Language in Star Wars

Posted Image

 

In Star Wars, people talk in what is known as Galactic Basic Standard, which sounds to us Earthlings like English. But are the people in Star Wars really speaking English, or is the viewer/reader simply getting a translation?

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, no one cares, Phil. Go away.

But hang on a second. I’ve noticed some things.

One thing I’ve noticed in the Star Wars books that I’ve read is that the authors avoid the use of words like Marxism or Nazism, presumably because it wouldn’t make sense for the people a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away to be familiar with Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler. The authors would instead use a similar but more generic word like communism or fascism.

In The Phantom Menace, Anakin erroneously refers to Qui-Gon’s lightsaber as a “laser sword” which is interesting for a few reasons:

1. It’s not a laser, you clodpate.
2. The term “laser” originated as an acryonym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Funny how the people in the GFFA had the exact same acronym.
3. It’s not a laser. Read a book or something.
4. Okay, so maybe it is a laser-induced plasma channel. Who knows. “Laser sword” is still a pretty simplistic term.

I think the problem here is that any word they use has its roots on Earth and Earth things, no matter what. It may not be as obvious as an ideology named after a person like Marxism, but any word still comes from Earth. So if they’re not really speaking English and that’s just a translation for the audience, why not simply use words like Marxism and Stalinism? What difference does it make? And if they really are speaking English, why? How did they get our words? Or how did we get their words?

In conclusion, none of this makes sense and Star Trek is better.

About Professor Jango 367 Articles
Professor Jango is an Administrator on the Port Haven Forums as well as a regular contributor to Port Haven Magazine. In addition to portraying a professor on internet fansites, he is currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science and is an actual professor.