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This article is about the Hyperspace article. You may be looking for The Written Word: A Brief Introduction to the Writing Systems of Galactic Basic, the in-universe version of the same article..
The Written Word
The Written Word
Attribution
Author(s)

John Hazlett[1]

Publication information
Publisher

Lucas Online[1]

Released

March 5, 2010[1]

Type

Online article[1]

Pages

6[1]

General information
Genre(s)

Reference[1]

Era(s)

New Jedi Order era[1]

"As a linguist friend of mine said when proofreading my manuscript, 'You have a single footnote citing both Knights of the Old Republic and The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language? Holy [poodoo].'"
―John Hazlett[src]

The Written Word was a StarWars.com Hyperspace article written by John Hazlett and published on March 5, 2010. Hazlett had previously authored Databank entries for the characters of Cane Adiss and Slyther Bushforb through the "What's The Story?" initiative on Hyperspace, but The Written Word was his first full article for the Star Wars canon. The article concerned the various writing systems seen in Star Wars material, and retconned the Latin alphabet into being an in-universe script, namely, High Galactic.

In creating the article, Hazlett drew from a variety of disparate official Star Wars materials, primarily from West End Games, although he also paid homage to the fan publication Book of Imperial Shuttle Plans: Cygnus Spaceworks. The article, when published, was illustrated with a series of images demonstrating the in-universe use of the various writing forms. Upon release, the article received high praise on StarWars.com, TheForce.Net, and the Jedi Council Forums, with authors Daniel Wallace, Edward M. Erdelac, Adrick Tolliver, and Nathan O'Keefe registering their admiration for the work.

OverviewEdit

"Writing is the basis for our civilization."
―"The Written Word," by Dr. Milanda Vorgan[src]

The Written Word is a six page in-universe profile of several of the various written languages used in the galaxy, broken up in to several sections dictated by different scripts: Aurebesh, High Galactic alphabet, Tionese, Sith writing systems, Trade Federation Basic, Other systems, and Further reading. The article is illustrated with several images, demonstrating the use of the various scripts within the Star Wars universe. Its in-universe author is identified as Dr. Milanda Vorgan, and it is shown to be published within The Shafr Anthology of Galactic Language, Second Edition. The article explores the development and usage of the various writing systems, citing examples of their implementation and their gradual evolution throughout history.

DevelopmentEdit

"People who know me should find no surprise that I found a place to quote Voren Na'al, my favorite character in Star Wars."
―John Hazlett[src]

The Written Word was written by John Hazlett, author of the StarWars.com Databank entries for Cane Adiss and Slyther Bushforb,[1] which were published through the Star Wars.com Hyperspace feature, What's The Story? Hazlett's previous work was published under his screen name of "jSarek,"[2][3] and he had been further acknowledged as "Ris_jSarek" in The Essential Atlas (2009), written by Jason Fry and Daniel Wallace. Hazlett had served as an administrator on Star Wars fan-edited encyclopedia Wookieepedia prior to writing The Written Word, which was his debut official Star Wars article.[1]

WEG Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook

The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook, which provided Hazlett with his in-universe author, Milanda Vorgan.

As Hazlett discovered, the Star Wars Miniatures Battles Companion (1994) stated that Basic was written with a variety of systems, an idea corroborated by the appearance of the Corporate Sector Authority logo, which featured both Aurebesh and Latin characters next to one another. With that as his basis, Hazlett went on to retcon the Latin, the Greek, and the Hebrew alphabets as in-universe writing systems, as each had appeared in canon sources without explanation.[4]

In writing the article, Hazlett chose to implement the technique of an in-universe author, selecting Milanda Vorgan, who originated as an assistant to the character of Garv Debble in The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook (1996). To provide context for the character, Hazlett identified her as a professor at the University of Charmath, which originated in The Star Wars Sourcebook (1987). He provided the article with an in-universe name: "The Written Word: A Brief Introduction to the Writing Systems of Galactic Basic," and identified it as a publication of the Shafr Center, from "Race for the Tessent," an article published in Star Wars Gamer 9 (2002). Opening the article, Hazlett chose to quote his favorite Star Wars character, Voren Na'al—specifically from The New Essential Chronology (2005), a reference book which in turn cited Na'al as its in-universe author.[4]

