What to Read Next

Star Wars to be translated into Navajo

Ryan Leston
25 April 2013
Star Wars to be translated into Navajo
Fluent in over six million forms of communication, perhaps C-3PO can help...


Over 35 years after its theatrical release, it seems that 'Star Wars: Episode IV' is set to become the first commercial film to be translated into Navajo.

While it's come as a big surprise to everyone (including the Navajo Tribe itself) it looks like Obi-Wan might soon be proclaiming "these aren't the droids you're looking for" in the native Navajo language… just as long as they can agree on a word for 'droids'.

I am fluent in over six million forms of communication...


The good people at Lucasfilm will be working alongside the Navajo Nation Museum and Navajo Parks and Recreation in order to translate the original film, 'A New Hope' into the Navajo language, Diné - this classic space fantasy becoming the first commercial film to be dubbed in the language.

The director of the Navajo Nation Museum, Manuelito Wheeler told The Navajo Times that he's been eager to convert a popular movie into Navajo as a means of preserving their language. "By preserving the Navajo language and encouraging Navajo youth to learn their language, we will also be preserving Navajo culture," he explained.

And it looks as though the folks over at Lucasfilm were just as excited by this seemingly madcap project. "Since its inception, the Star Wars Saga has been experienced and shared all over the world. Its timeless themes of good versus evil have resonated with cultures far and wide. The movies have been translated across multiple languages and Lucasfilm Ltd. is proud to have Navajo as its most recent addition."

I have to admit, I absolutely love the idea that our beloved 'Star Wars' could be used to help preserve such an interesting and culturally significant language. After all, we're all familiar with the film itself… and many of us know the dialogue inside-out. So what better way to preserve the Diné language than with a film that has itself become so culturally significant?

Don't blame me - I'm an interpreter.


The Navajo Nation Museum is currently working with Deluxe Studios to dub the film in Navajo, painstakingly translating each and every word. Shana Priesz of Deluxe Studios explained the significance of such an enormous project.

"While we have dubbed many films in the past into a variety of languages, this project ranks among the most significant. Every time we dub a film, we recognize the fact that we are helping to bridge cultural and communications gaps among societies. In this case, however, we have the unique privilege of contributing to the preservation of a storied and noble culture, the Navajo."

Of course, the project isn't without problems… for one thing, much of the language used in the movie might prove rather tricky to translate. "This is going to be a challenge," Wheeler explained, "since there are many words in the movie for which there are no counterpart in the Navajo language. The Navajo language is a descriptive language that, in many cases, uses a description of what the word does to relay its meaning. This results in a word in English taking several words in Navajo to convey the same meaning."

Thankfully, they won't have to worry about those pesky Midichlorians…

While the process has already begun, the team is still on the lookout for native Navajo speakers to voice many of the characters. Auditions for the roles of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo, C-3PO, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Grand Moff Tarkin will be taking place in May. Let's just hope they find the voice actors they're looking for.

What do you think of this ambitious project? Will 'Star Wars' really help preserve the Navajo language?

Do NOT pay your insurance until you try this.

If you drive less than 55 miles/day OR have no DUI's you can get auto insurance for as low as $29/ Month! See if you qualify.

An Overlooked Method To Pay Off Your Credit Card

If you're paying credit card interest, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars by transferring your balance to this no-fee card.

Get vitamins here. Change lives everywhere.

For kids like Rosemary, proper nutrition makes a big difference. See how you can help kids everywhere just by buying your vitamins at Walgreens.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most popular plan option, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

People in Heavy Credit Card Debt May Not Know This

If you owe more than $15,000, there is a way to pay off credit card debt that few people think of first. Read how it works.

Get vitamins here. Change lives everywhere.

Help kids in Honduras and all over the world get life changing vitamins just by buying yours at Walgreens.

Plan Your Escape.

Powerful, agile and distinctive, the F-TYPE is a true Jaguar sports car, engineered for high performance and responsive handling. Learn more today.

Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

If you drive less than 50 miles per day, there is a way to pay less for auto insurance that few people realize. Are you overpaying?

This $625 Intro Bonus Is Insane

A leading credit card issuer just raised its intro bonus to an industry-leading $500 cash or $625 in travel. And no annual fee the first year.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Attn Home Owners Who Never Miss a Payment.

Home Owners who have not missed a payment in 3 years or more need to read this. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home there is a solution.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.