I was very surprised to see a press release by the Navajo Nation Museum about the dubbing of Star Wars into Navajo! The press release, I believe, can be seen here. According to the release the movie it to premiere at the Fourth of July Celebration & PRCA ProRodeo in Window Rock, Az. I am going to try and make it to the premiere. Here is a KOAT news report on the Star Wars Auditions held on May 4th.
I am so excited at the prospect of future projects that may come out of this. No mainstream movie has ever been dubbed in Navajo, or any other North American indigenous language that I know of. I really hope that the Navajo Nation will see that there is an interest in Navajo language entertainment. I am glad to see that Director of the Navajo Nation Museum, Manuelito Wheeler, sought out this venture to preserve the Navajo language.
On the choice of movie. It’s an interesting choice, Star Wars. But it is a good choice because everyone is familiar with it. Translating the sci-fi movie will have its challenges. How do you say lightsaber, republic, or Jedi? The real question is… Would you know what they were talking about if you heard the translation? I think this is great opportunity to show how flexible our language is and that we can use it modernly. I hope there are minimal gripes about how this is may “decay the sanctity” of the Navajo language. This is a good, no… great, undertaking.
For future information on the dubbing and screenings visit the Navajo Nation Museum Facebook Page.