Although Hazlett acknowledged "Basic" as the standard designation for the common language in Star Wars, he had seen variations—"Galactic Basic" in Star Wars Miniatures Battles (1991) and "Galactic Standard" in both Star Wars 50: The Crimson Forever (1981) and on the copyright page of Galactic Phrase Book & Travel Guide (2001). He conjectured that the various definitions were short forms of a longer, official designation, and so compounded them to create "Galactic Basic Standard." Old Galactic Standard, which Hazlett cited as the origin of Basic, had been mentioned in Abel G. Peña's article "The Emperor's Pawns," itself published in Star Wars Gamer 5 (2001). Hazlett noted that the language was known by Arden Lyn, a character who had lived during the First Great Schism, around the time that the Galactic Republic had been formed, and so made the connection between Old Galactic as an older form of the "modern" Basic.[4]

Approaching AurebeshEdit

"The source of all of these Aurebesh-like scripts is revealed to be the Rakata. As was pointed out to me some time ago, some of the symbols used in the Star Maps in the original KOTOR appear to be variants of Aurebesh characters."
―John Hazlett[src]

First, Hazlett covered the in-universe Aurebesh writing system, which had been created by Stephen Crane for the Star Wars Miniatures Battles Companion, and was in turn based on a form of script seen in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983). Since then, Hazlett noted, the script had been seen in the Prequel trilogy, the 2004 DVD release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and a number of other products, making it the most widely exposed form of writing in-universe. Since the characters shown initially in Return of the Jedi translated into a meaningless repeating pattern,[5] Hazlett suggested that there were other ways to implement the Aurebesh characters, citing the abjad of the Azure Imperium, which originated in Coruscant and the Core Worlds (2003) as a likely candidate. Abjads, as Hazlett later explained in his blog, required readers to fill in vowels depending the context of a given sentence. As the Azure Imperium included Anaxes, a world with ties to the Imperial Navy, Hazlett hoped to imply that the readout, featured on a control panel of the Imperial battleship Executor in Return of the Jedi, used the abjad.[4]

Hazlett tied the Aurebesh characters to Rakatan symbols, as it had been pointed out to him that some of the icons on the Star Maps in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003) were variants on Aurebesh symbols. Due to the fact that the symbols were sparse, he decided to identify the Rakatan writing symbol as logographic, wherein each symbol would represent a different word. The idea of adapting an alphabet out of characters from a disparate system was not without its basis in history: Sequoyah of the Cherokee used Latin characters when creating the Cherokee syllabary but associated them with entirely different sounds. In the section on Aurebesh, Hazlett referenced the Pre-Corellian language, which had originated in the Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide; the Tionese War from Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds (2004), and the character of Rin Assid, who was first referenced in Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook (1993).[4]

Hatching High GalacticEdit

"This alphabet is the one used in the English-language writing we see in the Star Wars galaxy; it thus either is the same as the Latin Alphabet which we all use, or is another alphabet that is consistently translated into the Latin Alphabet for our benefit. This ambiguity mirros [sic] that of the natue [sic] of Basic itself, which might be English, or which might be a language carefully translated for our benefit. "
―John Hazlett[src]
Mswc7cover

High Galactic was first alluded to in one of the earliest Expanded Universe works, Marvel's Star Wars 7: New Planets, New Perils!

In retconning High Galactic effectively into the appearance of Latin characters in the Star Wars universe, Hazlett noted that there was ambiguity as to whether the Latin characters actually existed as they appeared, or whether they were simply "translated" for the viewers' convenience. The ambiguity, as he mentioned in his blog, was reflected in the nature of spoken Basic, which might literally be English, or something else altogether once again "translated" for the benefit of the consumer. The name "High Galactic" came from Star Wars 7: New Planets, New Perils! (1978), and was later confirmed to be a common language in Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook (2007). As the Latin alphabet contains characters from the Greek alphabet, Hazlett found it important to tie together their in-universe analogues mentioning that the originators of High Galactic, the Alsakanese, borrowed from the Tionese language.[4]

