Translating the Written Language in Obi-Wan Kenobi

Disney+ recently released the first two episodes of the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series. While watching, it stuck me that the second episode has a ton of street signs in Aurebesh, the written language of Star Wars. The Aurebesh “language” is just a simple substitution cipher of English. The letter “A” always gets translated to a symbol, “B” always gets translates to a different symbol, etc. Wikipedia has the full symbol table.

I thought it would be fun to translate the signs, looking for Easter Eggs.

Episode 1

I only found one scene with text in the first episode. This is a holographic wanted poster for the Jedi named Nari. I can’t quite make out the second line of text.

Episode 2

A large chunk of the second episode takes place on the planet Daiyu, which as best as I can tell is a stand-in for Las Vegas.

Computer Screens

We get a computer screen with high information density: Transmitting, Wanted, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Offenses, High Treason, Bounty Upon Capture.

This little projector just has his name.

Alley

Several scenes take place in an alley. I find this first one extra-interesting because it has burnt-out letters in the ARCADE sign. This makes the world feel a little more grungy and lived-in.

Apostrophes in vertical lettering are always awkward, but this one works well.

Snacks! Who doesn’t like snacks?

We’ll find lots of noodles in this place.

This is one that’s vexed me. BAPMAW? I might have a letter or two wrong, but the word also appears elsewhere in the plaza, on a different sign.

Graffiti

The graffiti is highly stylized. The shape of the letter “C” is almost unrecognizable. Though it continues to be three bars, they’re roughly the same height. I had to take guesses at two of the letters, which was helped by throwing the letter pattern into a crossword solver. The closest thing I could match the grafffiti to is “Craig,” which seems out of place in the Star Wars world. Maybe Craig is a set designer having fun with the tag?

Sabacc

Being a Vegas-like planet, there’s gambling. Sabacc, most famously known by the audience for Han Solo winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando, is well-featured here. This sign is cut off, but with sabacc being such a unique word, combined with the card graphics, it’s easy to identify.

Rooftops

This episode has a few scenes on the rooftops. This one advertises an emergency room, I think?

Milk! So delicious and wholesome! The sign is a little bit green. Is it advertising green milk instead of blue milk?

This one’s a little bit beyond me. At least one letter is burned out. My best guess, trying to deduce letter shape and width, cross-referenced against a crossword solver, is that it says SNIPE. UPDATE: I’d originally misidentified the second letter as an “N,” which is obviously incorrect in retrospect. A friend on Slack suggested it might be a weirdly-elongated “P” with the missing letter being a “C.” The stretched letter is certainly strange, but I’d still buy it. The descending bar we do see and empty space certainly mesh with the theory that it’s a “C.” Off to the right, there aren’t enough letters to see what’s written in neon on the edge of the building. They’re backward, but we can clearly make out a G followed by an A.

This is another one that’s beyond me. There’s a little noodle sign down below, but I can’t make out what the other signs say. The red neon letters are squarish. If they’re Aurebesh, they’re highly-stylized. They show up later, too.

Plaza and Market

The plaza surrounding the market has a lot of neon! A lot of this area has advertising for noodles, Gungan snacks, and a various markets.

This one definitely says “machine” up top. Down below, the letters are obscured. You can see a little more of the first letter of “radar” as the camera moves, but it’s difficult to say what the second word is, which probably starts with an “M.”

This is another sign for milk, except I’m a little unsure of the “SW” prefix.

The upper word in the wine cartouche is a little too small and blurry for me to make out.

This one’s another weird one that, like the graffiti, makes me wonder if it’s a set designer’s name. This couldn’t be a reference to “may the schwartz be with you” … could it? I can’t tell what the three characters are to the right, but I do wonder if they’re the squareish glyphs we’ve seen before and will see again.

As best as I can tell, the sign in the top right had letters written backwards. And if so, it’s that BAPMAW word again. I can’t make out the slightly-obscured sign along the left edge.

Here are the squared-off lettering again. If you squint, you can sort of turn the top one into an “E” and another one into an “S,” but I can’t match the two remaining glyphs to Aurebesh letters.

Spaceport

After arriving, we have what appear to be some flight-status signs. Although I can make out a few letters here and there, the overall words are a little smudged and blurry.

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

One thought on “Translating the Written Language in Obi-Wan Kenobi”

  1. Great job on translating I saw one I could help you finish
    Swartz ??? is BBQ.
    The one “?E?S?” I’m guessing here but to me it looks like “?EThOT” though I have no idea what it’s trying to spell, sorry.
    Otherwise, no clue on the others that aren’t complete. Again, great job!

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