Like so many others I am a huge fan of Star Wars. I love everything about it: the mythology, the films, the characters, the books and so on.
Medieval Icelandic sagas are not unlike the stories told by Star Wars creator Georg Lucas. In fact, they have a lot in common.
Jackson Crawford, who teaches Old Norse and Norse mythology at the University of California, must have the same opinion as he wrote a version of Star Wars in the style of the Icelandic sagas.
Tattúínárdøla saga is the saga of the people of the Tattúin River Valley. Crawford changed all the Star Wars names into some kind of Old Norse versions and relocated the action into places in the medieval European world which is quite hilarious.
For example: the evil Emperor Palpatine becomes Falfaðinn, a “war-king,” Qui- Gon Jinn is Kvæggan, Yoda turns into Jóði, Han Solo is Hólmgöngu-Hani Sólósson, the mighty Jedi are simply the men of the Jeði Fjord. Chewbacca is depicted as Tsiubakka the Frisian, a foreigner who doesn’t speak Old Norse but only his native tongue Frisian.
Coruscant, one of the most important planets in the Star Wars world, is in Crawford`s version Kóruskantborg and is located in Norway.
The saga story line follows exactly that of the beloved films just in an Icelandic medieval setting and we will meet all our beloved characters from Star Wars dressed up in medieval outfits swinging axes instead of laser blasters.
For a little taste, this is the moment in Episode IV, when droids C3PO and R2-D2 flee to the planet of Tatooine:
“Thrípíó walked a long time and saw neither man nor cattle. Finally he saw some men riding; he hailed them, but they did not hail him. They bound him and led him to their tents; there Thrípíó saw Artú Dítússon, his brother, and the brothers were glad to meet. Many thralls, men and women, were in these tents – they had captured by the sons of Javi, malicious robbers; the oldest of them was named Útíni.”
A bit later, Thrípíó and Artú Dítússon meet Lúkr Anakinnson (Luke Skywalker) and drag him into their mission.
When possible, Crawford kept strictly to the exact dialogue used in the films:
“Now the saga turns over to Víga-Óbívan, who found Veidr on the Daudastjarna.
“Long have I awaited you, Víga-Óbívan,” said Veidr, “Finally the two of us meet again, and now the circle is complete.” The same words are spoken by Obi-Wan in Star Wars when facing his opponent Vader.
Like it is characteristic for Icelandic sagas, the Tattúínárdøla saga also contains stanzas and some characters even call upon the Norse gods.
As a Star Wars nerd it is just a delight to read Crawford’s magnificent masterpiece, it is a must-read.
I wonder why I never came up with this idea...
And even if you should not be a Star Wars aficionado, reading Tattúínárdøla saga is still fun and very entertaining.
Katharina Hauptmann – [email protected]