Aurebesh was thought to have come from the writing system of the Rakatan Infinite Empire, introduced to the galaxy at large during that Empire's reign. It spread during the Alsakan Conflicts approximately 17,000 years before the Battle of Yavin. However, already by 25,793 BBY, Aurebesh was used by the inhabitants of the Settled Worlds, prior to their first contact with the Rakata. When contact was made, the Rakatan Aurebesh was apparently identical to that used in the Settled Worlds.
Aurebesh implemented consonants, vowels, digraphs, and punctuation marks. Words were separated by spaces. Aurebesh could be written mainly left-to-right or up-to-down. All letters are the same relative size, although occasionally symbols were mirror-inverted to denote capital letters. The symbol for the Republic Credit was a Resh (R for Republic) with two vertical lines through the upper half of the symbol. Letters of the alphabet were also used to denote musical keys, such as the key of Cresh.
While the Aurebesh had several glyphs that corresponded to digraphs in the High Galactic alphabet, they were frequently disregarded. For example, the sound "oo," that was properly noted using Orenth, was frequently spelled with a double Osk. Similarly, the letter Thesh was often replaced by a combination of Trill and Herf. Such was also the case for Cherek and Shen, often written respectively with combinations of Cresh and Herf and Senth and Herf.
Letters and numeralsEdit
Behind the scenesEdit
Prominent examples in productsEdit
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 letters were first assigned Roman equivalents by Stephen Crane at West End Games in the Star Wars Miniatures Battles Companion (1994), for use with the Star Wars Miniatures Battles game and Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. The Aurebesh was later expanded to include punctuation marks in the Star Wars Miniatures Battles supplement, Imperial Entanglements (1996).
This original Aurebesh is occasionally used in electronic and board games such as Star Wars Monopoly. Since the letters in the movies are random, the assignment of the West End Games values to the inscriptions of the movies produces nonsensical results—most words seen in the movies appear to consist solely of consonants, and some letters appear on screen that are absent from the West End Games Aurebesh.
In the 2004 DVD release of A New Hope, and the Blu-ray version, the words displaying information as Obi-Wan Kenobi deactivates the tractor beam on the Death Star, which were written using the Roman alphabet in previous releases, are now in the Aurebesh. Aurebesh can also be seen in the prequel trilogy. (For more information, see list of use of Aurebesh.)
In-universe sources show Arabic numbers; however, one of the fan-made fonts (discussed below) presents a numerical system based on dots and lines.
In many instances, the sounds "ch," "sh," and "th" are written using Aurebesh exactly as they would be in English (cresh-herf, senth-herf, and trill-herf, respectively), despite separate letters existing in Aurebesh for those sounds (cherek, shen, and thesh, respectively). (To see an example of this, examine the text in the picture in the Games section in the List of use of Aurebesh.) While it is possible that these instances represent legitimate in-universe variations of the sound-values for the letters in question, it is more likely that they represent errors on the part of the real-world transliterators (who are understandably more used to employing digraphs than employing single letters to write these sounds).
- Aurabesh (TrueType) Created by Mike E. Webb on February 10, 1996. As only the alphabet had been described, Webb based his punctuation on work by Eric Kristiansen (aka Jackill), and invented glyphs for other common symbols. He made the lowercase letters small versions of the capitals.
- Aurebesh (Mac TrueType/PostScript and PC TrueType) Created by David Occhino on September 8, 1997. Occhino updated the punctuation to match West End Games, removed the non-canon symbols (except for the Arabic numerals), and made the lowercase letters the same size as the capitals. He also changed the assignments of the digraphs, so it is not backwards compatible with Webb's font.
- newAurabesh (TrueType) Created by Peter Schuster on June 21, 1998. Schuster also updated the punctuation to match West End Games, removed the non-canon symbols, and made the lowercase letters the same size as the capitals. He changed the numbers to match Technical Readouts, and changed the assignments of the digraphs, so it is not backwards compatible with either Webb's or Occhino's fonts.
- Aurek-Besh (TrueType, standard, narrow, and hand-written) Created by Davide Canavero (aka Boba Fonts) on March 7, 1999. Canavero made small improvements to the rendering of many of the symbols, enlarged the numbers for clarity, and added more logical assignments for the digraphs while also keeping Schuster's assignments. As a result, Aurek-Besh is backwards compatible with newAurabesh.
- Aurebesh (OpenType) Created by Tycho Ordo in 2012. This font covers the whole ASCII code, which means it will display most English text correctly without missing symbols. It also uses ligatures to display the double letters correctly, meaning "th" for example will be displayed as Thesh. It comes in four versions, which differ in the way they display numerals (tech/Arabic) and capital letters (normal/inverted).
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ The Written Word
- ↑ Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm 3
- ↑ Dawn of the Jedi: The Prisoner of Bogan 1
- ↑ Scoundrels, chapter 13
- ↑ A New Hope: The Life of Luke Skywalker, p. 9
- ↑ Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised
- ↑ Scum and Villainy
- ↑ Star Wars 14: Five Days of Sith, Part Two
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Evil Plans"
- Aurebesh Soup Tells the story of the formation of Aurebesh and includes a number of different Star Wars fonts including Aurebesh