Hazlett created the Republic Census, an extrapolation from the Imperial Census featured in Star Wars 31: Return to Tatooine (1980). To explain why Latin signatures had appeared in West End Games products such as The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook (1996), the Heir to the Empire Sourcebook (1992), and the Dark Empire Sourcebook (1993), Hazlett established that most Human signatories would utilize the High Galactic alphabet in an official manner. He established that it was common for advertisements to use High Galactic, explaining the Latin characters on many of the in-universe logos featured in West End Games products, as well as the "sound slugs" shown in Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim (1993), which were the in-universe method of storing music. When citing companies that used High Galactic in their logos, Hazlett mostly mentioned those established in canon, but did create Chrono-Bios Publishing—a reference to the Time–Life publishing house, and intended to be the creators of the in-universe periodical "Chrono." As Hazlett had noted that the names of C-3PO and R2-D2 were often displayed phonetically as "See-Threepio" and "Artoo-Detoo" respectively, he believed that their names were not being translated from Aurebesh for the benefit of audience, and so he established that they were usually identified in High Galactic. His mention of knock-off droids using Aurebesh was influenced by a comment made by Daniel Wallace, who once asked "…who could ever forget that great droid duo, Reshtoo-Dorntoo and Cresh-Threepethosk?"[4]

Translating TioneseEdit

"This alphabet represents what we see as the Greek alphabet in Star Wars; like the High Galactic alphabet, it might be identical to our version of that alphabet, or be another alphabet that gets consistently translated as the Greek one."
―John Hazlett[src]

The next section of Hazlett's work concerned the Tionese language, which he set up as the analogue for the Greek alphabet. The Tion Cluster itself had been created by Brian Daley in Han Solo and the Lost Legacy (1980), and the language of Old Tionese had originated in Shadows of the Empire (1996). When the Hyperspace article Xim Week: The History of Xim and the Tion Cluster was published on December 7, 2009, as Hazlett was still working on The Written Word, drastic revisions had to be made, as it shed new light on the history of the Tion Cluster. In the same section, Hazlett made reference to the Cygnus Star Empire, which originated in the fan publication Book of Imperial Shuttle Plans: Cygnus Spaceworks (1984). Cygnus Spaceworks, which originated in the publication, had been made canon in the computer game Star Wars: X-Wing (1993), and the Cygnus B system had appeared many years prior in Cantina Communications, which was published in Star Wars Official Poster Monthly 16 (1979). The prior appearances of Cygnus led Hazlett to believe it was reasonable to canonize the fanon "Cygnus Star Empire" as a result.[4]

Hazlett had originally intended to identify the Cygnus Star Empire as one of the Tionese splinter states that fell under Xim's empire, but his idea was damaged by two new releases. Firstly, The Essential Atlas (2009) placed the Cygnus B system on the far side of Hutt Space, far from the Tion Cluster. Secondly, the Xim Week article outlined all of the splinter states, leaving Hazlett no room to retcon the Cygnus Star Empire in. He struggled to find a solution as to why a Tion enclave would be located so far away from the Cluster, and so close to Hutt Space, but a solution was presented with the release of another Xim Week article, part 1 of The Despotica (2009). The article mentioned that several of Xim's allies had defected to the Hutts, having been bribed by Kossak Inijic Ar'durv, allowing Hazlett to imply that Cygnus was one of those allies.[4]

Segregating SithEdit

"The Sith, as depicted in Golden Age of the Sith and The Fall of the Sith Empire, appear very Egyptian in style. To reflect that, and also to justify their use of several different scripts, I loosely echoed the history of Egyptian writing. Both start with hieroglyphics; from that, they develop additional scripts, one used primarily for ecclesiastical purposes (Hieratic/High Sith) and another for everyday use (Demotic/Common Sith)."
―John Hazlett[src]

Hazlett noted that the Sith appearing in Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith (1996) and Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire (1997) were highly Egyptian in appearance, and so decided to establish an analogue between the two cultures. He did this by stating that their language had begun as hieroglyphics, before giving rise to both an ecclesiastic script like the Hieratic system, and a more common script such as the Demotic script. Hazlett then made reference to facts surrounding the Sith Empire established in Abel G. Peña's Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties (2006), as well as other Sith factoids presented in Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader (2005) by James Luceno, and KOTOR Campaign Guide Web Enhancement 5: Karnak Tetsu, Sorcerer of Tund (2008), also by Peña.[4]

