Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide Review

Have you ever wondered what the Ewok translation of “Are we there yet?” is? Do you want to be able to offer a Wookie a drink in her own native tongue? How about the best escape plan should you find yourself in a Tusken Raider camp? This is exactly why Ben Burtt wrote the Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide.

This guide is a 175-page journey into the Star Wars Universe like no other. It will teach you valuable survival skills should you find yourself stranded on Tatooine and in need of assistance from a Tusken. That is, if they don’t kill you first.

There is a comical twist on this book, which is formatted a lot like a standard traveler’s guide. It takes a very immersive view into the dialects of Star Wars. It’s a two-part book with the first half being phrases and other helpful tips to help you travel the galaxy. The other half is a behind-the-scenes look at how the different languages and dialects were created for Star Wars. Ben Burtt is a veteran sound designer who worked on Star Wars, as well as many other science fiction films and franchises including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, WALL-E, Star Trek (2009), and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The first half of the book enables you to learn a little about the customs of various races in the Star Wars universe. This includes how to interact with these communities without insulting them accidentally, or how to properly escape should you do so.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the book to me was the detailed explanation of how to communicate with a droid. It breaks down the differences between beeps and buzzes, common droid phrases, and how to ask a droid for assistance.

Bocce, the trade jargon that Aunt Beru and Owen Lars needed a protocol droid to translate, is also among the 10 languages outlined in the guide. Also included are Huttese, Ewok, Droidspeak, Wookie, Tusken, Jawa, Gungan, and more.

The second half of the book is a fascinating story about the creation of the many sounds and voices that make up the Star Wars universe. From Jabba the Hutt’s unique language to the sounds servo motors made on droids. It’s an interesting story from an extraordinary film franchise.

As a whole, Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide is a great addition to any Star Wars fan’s library. The paperback edition is small enough to fit in your pocket and it makes for a great read on the road. Who knows, maybe you’ll pass by some Jawas on your way to the Toshi Station.

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Ryan Matthew Pierson