlegged clip fascinating. Familiar scenes with some very unexpected dialogue from C-3PO, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader. (Source)

"This was an idea that I felt was a way to promote our culture, promote our language, a way to save our language. There are definitely Star Wars nerds out there who can repeat that movie verbatim, and they speak no Navajo. And so when they're watching this and it's in Navajo, it's them learning Navajo," Navajo Nation Museum director Manuelito Wheeler told NPR.

A team of Navajo language translators worked on the script and recorded a version of the translation to assist the Navajo voice actors in doing the final overdub.

According to the Navajo Nation Museum, this is the first time a major motion picture has been translated into a Native American language. It has been a challenge.

For example, there is no word for "droid" in the Navajo language. If you've ever listened to Navajo radio, you'll hear English words subbed in when there's no Navajo equivalent. We'll have to wait for the premiere to see how the translators handled this.

The premiere is free to attend, with additional showings on July 4 and 5. Better make plans to attend, these may be your only chances to catch the film in Navajo. There are no plans to release it more widely, either in theaters or on DVD. (Source)

VIDEO Navajo Translation of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Responses to " See 11 Minutes of 'Star Wars' -- Dubbed into Navajo! (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    That's a lot of work for just a few showings. Hope it gets to DVD.

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