According to the report in Reuters, actors are being cast for the parts of Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo and Princess Lea for a dubbed version in the Navajo language of George Lucas’ 1977 film Star Wars.
David Schwartz writes for Reuters:
Manuelito Wheeler, the director of the Navajo Nation Museum, said he first came up with the idea 13 years ago as a way to preserve the consonant-rich Navajo language, believed to be spoken by about 170,000 people, according to government figures.
“We thought this would be a provocative and effective way to help try to preserve the language and at the same time preserve the culture,” Wheeler told Reuters. “What better movie to do this than ‘Star Wars?'”
Wheeler said he believes the popular science fiction movie will resonate with the Navajo people with its universal theme of good versus evil.
The project was given the go-ahead about 18 months ago.
A team of five Navajos then spent 36 hours translating the original script, hampered by the many words in English that do not translate word for word into Navajo. Instead, several words in Navajo are sometimes needed to convey the proper meaning.
For example, he said there is no direct translation for “May the force be with you,” one of the most recognizable lines in the movie.