Auditions take place at a museum in Arizona Friday for a Navajo translation of Star Wars that organizers hope will help preserve the Native American language.
Navajo Nation Museum director Manuelito Wheeler devised the idea more than a decade ago as a novel and educational way to engage younger tribe members and preserve the language, spoken by about 170,000 people, according to government figures. The group represents the largest Native American tribe in the U.S.
"We thought this would be a provocative and effective way to help try to preserve the language and at the same time preserve the culture," Wheeler told Reuters.
The project began moving forward about 18 months ago, with organizers now working with Lucasfilm, which Disney purchased from Star Wars creator George Lucas in 2012. An earlier set of casting calls took place in Burbank, Calif.
The museum, located in Window Rock, Az., will host the auditions Friday and Saturday, with approximately 75 voice actors registered so far.
The translated film — which will include English subtitles — will screen in Window Rock on July 4 and again during the Navajo Nation Fair in September.