In Empire Strikes Back, we see a transcription of what R2's beeps and bloops mean, but it's not English (sorry for the low quality, it's from the 2004 DVDs):

Screenshot of X-Wing cockpit display showing a black screen with blurry red writing on it set in a silver console

I'd assume it's what Basic looks like when written, but is there some point in the the Star Wars films we see written English instead?

(This sort of spun off from a discussion in How do people understand astromech droids?.)

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    I remember the opening crawl being in English. Oct 18, 2011 at 2:04

6 Answers 6


At one point there was English but it has been phased out in subsequent versions of the films.

Chris Gould at DVD Active did a comparison of all versions of each of the Star Wars films, and in his comparison of Episode 4, there are a couple of screenshots showing how the power gauge for the Death Star tractor beam was changed.

I imagine there are probably more to be found in his other comparisons but I haven't got around to reading those yet.

1977 version showing the blue and red bars on the power level display, above it is written "POWER" and below "TRACTOR BEAM I2 (sec N6)"

2011 Blu-ray version showing the same image as the above except the writing has now been replaced with Aurebesh

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    Is that Wingdings? Oct 18, 2011 at 14:04
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    @DVK: No, it is the Aurebesh.
    – DampeS8N
    Oct 18, 2011 at 14:57
  • @Dampe - sorry, what I meant was whether the font characters for Basic (e.g Aurebesh alphabet) are based on Wingdings? They look suspiciously similar in some ways Oct 18, 2011 at 15:15
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    @DVK, Sounds like a question... If only we had a place to ask those. ;)
    – DampeS8N
    Oct 18, 2011 at 15:55
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    @DVK The Aurebesh-like writing that appears in the original trilogy is totally random and it is believed that the filmmakers did not intend to write any meaningful text with it. The assignment of the letters to Roman equivalents was first developed by Stephen Crane at West End Games in the Star Wars Miniatures Battles Companion (1994) (from Wookieepedia) and so were based off the original Trilogy's randomized characters. Oct 18, 2011 at 16:01

As you can see from the original prop, the ITO interrogator droid's syringe in ANH says "British Made - 200°C"

A close up of the syringe on the side of the ITO interrogator droid; it is clear filled with something white and the needle comes out of the top not the centre

Art of the ITO interrogator droid a floating black sphere with various torture devices sticking out of it

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    I wouldn't put it past the Brits to sell torture equipment to The Empire. Dec 23, 2015 at 10:45

In the original A New Hope when Luke scans the desert with his binoculars the numbers are Arabic numbers. Later when the film was re-released the numbers were changed to be numeric symbols in galactic basic.

The view through Luke's low quality binoculars with blurry lines across the desert landscape, at the bottom Arabic numbers can be seen reading "525.550"

In the second exchange between Luke and R2-D2 the text is longer, unfortunately the only source I have is the one on YouTube at 360p resolution.

R2-D2 Responds: a close up of the X-wing console showing blurry red writing on a black background

The first letter on the third main line looks like an "A", unfortunately it is very hard to tell. I think it would be likely that it was English, but since it was already unreadable there was no reason to change it. (I see no difference between the original 1997 first dialogue of text and your example).

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    It is probably a Xesh, Nern or Onith. Maybe Osk or Nen. This is now my newest geekiest comment ever.
    – DampeS8N
    Oct 18, 2011 at 4:15
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    Can you tell me where this occurs (rough timestamp)? Then I can post a high-res version. Apologies for not having memorised it well enough to know, Jan 21, 2016 at 18:36
  • @TomChantler I believe this is ESB when Luke leaves Hoth and tells R2D2 they aren't going to join the fleet but instead of going to the Dagobah system. You'd have to get a screen cap from pre-remastering though (before they changed all the English). Jan 21, 2016 at 18:44

There is a tiny segment in that occurs across all the Stars Wars episodes. Pretty insignificant so I am sure that is why the OP and other answers have missed it.

The Opening Crawl has some written English in it.

  • As does the closing credits.
    – Valorum
    Aug 18, 2020 at 12:36

Arabic numerals in The Force Awakens

When General Hux and Captain Phasma discuss Finn's desertion in The Force Awakens, they examine his service record. Their screen shows Finn's stormtrooper identification number (his only official name) using the Aurebesh alphabet equivalents for "F" and "N" and the Arabic numerals "2187":

A close up of a holographic board showing FN2187's service record, the writing is blurry but we can see a young head shot of him


Episodes 2 and 3 of The Mandalorian show a similar heads up display as Luke's original with Arabic numerals:

View through the heads up display showing two humanoid figures stood together in thermal imaging; on the left we see a rotating dial display with the numbers "0 . 505 . 510" and at the bottom "64146"

(image screenshot from Episode 3 "The Mandalorian")

  • 1
    From the other posts, it's clear that they made an intentional effort to remove Arabic numerals from the earlier movies. It's odd that they would then include them in new productions.
    – DqwertyC
    Nov 22, 2019 at 17:42
  • I feel that Favreau and Filoni are originalists at heart. Or it's just an oversight...
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 22, 2019 at 17:46

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