11

An English speaker on Earth could be reasonably expected to be familiar with either the Dutch "vader" meaning father or the very similar German "vater", also meaning father.

Obviously German and Dutch don't exist the Star Wars universe, but we have been told that dialects and accents in the spoken English from the movies correspond to dialects and accents in Galactic Basic. This leaves it a bit unclear regarding words borrowed from sibling languages which share phonetic ancestry with English but aren't present in English itself.

Finally, we know from this answer that Sidious named Anakin "Darth Vader" with help from The Force. We don't know exactly the intent of The Force in giving him that name, though it seems reasonable that it named him something intended to carry at least some meaning to speakers of Galactic Basic, like "Sidious", "Maul", and "Plagueis", with all of their dark connotations.

So can we assume that The Force intentionally gave him a name that carried some connotations of "father", and that there is some Dutch/German-equivalent cousin of Galactic Basic out there that speakers of Galactic Basic might have some familiarity with, or did The Force name Vader a nonsense word that we wouldn't expect Basic speakers to infer any meaning from at all?

  • 6
    If they are non-sense words in Galactic Basic that would be hilarious. the equivalent of Darth Flibbity on Earth? – Skooba Jul 15 at 12:05
  • 1
    Possible answer?: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/28186/25033 – Parrotmaster Jul 15 at 12:28
  • 1
    @Parrotmaster while that provides some interesting out-of-universe context, I'm interested in an in-universe answer here. I'm asking, what connotations would the word "Vader" (translated into Galactic Basic) carry for your average native Galactic Basic speaker, so what it meant or didn't mean to George Lucas isn't exactly what I'm looking for. – airshanemode Jul 15 at 12:55
  • So, would a hypothetical "Darth Gift" be from the English for "present / skill", or the German for "poison"? I suspect you're reading too much into this, and getting into cargo-cult territory... – Chronocidal Jul 26 at 13:09

Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.