Showing of Navajo 'Star Wars' set for this week

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK, July 4, 2013

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More than 7,000 people will have a chance this week to see the Star Wars movie dubbed in the Navajo language - and it won't cost them a cent.

Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum and coordinator of the Star Wars project, said the movie dubbing is complete and ready for viewing by the Navajo public.

There was a special VIP showing of the film on Sunday but the major showings are this week. One was held Wednesday, but there are also showings today and tomorrow, July 4 and 5, as part of the annual Fourth of July celebration at the Window Rock fairgrounds.

The first showing was Wednesday after the rodeo performance.

People who attend the rodeo were able to stay after the rodeo to watch the first showing.

Because of the arrangement that the tribe has with Lucasfilm, the owner of the Star Wars movies, the dubbing of the movie into Navajo was an educational project and therefore fees cannot be charged.

Wheeler said special equipment will be brought in and used at the fairgrounds to show the film.

The next four showings, held today and tomorrow, will take place at the Window Rock Sports Center, which will hold about 1,000 people. These will begin at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on both days, Wheeler said.

Wheeler said that special arrangements will be made to provide seating for the elderly as well as guests of the sponsors, those companies that contributedÊmoney to help pay for the cost of the dubbing.

Otherwise, it's first come, first served.

Once these showings are done, Wheeler expects that there will be other showings but these will have to be negotiated with Lucasfilm. He said he's hoping to be able to show it at chapters and in cities with a large Navajo population.

There' is still no word as to whether there will be a DVD coming out but Wheeler said that will depend entirely on the wishes of Lucasfilm.

He added that he has been getting aÊlot of phone calls asking about the special event.

As for the film itself, Wheeler said he found it to be "amazing" and said he hopes that it will mean something to the Navajo people who get a chance to see it.