Hazlett then made reference to several species who had been connected to the Sith. The first was the Arkanians, whose Sith connections had been established in The Essential Guide to Alien Species (2001). Next were the Myke, whom Hazlett noted had been connected to the Sith/Human hybrids featured in The Golden Age of the Sith by fans, due to their physical similarities. Hazlett solidified the connection, and referenced the Kruskan from the Bounty Postings articles. What was identified as High Sith by Hazlett was intended to be the writing featured in Tales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd Uprising (1994). Another script, Massassi, was intended to represent writing present in Ralph McQuarrie's art of The Illustrated Star Wars Universe (1995).[4]

Fan scrutiny of Darth Vader's armor revealed that most versions of the costume featured Hebrew letters on the chest box.[6] Since that was the only context under which Hebrew characters had appeared within Star Wars, Hazlett thought it appropriate to make Sith the in-universe analogue for the script. To encompass other in-universe references to Hebrew, Hazlett tied Bunker 22-Aleph, Storinal from X-Wing: Wraith Squadron (1998) and Task Force Aleph from The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (2000) to the Sith language, making the connection to the Hebrew letter "Aleph" (א). To that end, he identified the Aleph-class starfighter from Legacy of the Force: Betrayal (2006) as having Sith connections, but since the described fighter looked little like the Aleph character and more like the Syriac "'Ālaph," he specified that it was named after a character from the Myke alphabet. Hazlett made reference to Hanod from Wanted by Cracken (1993). He tried to resolve a discrepancy that had cropped up in The Essential Atlas, which had indicated that Supreme Chancellor Contispex I had created the Ordnance/Regional Depots during the Pius Dea crusades, but Hazlett had remembered that Ord Antalaha had been established much later, during the Clone Wars, as per Pirates & Privateers (1997). By introducing another new Ordanance/Regional Depot that had been created after the Pius Dea crusades with the original Ord Dalet, Hazlett hoped to support the earlier example set by Pirates & Privateers.[4]

Tackling Trade Federation BasicEdit

"This is the script that appears in several places throughout Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace."
―John Hazlett[src]

The next script focused on by Hazlett was the writing style featured prominently on Trade Federation possessions in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999). Referring to Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (2006), Hazlett found that the script was identified as "Galactic Basic numerals," while the "Force Feedback" column in Star Wars Gamer 4 (2001) identified it as "Federation Basic." As he found the "Force Feedback" example less generic, he decided to reinforce it, while identifying it fully as "Trade Federation Basic." Hazlett referenced the ancient phonetic origins of Durese that had been covered in "The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Duros," published in Star Wars Gamer 2 (2000). Although Ultimate Alien Anthology (2003) established Pak-Pak as being a nonverbal language, Hazlett opted to go with Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide description, which identified it as a verbal language, seeing as though the Duros and Neimoidians had clear vocalizing capabilities.[4]

Forming Futhark, fermenting FuthorkEdit

"Jar-Jar's 'diplomatic incident' with Queen Apailana during her state visit to Grizmallt seemed a good way to hint at the orthographic drift between the Naboo and their forebears, and to have a little fun with a certain klutzy Gungan, of whom we've seen so little in the post-RotS timeframe."
―John Hazlett[src]
Ric Olié cockpit

Futhark is the script that appears in The Phantom Menace on the side of the N-1 starfighters, among other items.

