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Lucasfilm Working with U of M for Ojibwe Version of ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’

December 18, 2023 12:27 PM | The Canadian Press

By David Friend, The Canadian Press


Wookiee Chewbacca is displayed as part of an exhibit on the costumes of Star Wars at Seattle’s EMP Museum. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elaine Thompson)

The galaxy of “Star Wars” is expanding once again as plans take shape to translate the original 1977 Hollywood hit into the Ojibwe language.

Lucasfilm, the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council and the University of Manitoba say they’ve reached an agreement to record a dubbed Ojibwe version of “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

The first film in George Lucas’ popular sci-fi series introduces many of the beloved characters, including Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca.

It’s only the second time the original “Star Wars” has been officially translated into an Indigenous language.

Producers say Ojibwe was chosen because it is the most spoken Indigenous language in Manitoba, Ontario and Minnesota, with about 320,000 speakers across Canada and the United States.

They anticipate the “Star Wars” translation will happen next year with plans for a premiere in Winnipeg, theatrical screenings across Canada and an eventual television showing on APTN.

Cary Miller, associate vice president of Indigenous research and curriculum at the University of Manitoba, says the dubbed version will make the Ojibwe language more accessible, particularly to younger generations who carry the knowledge of the community into the future.

Voice actor auditions are expected to take place next year in Winnipeg where the recording sessions will be held. An open call is being made through StarWarsOjibwe.com.

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