My pledge to take the week off has faltered yet again with the release of the trailer for The Last Jedi and its inclusion of Aurebesh on Finn’s medical pod.
Much of the text is so blurry and distorted that it is difficult if not impossible to decipher. Moreover, what is readable, specifically the sets of four characters that shift during the second or two this shot is on screen seem to be random characters. This information can easily be chalked up as medical jargon and acronyms obscure to all but the most seasoned of medical droids.
The information at the top of the red block, however, does seem to be translateable, and might constitute a very minor spoiler, so Caveat Clicktor!
As is often the case with Aurebesh ligatures, they are not used as letters but rather the English keyboard symbol that the font uses to generate them, so I translated the Cherek and Shen glyphs as brackets.
There seems to be more Aurebesh in white on the right side of the pod, but it is far too blurry for me to take a stab at.
To make sense of the Aurebesh in the screen shot, I did have to apply some technical jiggery-pokery in Photoshop. Even so this translation involves more guessing and perhaps wishful thinking than usual. Other translators may very well come to different conclusions.
I hadn’t planned to post anything this week since I saw no point in competing with the news from Star Wars Celebration, but then I saw this and it genuinely choked me up:
It reminded me of the suggestion that many folks made that SWTOR should add a memorial to Carrie Fisher to the game. I don’t recall anyone at Bioware mentioning one way or the other about whether it would happen, but I figured I’d use my teeny, tiny soapbox to add my voice to those who have already suggested it.
A statue of a princess and a loyal astromech at House Organa on Alderaan has been the most common suggestion, and this would also be a fitting tribute to Kenny Baker who passed away last year as well. Certainly it could be done in a way that wouldn’t violate continuity any worse than “Hun Duo” and “Greepo” in the cantina on Hutta or the tableau of bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back on the Ziost Shadow.
But even if it did rip a hole in the time-space continuum, I wouldn’t care. SWTOR is not a transmission of historical documents, it’s a work of fiction, a game played and made by people in the real world. It’s only natural that it should pay tribute to someone whose contributions to Star Wars had a real effect on generations of fans.
So, of course, it should happen and I would hope the good folks at Bioware agree.
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One of my favorite flashpoints is Kaon Under Siege. From its slow build to its crazy mutant-space-zombie apocalyptic climax, it’s an effective and thrilling bit of storytelling. One of Kaon’s most distinctive environments is the abandoned auditorium. Players often race through the theater quickly. pausing only to deal with a pair of rogue security droids patrolling the area. However, passing through an area that would normally be bustling but is currently devoid of life adds to the flashpoint’s mounting sense of unease. Prior to the arrival of the Rakghoul plague, I’m sure it was a lovely place to catch a holovid.
The auditorium’s screen features a large display that, as far as I can tell, appears nowhere else in the game. It has three sections of scrolling Aurebesh, several inset portraits of aliens and animated graphics of maps and geometric shapes.
The Aurebesh itself is non-specific and draws from SWTOR’s often used pool of mostly random text that can be seen around the galaxy, from the scrolling text that the bottom on the holonet newsfeed in the cut scene that introduces players to the Rakghoul Resurgence event to the Eternal Empire’s Zakuulan language monitors.
This translation includes all four repeating lines that are shared in the two side boxes as well as the crawl atop the screen. To add some visual variety to the repeating letters, the Aurebesh at the top of the graphic is mirrored, and the text in the side boxes is upside down. This technique is common both in SWTOR and in the Aurebesh seen in the Star Wars prequels.
There are items of interest in the content of the Aurebesh. First is the word “slothfurnace” which seems to be a reference to a real company that makes replica Star Wars props such as lightsabers and blasters. I suspect this secret bit of buzz marketing slipped by without official notice. Finally there is a long series of numbers in the first line of the side boxes. I can’t say for sure, but these digits look like a pair of dates to me: June 28, 1976 and November 16, 1977. A couple of birthdays perhaps?
A friend of mine who got an invite to the PTS for the upcoming patch 5.2: The War for Iokath sent me this screenshot from the new daily area’s imperial quest hub. He doesn’t know Aurebesh, but figured I could translate it for him so I thought I’d give it a go.
At first glance this seems like a bog standard Imperial recruitment poster featuring one of the game’s most beloved Dark Lords. It’s topped with an invocation of the Sith code, but its tagline, however, is a different thing entirely. Not only does it have significant implications for the future of SWTOR but for the entire Star Wars saga.
Whether this is an inside joke for folks on the PTS or kind of a big spoiler, I cannot say. Click on the thumbnail and see the translation at your own risk. You’ve been warned!
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