ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, of all the outlandishly complicated feats of logistical complexity required for the making of a major movie, the act of translation isn't one that tends to be talked about all that much. After all, for a large chunk of a major blockbuster's audience, the fact that it has been translated for a whole host of other countries' viewing pleasure isn't likely to come up. And yet, if we were to sit down to watch a movie like in, for instance, Latin America, we would wind up watching a film with a whole other level of production on top of the product we saw in the US or Canada.

Indeed, as it turns out, not only is there a whole lot more to the translation process than we might imagine, but there was a whole lot of particularly interesting stuff going on behind the scenes of 's latest movie. In fact:

The Secret Origin Of 'Rogue One's Spanish Translation Is Super Weird

'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' [Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney]
'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' [Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney]

Or, at least, it might seem weird to anyone who isn't intimately familiar with the nature of cinematic translation with as high profile a movie as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (i.e. pretty much all of us). Y'see, Remezcla and NPR’s Latino USA recently released a detailed breakdown of the Spanish translation process for the movie — and it turns out that it was really quite surreal.

For one thing, the film's translator, Katya Ojeda, wasn't actually allowed to see the movie due to the strict security protocols had in place. Which was a slight problem, seeing as she needed to see the actor's lip movements in order to provide a cohesive translation for the film's Latin American audience. The solution? Disney provided her with a "rotoscoped" version of the movie, in which the entire screen was black, except when character's were talking. While they were speaking their dialogue, Ojeda was able to watch their lips move. And nothing else.

'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' [Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney]
'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' [Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney]

Similarly, the film's voice actors weren't able to see the final film that they were dubbing, with only dubbing director Héctor Gómez Gil being entrusted with the film's visual secrets. Therein, however, lay an exception, for a decidedly awesome reason: voiced himself in the Spanish dub of the movie, meaning that remains fully Cassian Andor in the Latin American cut of the film.

There are some other intriguing revelations during the course of the piece — which you can listen to in full right here — of course, including the magnificent news that R2-D2 is widely known as Arturito in Latin America, thanks to Star Wars' original dubbing being far less methodical than it is today.

Which isn't quite as awesome as Diego Luna doing his own Spanish language dubbing, but it's pretty close.

What do you think, though? Have you seen the Spanish dub of Rogue One — and if so, how does it hold up? Let us know below!

There's plenty more original video content over at Movie Pilot Video.

(Sources: io9, NPR)


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