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Star Wars as an Icelandic saga
March 12, 2010 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Tattúínárdælasaga (The Saga of the People of the Tattooine River Valley) is the Icelandic saga Star Wars was based on. So far five chapters have been transcribed.
posted by Kattullus (44 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is the geekiest thing I have ever posted. Actually, come to think of it, the Claude Degler post may still be geekier than this.
posted by Kattullus at 12:11 PM on March 12, 2010


Transcribed, but not translated...
posted by LSK at 12:15 PM on March 12, 2010


I'm covering my eyes with one hand, I don't know if I'm prepared for this level of nerdy.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:21 PM on March 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Of COURSE he's one of ours.

Ten bucks says he's in a bitter rivalry with the Elvish guy.
posted by Madamina at 12:24 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


With Bjork as Princess Leia.
posted by qvantamon at 12:26 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


This would be cooler if I could read Icelandic.
posted by valkyryn at 12:27 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It was better in the original Klingon.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:32 PM on March 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


After a long series of close battles, Lúkr and a team of Hebridean Vikings (who, we learn in a long prelude to this encounter, have long quarreled with Falfaðinn over a taxation matter)

*long hysterical laughter*

The best part about this is, you don't need to be able to read Icelandic at all. Just have a little experience in archaic writing forms and a willingness to flow over all the foreign terms, which are JUST close enough to be utterly hilarious.

Great find. Thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 12:32 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


you don't need to be able to read Icelandic at all

The second link is entirely in Icelandic, and, one imagines, where most of the humor is to be found.
posted by valkyryn at 12:36 PM on March 12, 2010


Tattúínárdælasaga (The Saga of the People of the Tattooine River Valley) is the Icelandic saga Star Wars was based on.

Er, no. Like, not even close.

From http://tattuinardoelasaga.wordpress.com/about/:
I felt like reading and studying Old Norse was not going to sharpen my skills up to “prelim” level on its own, and I wanted to find some kind of fun creative outlet that would give me a way to enjoy myself while composing (even to a very limited degree) in Old Norse (and not just in Modern Icelandic). When a colleague pointed out to me how well Star Wars would work as an Icelandic saga, I saw my chance.
posted by splice at 12:37 PM on March 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


My favorite part:

Tattúínárdœla saga tells of the youth of Anakinn himingangari, beginning with his childhood as a slave in Tattúínárdalr, notably lacking the prolonged racing scene of the MHG version, and referring to the character of “Jarjari inn heimski” only as a local fool slain by Anakinn in a childhood berserker rage (whereas in the MHG version, “Jarjare” is one of “Anacen’s” marshals and his constant companion; Cochrane 2010 suggests that this may be because the MHG text is Frankish in origin, and “Jarjare” was identified with a Frankish culture hero with a similar name)

Just because I like imagining Jar Jar getting cuisinart-ed by a big-ass Viking.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:37 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


OH MY GOD

The sheer rending horror at the nerdiness of it. The blinding white force of its majestic beauty.
posted by krilli at 12:38 PM on March 12, 2010


splice: Did they have hamburger in ancient Iceland?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:39 PM on March 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


In the future, this will be the only surviving record of Star Wars and it will be conflated with historical fact.
posted by The Whelk at 12:40 PM on March 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


Awesome post. This needs some kind of tie-in to George Lucas In Love. (previously, but no comments and a dead link)
posted by XMLicious at 12:40 PM on March 12, 2010


I want this to be true.
posted by d. z. wang at 12:43 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


He had me going until he got tot he Jar-Jar part. Then I realized.
posted by echo target at 12:44 PM on March 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm with hippybear on this one, including the excerpts:

The best part about this is, you don't need to be able to read Icelandic at all. Just have a little experience in archaic writing forms and a willingness to flow over all the foreign terms, which are JUST close enough to be utterly hilarious.

And once you know that þ is effectively "th," what is to keep you from being able to read this excerpt at sight?

Having infiltrated Veiðari’s court, Lúkr discovers that his sworn brother Hani has been turned to ice by Veiðari’s sorcery, and engages in a memorable holmgang with Veiðari, in which Veiðari reveals to Lúkr that he is his father:

Veiðari mælti: “Víga-Óbívan segði aldrigi þér þat, er orðit er af feðr þínum.”
“Hann sagði mér œrit,” segir Lúkr, “Hann sagði mér, at þú hann drapt.”
“Ekki er þat satt,” kvað Veiðari, “Ok em ek þinn faðir.”

posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:44 PM on March 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Someone needs to do a 19th-century opera based on this.
posted by XMLicious at 12:47 PM on March 12, 2010


I want to say so much about this, but I just can't find the words...

Þakka þér innilega, Kári, fyrir að finna þessa gersemi.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 12:56 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


“Ekki er þat satt,” kvað Veiðari, “Ok em ek þinn faðir.”

"Nøøøøøøøøøø!!!"
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:07 PM on March 12, 2010 [34 favorites]


Zero Gravitas, try this:

Mjök er um tregt tungu at hræra, eða loptvætt ljóðpundara.

