The Language of Star Wars – Part 3


We’ve already explored how the speaking patterns of Yoda, R2-D2, Jabba the Hutt, and Jar Jar Binks contribute to the character and intrigue of the Star Wars universe. We have two more people for you, and they have major implications for The Force Awakens.

Emperor Palpatine

“Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things.”

The Emperor’s verbose phraseology could really be cut down. In the quote above, for instance, he could have just told Luke, “You’re wrong,” but his circumlocution undergirds a basic premise of the character: Palpatine is full of pride. As Luke retorts six lines later, “Your overconfidence is your weakness.” How we speak is an expression of who we are. What have the writers done with new characters Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron? We’ll find out soon when “the force awakens.”

Princess Leia

“Why you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!”

Leia’s sharp-tongued smack established her as a feisty warrior who meant business. Some of her best-loved insults include:

  • “I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on-board.”
  • “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”
  • “Will someone get this walking carpet out of my way?”
  • “I don’t know where you get your delusions, laser brain.”

This punchy attitude reflected Leia’s discontent with the Empire. Our question is whether The Force Awakens will cast Leia as the same fiery fighter we remember, or if 30 years of peace will have calmed her down. Leia’s language will give us a flavor of the gap since the demise of the second Death Star and the return of the Jedi.

What’s Next?

The Star Wars saga has wielded creative language since 1977, and future releases hold incredible promise. The Force Awakens could take Star Wars dialog to exciting new places, and we can hardly wait.

Did we miss anyone? Which character’s language fascinates you?


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