The next section of Hazlett's article approached the two forms of script seen on Naboo during The Phantom Menace. In devising a backstory for Futhark, he looked to the origins of Naboo itself, referencing Grizmallt and its Queen Tasia from The New Essential Chronology, from which Naboo's roots sprang. The author of The New Essential Chronology, Daniel Wallace had created an obscure easter egg with the name of Queen Tasia, which in Spanish would be "Reina Tasia,"—a reference to the Renatasia system from Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon (1983).[7] As a nod to Wallace's easter egg, Hazlett created the Palazzo Reina. In order to illustrate the orthographic drift between the Naboo and Grizmallt over the years, Hazlett created a cultural faux pas on the part of the infamously clumsy Senator Jar Jar Binks. Hazlett felt the need to include Binks, noting that the character had appeared in very little material set after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). The author made note of the fact that the readouts inside the N-1 starfighter flown by Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace are in Aurebesh, mentioning that the Naboo starships utilized the more common script.[4]

Ascertaining AtrisianEdit

"The Atrisian script is meant to represent the typography seen in many LucasArts games, such as X-wing and the first Dark Forces. Unbeknownst to me, this script apparently has origins in Return of the Jedi, as the image provided with the article demonstrates; this just shows that, even after doing hours of extensive research, an author can miss some very important details!"
―John Hazlett[src]

The last Star Wars script explored by Hazlett was what he identified as Atrisian script—the writing system seen frequently in games such as X-wing and Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995). Hazlett did not realize that the script had appeared earlier in Return of the Jedi, as evidenced by an illustrative image included in the article when it was published. The Atrisian Empire and many of its pertinent details and history originated in "From the Files of Corellia Antilles," published in Star Wars Adventure Journal 14 (1997), although Hazlett was able to create a totally new wrinkle in its history with the Six Savage Viziers, an element that he was particularly proud of. In terms of the background of the script itself, Hazlett drew historical parallels with Peter the Great's reform of the Cyrillic alphabet. He used the in-universe reforms to explain discrepancies between the script found in X-wing and Dark Forces, and the small, almost illegible writing originally identified as Atrisian script in "From the Files of Corellia Antilles."[4]

Hazlett went on to reference the Special Acquisitions Branch from the Imperial Sourcebook (1994), as well as the Tiss'shar, a species of which the author was particularly fond. Also stemming from the Imperial Sourcebook was the Bureau of Operations' Infiltration branch's appreciation for the writings of Uueg Tching. Hazlett referenced the script's use in Dark Forces directly, as well as its use in a reproduction of a monitor on the Death Star in Star Wars Screen Entertainment (1994). Another element of Dark Forces referenced directly by Hazlett was the character of General Mohc, the game's principal antagonist. The author established Mohc's ancestry as Atrisian, feeling that it was in keeping with the character as presented in the game itself, and the history established in The Dark Forces Saga (2005). Hazlett created two new authors of the Third Atrisian Period—it had been suggested to him that the name of "Uueg Tching" was a reference to the phonetic pronunciation of the popular acronym for West End Games, "WEG," and so he decided to use the two new names to reference other Star Wars hobby game licensees—Uuotse and Daysaifor as nods to "WOTC" and Decipher, respectively. Hazlett made further references to West End Games products with the phrase "salting the ether," from Galaxy Guide 9, and the character of Crix Masst from Wanted by Cracken.[4]

Fashioning further readingEdit

"This section was a late addition to the article, a way of making it end a bit less abruptly while retaining the flavor of a pop-academic work. It wound up being one of my favorite bits, bringing to life a little bit of GFFA linguistic academia and gives "The Written Word" some in-universe context."
―John Hazlett[src]

A late addition to the article was the "Further reading" section, which turned out to be one of Hazlett's favorite sections, as well as providing the work with a more natural conclusion and greater in-universe context. In doing so, the author created a slew of in-universe works from scratch. One of them, Writing in Basic: An Orthographic Chrestomathy, was intended by Hazlett to essentially be an anthology of example texts that would chronicle the development of Basic. Hazlett supposed that it would contain a great deal more texts than those included in The Written Word. The History and Development of the Human Languages, Volume I was attributed to the character of Dr. Arner Figgis, from "Old Corellian: A Guide for the Curious Scholar," published in Star Wars Adventure Journal 7 (1995). Hazlett's interpretation of the character led him to believe that he would lend the name of his work a more verbose feel, in line with Edward Gibbons' The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776), and Winston Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1956).[4]

