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In the course of a RPG campaign set in the Star Wars universe, a question has arisen about a Duros character: should his speech have a significant accent when speaking Basic? As we are not English mother tongue, we are not sure whether Duros characters in the (extended) canon, such as here, have any accent (which in any case we would have to transfer to our language).

Can anybody help?

  • 1
    I'm far from a Star Wars expert but I would expect the accent for any character to have more to do with where they grew up and how long they've lived where they are now rather than with what species they are. – Xantec Sep 12 '11 at 19:35
  • @Xantec: You have a realistic view of things, not a SW one! :) Yoda is 900 old, has apparently lived much with humans and similar species, and yet he still speaks as we all know. – DaG Sep 12 '11 at 20:56
  • To clarify my question: it would already be something if some English mothertongue person could listen at the video linked and confirm whether the English the Duros character (the blue-skinned one) speaks is standard or not. – DaG Sep 12 '11 at 20:58
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    I attribute that to his upbringing and culture. Just as someone who grew up learning to speak Japanese or Chinese has difficulty pronouncing Rs, difficulty does Yoda have with our grammar, hmm? – Xantec Sep 12 '11 at 21:05
  • You are right, but I believe that at least part of why SW characters speak the way they do is to add them some flavour, just like their shape and traits are not always justifiable in terms of their physiology or the habitat they come from. – DaG Sep 12 '11 at 21:08
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While Cad Bane in particular isn't a normal Duro, due to his breathing tubes, he may offer some insight to Duros speech. His breathing tubes make his voice much lower than normal, and add reverb. However, note his quirks in speech. When speaking to any Jedi, he usually calls them 'Jedi', more impersonal than referring to them by name. Given that he's usually extremely prepared for his missions, he no doubt knows the names of any Jedi he might encounter, but he chooses to call them Jedi. This could be a personal choice, or a standard way Duros refer to enemies. He is also a slow, deliberate speaker, potentially another quirk of Duros speech patterns.

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Based on these two clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4Jn_Sq8pvY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwXv-Qph18c

I would say that the voice actor is using a South Welsh accent mixed with a standard Midwestern American accent. That is obviously untangling the voice with all of the modulation and sound effects. Keep in mind that his accent for the line "Jedi mind tricks don't work on me" is probably a shout-out to Watto's Eastern European accent in Phantom Menace. For a light take on Welsh accents:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmemFcQCbQE&feature=related

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There is no discernable accent, but there seems to be a dialectical difference based upon his word choices. Still, not enough of one to be truly an accent.

Note that the ones we see in Ep IV are not speaking Basic, so it's probably a second language for them...

Further, I don't know if Clone Wars makes use of alien dialect with subtitling, in which case the altered voice tonality may be indicative of alien speech; it's a common trope in Anime audio dubs to indicate alien language with modulation effects. (Japanese language editions sometimes use English for the aliens, since most Japanese have some grasp of English.)

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After finally being able to listen to your clip I would venture to say that Cad Bane's accent is technological over biological. It sounds like he is using some kind of voice synthesizer.

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The civilization in Star Wars tends to have very good communication. This has (historically) lead to a standardization of language and phrases.

Therefore, it's likely that any particular Duros (so long as they have the physical ability to speak Basic) will have whatever regional accent that is common to their planet of origin.

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