Star Wars to be dubbed into Navajo by tribe

The largest Native American tribe in the United States is seeking to dub the classic 1977 movie “Star Wars” movie in Navajo as a way to help preserve its traditional language.

Fluent Navajo speakers have been invited for a casting call in Window Rock in northern Arizona on Friday and Saturday to dub the roles of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and others, tribal officials said.

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.

Wheeler declined to reveal the Navajo words used for that and other catch-phrases, as a way to “build momentum” leading up to the movie.

“What we want to avoid is like the Kung Fu movies of the past where the lips didn’t match up with the words they were speaking,” he said.

Casting for the voices of the movie’s major roles will be held at the museum in Window Rock. About 75 people have registered to audition.

The finished movie, which will include English subtitles, will be shown during the tribe’s Fourth of July celebration in Window Rock and again in September at the Navajo Nation Fair.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor, Edith Honan and Cynthia Osterman)


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.