Another "referenced" work was Star Maps and Scripts: The Rakata Connection, attributed to Dr. Corellia Antilles and Gideon Na'al. Antilles originated in "The Gree Enclave" from Star Wars Adventure Journal 8 (1995), but the character had received little exposure outside of the Adventure Journal up to that point. Hazlett felt that his reference of the character would be seen as "fresh," but between his final submission and the actual publication of The Written Word, the character was mentioned in Adrick Tolliver's Death in the Slave Pits of Lorrd (2009), The Essential Atlas, and The History of Xim and the Tion Cluster. The character of Gideon Na'al was intended to be one of the children of Voren Na'al mentioned in The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook, sharing the name of his maternal grandfather, Gideon Tarkin. Hazlett had originally identified the character as a Doctor, although he realized that the character would likely be too young for a doctorate at that point, and so the reference was removed. The last work mentioned by Hazlett was Huttese Ain't What It Used To Be, "authored" by one Dribba Vermilic Scaiti. The character was of particular personal significance to Hazlett, as one of his player characters in several Star Wars roleplaying campaigns was a young trend-bucking Hutt by the name of "Yuba Vermilic Scaiti."[4]

ContinuityEdit

"When I wrote up the history of Aurebesh for 'The Written Word,' I thought, 'this is the big script that creators will use no matter the timeframe; I'd better make sure its origins go all the way back to the dawn of the Republic to make sure I cover my bases.' So, of course, less than three years later, they went and set a comic before the dawn of the Republic. And used Aurebesh."
―John Hazlett[src]
Galaxy Guide 7 Mos Eisley

John Hazlett drew content from several West End Games sourcebooks from the 1990s, among them Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley.

In addition to the works that were vital to the development of Hazlett's work and development of The Written Word, the article features several other ties to the greater Expanded Universe continuity. The Aurebesh chart is a slightly modified version of the one featured in Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised (1996), and in the Aurebesh section itself Hazlett made references to such Expanded Universe elements as Duro from Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back (1989), Axum from Coruscant and the Core Worlds, the Perlemian Trade Route from Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition (1992), and Foerost from Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War (1996). The High Galactic section saw references to Alsakan from the Dark Empire Sourcebook, the HoloNet from Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, and Industrial Automaton from Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley (1993), amongst others. Repurposed images from The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels (2003) and Star Wars Miniatures Battles Companion were used for illustration. Hazlett made reference to the "R-22 Spearhead," a vehicle created by Daniel Wallace in The New Essential Guide to Characters (2002) to substitute for early appearances of RZ-1 A-wing interceptors, prior to their supposed in-universe creation.

The Tionese section was illustrated with images of Nu-class attack shuttle from Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), the Theta-class T-2c shuttle from Revenge of the Sith, and the Lambda-class T-4a shuttle from Return of the Jedi. An illustration of Attack Pattern Delta from the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook (1990), slightly modified to omit most of the text, was also used. Hazlett made several references to Lawrence Holland's X-Wing computer game series, mentioning the Greek-named squadrons featured in those games, the Alpha-class Xg-1 Star Wing from Star Wars: X-wing, and the Delta-class JV-7 escort shuttle from Star Wars: TIE Fighter (1994). Hazlett made reference to the Mu-class Model 2 shuttle from Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts (1993), and the Telgorn Corporation from the Imperial Sourcebook, amongst several other continuity nods.

The Sith section featured a repurposed image of Darth Vader's chest panel from Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary (1998). Amongst the references made by Hazlett in this section were Ziost from Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith, Jaguada from Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, and Tund from Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka (1983). For the Trade Federation Basic section, a chart from the "Force Feedback" column in Star Wars Gamer 4 was modified and reused as illustration. Hazlett made reference to the nationalization of the Trade Federation that was established in "Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:24" from Star Wars Insider 84 (2005).

The section on Futhark and Futhork featured an original image—a chart comparing Latin characters to the Futhork characters. Most of the references in that section were instrumental in Hazlett's development of the article, but another Expanded Universe reference was made with the mention of Nubia, which was established as an individual planet in Coruscant and the Core Worlds. In the Atrisian script section, Hazlett made a plethora of references to West End Games material, but was able to create several new continuity wrinkles, including the characters of Uuotse, Daysaifor, and Tra-Skan-Lor. Although The Written Word has passively influenced all uses of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew characters in Star Wars material, the article itself has not been directly referenced in later works.

