Star Wars films to be translated into Navajo language

WINDOW ROCK, AZ - Star Wars fans will learn what "May the Force be with you" sounds like in the Navajo language after the film is translated into the tribe's native tongue.

Lucasfilm, Ltd. has joined forces with the Navajo Nation Museum and Navajo Parks and Recreation to dub the classic space fantasy film in the Navajo language.

It marks the first time that any mainstream movie will be translated to the language, according to a Navajo Nation news release.

Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum, has been trying to get a popular film translated into Navajo for more than three years, according to a statement.

Wheeler said Lucasfilm was excited at the opportunity to make history.

"The Star Wars saga has been experienced and shared all over the world," Wheeler said. "Its timeless themes of good versus evil have resonated with cultures far and wide."

The project will be challenging, Wheeler said, because there are many words in Star Wars that don't have a counterpart in Navajo. The Navajo language is a very descriptive language, and it often takes several Navajo words to convey the same meaning as a single word in English.

Wheeler expressed concern that it will be difficult to match the Navajo dialogue with the general lip movements of the characters.

"What we don't want is a situation like what people saw in the old kung fu movies," Wheeler said.

Richard Epcar, a renowned dubbing director, has been hired to lead the project.

The next step will involve casting men and women fluent in Navajo to voice act the characters. Auditions for the roles of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia and more will be held in coming weeks.

Wheeler plans to premiere the film in early July, and admission will be free.

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