3

In Star Wars we hear certain members of the humanoids have a British accent. But since there's no planet England, where did it come from?

I have seen a young clone with a British accent in season 2 episode 20 of Star Wars: Clone Wars. His accent doesn't make sense because they were all raised together at the same place, so it doesn't make sense for them to pick up a different accent than the rest.

  • 2
    I think this should be generalized a bit, the tone of the question could use some adjustment, but it's essentially a good question. The question should be more like "Given the people we see with English accents and the people we see with American accents, what determines how people speak, in-universe?" – ThePopMachine Feb 15 '17 at 19:44
  • 2
    The dupe makes it clear that the "English" accent in-universe isn't English, it's Coruscanti. – Valorum Feb 15 '17 at 20:58
  • 1
    @Valorum It's true that one of the answers over there mentions that it's Coruscanit, but that's not actually part of the question being asked. Seems like a poor duplicate. Would be better to just have an answer here saying that it's Coruscanti. It also doesn't address the clone they asked about at all. – DCShannon Feb 15 '17 at 21:14
  • 1
    @Valorum, how is that a duplicate? One is just about Leia. – ThePopMachine Feb 16 '17 at 2:32
  • 1
    @ThePopMachine - Answer #3 makes it abundantly clear (with both in-universe and out-of-universe reasoning) that Leia (and by extension, the other characters with English accents) isn't speaking English, she's affecting a Coruscanti noble accent. That directly addresses the question "But since there's no planet England, where did it come from?" – Valorum Feb 16 '17 at 10:33
7

Where does the English accent come from?

The simple answer is that it comes from Coruscant, and it's the Star Wars galaxy's equivalent of Received Pronunciation (the stereotypical English accent). It's the accent of the educated and upper crust in the Empire.

The question makes some rather odd assumptions, though - sure, there's no planet "England", but there's no planet "America" either, yet we hear American accents all over the place. Indeed, if anything it's the American accents that need to be explained, since we hear them from individuals from vastly different backgrounds!

In fact all the English in the films is a 'translation' of Galactic Basic, and different regional accents are used to differentiate groups from one another. It's a simple filmmaking technique.

Why did a young clone have an English accent?

Without specifying which young clone you heard with an English accent it's hard to say for sure, but I suspect the issues is that you misidentified a New Zealand accent.

The voices of the young clone troopers were provided by a New Zealand actor named Daniel Logan. He was pretty much the ideal actor for the role, since he also played young Boba Fett in Episode II. The actor who originally portrayed both Jango Fett and the clones, Temuera Morrison, is also from New Zealand, and both actors used their native kiwi accent for their roles.

In the Clone Wars series, the voices of the clones were provided by Dee Bradley Baker doing his best to imitate Morrison's accent.

  • You may wish to note that the top half of your answer is very similar to this one on another similar question; scifi.stackexchange.com/a/103934/20774 – Valorum Feb 16 '17 at 14:59
  • So it isn't because the actors were British? Sorry, I haven't seen the new Star Wars movies and I'm not a big fan, but I read somewhere that Lucas used British actors in the 1st film because they were cheaper than American actors. – the guest Feb 20 '17 at 12:12
  • @the guest this is because Star Wars was filmed at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, just North West of London. For non lead roles in the films hiring local actors was far cheaper than flying in American ones. – Sarriesfan Feb 20 '17 at 14:04
  • @theguest the English accents in the first film were due partially to hiring English actors because they were cheaper, but also if you notice the English accents are largely confined to the Imperial ranks. The rebels generally have quite clear American accents (Red Leader, for example!). Later it became a very deliberate stylistic choice, and was written into the backstory. – Werrf Feb 20 '17 at 15:54
  • Thanks guys, I see your point now that you mention it. – the guest Feb 21 '17 at 14:53
0

Regarding British versus American accents in Stars Wars (at least) Episodes IV, V, and VI: I saw in a documentary with George Lucas about Star Wars a comment that the all good guys spoke English with an American accent (Solo, Luke, Leia etc) and all the bad guys had a British accent (Tarkin, Emperor, Vader, etc.). After all, George Lucas is American, so...

It's possible that this could be related to Colonial Times when the Americans dealt with the British Empire, i.e. the 'protagonists' were American and the 'antagonists' were the British Emperialists; some of the animosity was reflected in Star Wars, either deliberately as a plot device or humor, or for some other reason.

Another explanation might be this: in WW II movies, bad guys are often speaking with a German accent, whereas the good guys speak with British or American accents.

Since Star Wars involves a war with two sides, basically, a similar effect might be achieved by using British & American accents.

  • This doesn't explain where the accent comes from in-universe. – Valorum Feb 20 '17 at 7:23
  • It does explain why George Lucas chose to use British and American accents, though. Surely, if there even was an answer to "Where did the UK & US accents come from?", meaning what parts of the Star Wars Universe they come from, geographically speaking, Mr. Lucas would have provided an answer. However, since he did not, I believe that there IS no answer to this question, and the only thing we can do is to explain WHY these accents -- among many others -- were used. In other words, if there is no answer, I think it's better to say why, than looking for an answer that does not exist. – Nicholas M Feb 20 '17 at 7:41
  • The original question was: "Where did the British accent originate from in Star Wars?" and does not specify if the person is asking for locations in the Star Wars Universe. Therefore, to explain WHY answers this question. – Nicholas M Feb 20 '17 at 7:52
  • I'm sorry, but I don't agree. The OP asked "since there's no England planet , where did it come from?". Your answer doesn't address his question. It addresses a different question, something like "why did Lucas pick English baddies" or "Why did Carrie Fisher put on a British accent". – Valorum Feb 20 '17 at 8:01
  • I remember after watching the original "Terminator" movie with some high school friends, one of my friends' older brother, who was not familiar with Arnold Schwartzenegger, commented "I love how they give the Terminator an evil Nazi accent." - the "bad guys with German accents" made me think of that. – PoloHoleSet Feb 20 '17 at 15:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.