Several continuity issues have arisen since the article's publication. One such issue is the emergence of the Sith language, developed in Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side (2012) and expounded upon in the article "Speak Like a Sith" by Ben Grossblatt from Star Wars Insider 134 (2012). The constructed language established by those publications bears no resemblance to the previously established High Sith and Common Sith writing systems established by Hazlett. In addition to this, the Aurabesh script was utilized in John Ostrander and Jan Duursema's comic series Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, particularly issues such as The Prisoner of Bogan 1 (2012), which is set in a time period predating Hazlett's original conception of when the script was first used. Hazlett has since speculated that the discrepancy can be explained away by attributing it to the "inaccuracy" of Dr. Vorgan's in-universe writings.[8]

ReceptionEdit

"This was a great article. I've always been dismayed by the gradual abandonment of the Roman alphabet and the 'Cresh-Threepethosk' that that implies, so it's great to have something officialized and so well thought-out."
Daniel Wallace[src]

The Written Word was published on March 5, 2010, and was met with praise in its respective comments section on StarWars.com. Among those lauding the article were Tim Veekhoven (Swilla Corey in the Databank) and Edward M. Erdelac (Fists of Ion). On the Jedi Council Forums, Hazlett received similar praise from Daniel Wallace, Kyle Jewhurst (Nem Bees in the Databank), Nathan O'Keefe (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji), Greg Mitchell (Dusty Duck in the Databank), Aidan Hennessy (Pello Scrambas in the Databank), and Adrick Tolliver. Both O'Keefe and Hennessy, however, had reservations over the need for the Latin alphabet to be retconned as an in-universe script, rather than simply being a fourth-wall conceit for the viewers' and readers' benefit.[9][10]

The article later received a glowing review on TheForce.Net from reviewer and eventual co-author of The Essential Guide to Warfare (2012) Paul R. Urquhart, who heralded Hazlett's work as possessing a "charming playfulness" while still being accessible to the most casual of fans. In particular, Urquhart was reminded of J. R. R. Tolkien's prefaces to his The Lord of the Rings trilogy; the reviewer went on to call the work a "splendid first contribution" to canon from Hazlett,[11] despite the fact that Hazlett had contributed two Databank entries previously.[2][3] Hazlett later wrote endnotes for his work, and was queried by Daniel Wallace as to what he believed the significance of the Hebrew lettering on Darth Vader's chest box could possibly be.[4] Hazlett acknowledged the contested fan translation of "His Deeds Will Not Be Forgiven Until He Merits" but accepted that their purpose may be merely functional.[12]

AppearancesEdit

By type 
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea

Characters

Droid models

Events

Locations

Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology

Miscellanea


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 HyperspaceIconThe Written Word: A Hyperspace Fan Club Exclusive on Hyperspace (content removed from StarWars.com and unavailable)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Databank title Cane Adiss in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Databank title Slyther Bushforb in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 StarWarsDotComBlogsLogoStacked "Endnotes for The Written Word" – jSarek's Infonet, John Hazlett's StarWars.com Blog (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  5. A translation of the screens utilized in Return of the Jedi can be found at Erikstormtrooper's Imperial Gallery
  6. Close-up photos of Darth Vader's chest panel and the text found on them are located at Erikstormtrooper's Imperial Gallery
  7. StarWarsDotComBlogsLogoStacked "Lostwords: The Essential Guide to Episode I" – Continuity, Criticisms, and Captain Panaka, Daniel Wallace's StarWars.com Blog (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  8. The Aurebesh on the Wall on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; posted by jSarek on December 11, 2012 at 1:54 am)
  9. Hyperspace New Short Fiction: JJM's "The Secret Journal of Doctor Demagol" now online!!! on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; posted by Valin_Kenobi on March 5, 2010 at 12:25 pm)
  10. Hyperspace New Short Fiction: JJM's "The Secret Journal of Doctor Demagol" now online!!! on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; posted by QuentinGeorge on March 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm)
  11. The Written Word: A Hyperspace Fan Club Exclusive: Reviews on TheForce.Net
  12. StarWarsDotComBlogsLogoStacked "His Deeds Will Not Be Forgiven Until He Merits" – jSarek's Infonet, John Hazlett's StarWars.com Blog (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)

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