Ah, slow news days like these are the perfect time to share some “new to us” YouTube videos. Today’s weird video has been making the internet rounds these past few days and while it’s a few years old, this is my first time seeing it and, well, it’s kind of magical. Someone took the English subtitles from a bootleg copy of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and re-dubbed the movie with this mangled dialogue and now this is the only version of this movie I ever want to watch.
Star War The Third Gathers: The Backstroke of the West came to our attention via Dorkly and it’s floating around the internet in several forms at the moment. The short version: an American living in China got their hands on a bootleg copy of Revenge of the Sith back in the day and the machine-translated subtitles (which don’t account for the many, many differences between Mandarin and English) created a beautiful monstrosity. Naturally, the internet eventually got around to dubbing the movie with this lovely gibberish.
YouTuber Grateful Deadpool does the best job of explaining what the hell you’re actually watching here:
Backstroke of the West is a bootlegged version of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith that contains hilariously poor Chinese-to-English translated subtitles. This bootleg is most well-known for the line “Do not want,” a mistranslation of Darth Vader’s widely parodied “Noooooo!” I synced the subtitles and the dub to HD video of Revenge of the Sith. I’ve also added the pre-garbled English subtitles if you wish to compare this masterpiece to the original dialogue from Episode III.
Here’s a quick highlight reel for a quick taste:
But what you really want to see is this other highlight reel, which features a reborn Darth Vader cursing the heavens while screaming “Do not want!” instead of “Noooo!”
If you want a real endurance test, the complete two-hour-and-twenty-minute version of Star Wars The Third Gathers: Backstroke of the West can be watched below. It’s…it’s something else.
For additional reading, I highly recommend checking out the Star Wars Fans wikia, which does an excellent job of cataloging the various mistranslations while also explaining why language software would make these kinds of errors. It’s very silly to see Palpatine referred to as Speaker D and Anakin Skywalker being called Allah Gold, but it actually makes sense when you realize exactly what was lost in translation.
But no amount of thoughtful language research will make the Jedi Council being called “Hopeless Situation Presbyterian” not funny.
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