May 23, 2013

Navajo Star Wars cast chosen

A coach as Vader?

Director unveils cast of Navajo 'Star Wars'

By Shondiin Silversmith
The Force proved to be strong with this group of Navajos as they earned the seven primary roles in the upcoming Navajo-language version of "Star Wars."

Terry Teller, of Lukachukai, Ariz. will be the voice of Luke Skywalker.

"It is pretty pretty awesome," Teller said happily, adding that he enjoyed the audition because it required him to really act. "Since it was going to be the first movie in Navajo I wanted it to be the best," he said. "I challenged myself to play the role, as it needs to be. It was hard because I have never done anything like that before."

Anderson Kee of Cottonwood, Ariz. will be the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Kee said the way the Obi-Wan Kenobi talks about the Force in the movie reminds him of a Navajo medicine man, especially when he says the words in Navajo.

"It was a new experience for me," he said.

Clarissa Yazzie of Rock Point, Ariz. will be the voice of Princess Leia.

Yazzie said she enjoys Princess Leia's sarcastic and dominating personality because she feels that her personality closely resembles Leia's.

"I was excited to just be a part of the whole experience," she said.

James Junes of Farmington, N.M. is the voice of Han Solo - and one of the very few experienced actors to win a part. Junes is part of the comedy team James and Ernie, and has had roles in low-budget films on the Navajo Nation.

Marvin Yellowhair of N.M. is the voice of Darth Vader.

Yellowhair said he wanted to be Darth Vader because he is the main character he remembers from Star Wars, mostly due to the fact that the villain is always in control and he is a leader. He said it related to him as a coach at Rock Point High.

"It felt so good being involved with this project," he said.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Star Wars Translated into Navajo.


Anonymous said...

Let me be on record saying that Northern Exposure called it. (The episode with Ed dubbing movies that were at one time called "talkies" in Tlingit.)

The Force is supposed to be a distillation of the world's religions. So you have a Christian (or Zoroastrian) bifurcation of good and evil, for instance. Though ironically, the Jedi are themselves pragmatists because using the Force for selfish means makes them go nuts and get all uxoricidal. (Oh, did I just spoil the movie?)

*facepalm* Actually, the main villain in the first movie is Tarkin, the dude in command of the Death Star. Leia even says he's "holding Vader's leash". (Star Wars fans still consider Tarkin the only truly hated bad guy, and the Expanded Universe just makes him progressively worse.) Subsequently, we have the emperor. He's just the bad guy who has the most intimate connection with the heroes.

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

Navajo 'Star Wars' Cast, Set for July 3 Premiere

Casting for the Navajo-language version of Star Wars has completed, and Navajo Nation Museum director Manuelito Wheeler is confident in the selections. "All the people that were cast fit the voice perfectly and they gave awesome performances," he said, according to the Navajo Times.

Several of those cast offered personal thoughts on the characters they are voicing. The actor chosen to play Obi-Wan Kenobi compared the old Jedi master to a Navajo medicine man, while the actress who'll play Princess Leia said she felt that her own personality mirrored that of Carrie Fisher's character. The actor chosen for Darth Vader is a coach at Rock Point High, and said that he identified with Vader's leadership skills. The role of Han Solo--Star Wars' cocky "scoundrel"--went to James Junes of the comedy duo James and Ernie.