Disney+ adds Navajo language dubbing to STAR WARS

According to NPR, Star Wars: A New Hope was the first major motion picture to be fully dubbed in the language of the Navajo people, also known as Diné. That version of the film premiered in 2013, to an audience of about 200 people; bootleg DVD versions of it are still floating around, although they tend to cost quite a bit.

But that dubbing is now available as an "Extra" on Disney+ (although it's weirdly not included in the list of standard dubbing options once you've started watching the film).

RobertEbert.com reviewed the translation upon its original release back in 2013, which includes this neat detail:

The nicest surprise is how C-3PO, voiced this time by a woman, becomes a soulful and complex bundle of tensions and contradictions. 3PO respectfully gathers the bodies of slaughtered Jawa for burning in one scene (the first such solemn burial in the series), but later hisses, "I can't abide those Jawas. Disgusting creatures!" when encountering a living one. C-3PO's anger, self-pity and self-loathing come through as tragicomedy in this vocal performance. He (she?) transfers the Jim Crow discrimination he routinely faces (most famously at the Mos Eisley Cantina) to his fellow droids and to anyone at or beneath his station. Miraculously, we still love him because, underneath all of his cowardice and political maneuvering, he is a mindful and lonely soul: His fretting over wounded R2D2 at the end of the movie, wherein he offers to donate any of his own parts necessary to restore his companion, is heartbreaking in plaintive, feminine Navajo.

NPR added that:

Jennifer [Wheeler], a professor of English at the University of New Mexico, Gallup, was a translator for the project. Some words, like "droid," she says, are difficult to translate because of how complex the words are.

"R2-D2 would be the short metal thing that's alive," she says.

A Diné dubbing of Finding Nemo is also available.

Translated Into Navajo, 'Star Wars' Will Be [Christine Trudeau / NPR]