Now, before you say this is a duplicate question by just reading the title, this one is a tad different. Where do the names of the droids come from, from which language?

They clearly are from the English alphabet (e.g. C-3PO or R2-D2), and are pronounced as such (well the general language used does sound the same as English, for that matter). But it is stated in Wookieepedia here that the language spoken by humans is Basic, which uses the Aurebesh alphabet and looks like this:

enter image description here

So you can clearly see the English alphabet matched up with parts of the Basic language.

My question is:

Does this imply that the language we hear in the movies is actually what Basic sounds like, and the image just describes the letters of the Basic alphabet? Why then, are the droid names pronounced with the sounds of the letters of the English alphabet? Or are we actually hearing a "dubbed" version of the movie, that Basic sounds much different, but the movies were done in English to make it easier to watch? Is there any canon description pertaining to this, or out-of-universe description?

Update: found this question which does answer where the letters come from, but what does the language actually sound like then?

  • 2
    Reading the Wookiepedia entry suggests that this was an "after the fact" canonization - the image you show there was added after the original movies were created, because a game designer made it. While this really complicates the "in canon" answer it makes the out of canon answer a lot easier to understand - the language did not exist when the droids were named.
    – enderland
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 13:00
  • @enderland This might mean that there's no "in canon" way of answering this?
    – nine9
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 13:11
  • @Nine9 that is my guess
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 13:38
  • 1
    The High Galactic Alphabet became the canon explanation. By the way, Aurebesh was created based on the characters that appear on the computer screen of the shuttle in Return of the Jedi. They were gibberish at the time, but later on someone turned them into a full alphabet which was then used in officially licensed material.
    – user45623
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 9:06

2 Answers 2


The High Galactic Alphabet is (was?) the canon explanation for why the Roman alphabet keeps popping up in Star Wars. Some novel writers like Zahn dodge the issue by writing the droids' names as See-Threepio and Artoo-Detoo, but that doesn't explain why the rebel fighters are named after the Roman letters they resemble in shape, so a more thorough explanation was created.

As far as I know, the High Galactic Alphabet represents the same letters as Aurebesh, just in a different form. There are translation guides (at least in Legends sources) like the one you posted above (notice the Roman letters underneath), which can be used to read the Aurebesh in some Star Wars media (such as Droidworks and Star Wars Monopoly). Think of the High Galactic Alphabet like a different font - an alternate way to represent the same thing.

Source: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/High_Galactic_alphabet

  • Alright, but this does not explain what the language sounded like. Though, if the Aurebesh alphabet was created after the the first movie, then it might be correct to assume that Basic sounds exactly like English?
    – nine9
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 13:29

Sorry for chiming in after 5 years, but yes, it's canonically established that the Galactic Standard Basic language everyone speaks in Star Wars is exactly the same as English.

  • 2
    Can you offer any evidence to back this up?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 22:43
  • 2
    Even if Galactic Basic is identical to English, it's canonical that the alphabet used for writing isn't the Latin alphabet we use in English, so the individual letter names would be different. So "C-3PO" would be "Cresh-3-Peth-Osk." How do you explain that?
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 22:59
  • As answered in the 6 year old replies the high galactic alphabet exists. For the evidence of the spoken language I'm sure I heard it in a Dave Filoni interview on the Star Wars youtube channel somewhere, but I can't seem to find it Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 15:03
  • Yes for what it's worth, will need source before accepting answer. 6 Years later :D
    – nine9
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 7:12

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