The Navajo-dubbed version of Star Wars is set for release on July 4.
The project was conceived as a way for the Navajo people to preserve their language. Experts in the Dine language worked closely with the folks at Lucasfilm to bring the new version of the classic space drama to life. The fruits of their labors will finally be unveiled this week.
According to The Wrap, the dubbed version of Star Wars Episode VI: A New Hope is slated to screen during the Navajo Nation Fourth of July Celebration in Window Rock, Arizona this Thursday.
“We have great value in our language. Our Code Talkers helped the Americans defeat the Japanese during World War II, and now we can look forward to seeing one of the most successful movies in history dubbed in [Dine],” Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly explained.
Twenty voice actors were cast in the Navajo version of Star Wars Episode IV. This includes Terry Teller as Luke Skywalker, James Junes as Han Solo, Clarissa Yazzie as Princess Leia, Anderson Kee as Obi Wan Kenobi, Marvin Yellowhair as Darth Vader, Geri Hongeva-Camarillo as C-3PO, and James Bilagody as Grand Moff Tarkin.
Star Wars has been translated into 34 languages over the years. However, HLN reports that this is the first time a major Hollywood motion picture has been translated into a Native American language. Navajo Nation Museum director Manuelito Wheeler thinks the project is a very big deal.
“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,” Wheeler explained.
Although there aren’t any Navajo words for terms such as “droid,” the translators did their best to work around these issues. However, those who helped out with the project aren’t revealing any details about the translation before its premiere on July 4.
What do you think about the Navajo-dubbed version of Star Wars?
[Image via Lucasfilm / Disney]