But in a good way.
posted by krilli at 1:08 PM on March 12, 2010


I've been reading the double-volume set of The Icelandic Sagas from the Folio Society, and they kick ass. This guy seriously knows his stuff.
posted by Shepherd at 1:22 PM on March 12, 2010


So when does Jah Jah Binksdottir come into it?
posted by Jimbob at 1:56 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just to make the geekiness complete, some Viking Metal band needs to write songs about this. In Icelandic.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:00 PM on March 12, 2010


...and perform then in JEDI ROBES.
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on March 12, 2010


Psssh- everyone knows that the Tattúínárdælasaga was really just a re-telling of Greek texts with a bunch of stuff tacked on at the beginning to make it more appealing to Viking audiences.

Sing, O Muse, of the War Among the Stars
Sing of the Galaxy Far Away and the Time Long Ago
When fatherless Vader, face-scarred, driven by Ares and Enyo
Chased the ship of flashing-eyed Leia and threw fire upon its decks
Burning many men, others struck down as though by arrows or shot
Many wounded, yet more dragged down to the houses of the Dead
Their bodies left as food for dogs and carrion birds
Their halls empty save for the wailing of women

Sing of the island Tatooine, shining jewel in the night sky
But barren-shored, burning, home to pirates and dragons
And of the two men, closer than brothers
One gold-formed, the other silver, worked with alabaster and fine lapis
Cast down onto the sand by the Fates, to wander
With messages from their princess, taken by warlike Vader, his prize
Though watched over by bold Athena and Hermes fleet-of-foot

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:05 PM on March 12, 2010 [17 favorites]


Just to make the geekiness complete, some Viking Metal band needs to write songs about this. In Icelandic. — spinifex23

German Viking Metal Band In Extremo would be particularly suited to the task. The link is their masterful rendition of an Icelandic lullaby. (Check out the guy rocking the harp thing!) Words cannot explain how strange their take on the song is to an Icelander.
posted by krilli at 2:12 PM on March 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


In the future, this will be the only surviving record of Star Wars and it will be conflated with historical fact.

I bet they thing Vader was a god we worshipped not a movie character. Seriously.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:23 PM on March 12, 2010


Ok, but does it answer the question of who shot first?
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:41 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Krilli: Yes, that.

Now someone really should get started on making Star Wars dróttkvæði. Anakinsdrápa has a nice ring to it.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 2:49 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Argh! Yes!

However ... I think Anakin is not worth the drápa.

Hans drápa Sólós, on the other hand ...
posted by krilli at 2:51 PM on March 12, 2010


Vis est omnis divisa in partes duos ...
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:35 PM on March 12, 2010


Words cannot explain how strange awesome their take on the song is to an [non-]Icelander.

FTFTROU [fixed it for the rest of us]
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:54 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I swear, I'm the most gullible person on the internet, I was so believing every word of that
posted by poppo at 5:25 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Vis est omnia divisa in partes duos
..quarum unum incolunt Jedi, alium qui ipsorum lingua Sithes, nostra Villani appelantur..

Ok so they don't actually live in the force, but I couldn't come up with a better verb. Hmph.
posted by nat at 6:57 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok, but does it answer the question of who shot first?

I believe in the original text, Hani shot first.

Subsequent editions of the saga suffer from sloppy editing and the prejudice of later editors who thought their audiences required a more honorable warrior to be Lúkr's sworn brother.

The old-school Hani shot Greeðo with a small crossbow under the table and let him bleed out from a gut wound.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:00 PM on March 12, 2010


ohmygod this is the most awesome thing I have seen on the internet today. It will doubtless be very useful in my continued attempts to learn icelandic!
posted by jacalata at 8:48 PM on March 12, 2010


I take TheWhiteSkull's comment as a challenge.

It's not in hexameter, but beyond that I don't think there's anything here that's completely un-Homeric. Some of the accents might be wrong.

Πόλεμον ἄειδε, Θεά, μετὰ ἄστροις, τῆλε, πάλαι
ὅτε ἀπάτωρ Ἄδηρ, προσώπῳ οὔλωτος,
ὑπ' Ἄρηος καὶ Ἐνυοῦς θυμὸν ὀρινθεὶς
νῆα γλαυκώπιδος Λειῆς ἐδίωκεν
καὶ νηυσὶ κορωνίσι θεσπιδαὲς πῦρ ἐμβάλεν ἀκάματον·
τοὺς μὲν ἄνδρας ἐκαεν, τοὺς δὲ ὀιστοῖς ὣς βάλεν,
πολλὰς ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψας
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι· οἳ δὲ θυμὸν ἀπέφθιθεν
τῆλε πατρίδος αἴης, ἔνθα γόον φίλαις ἐνῶρσαν,
γυναίξιν τε καὶ ἀμφιπόλοις, ἐν μεγάροισιν ερήμοις.

Sing war, Goddess, a war among the stars, far away, long ago
when fatherless Vader, scarred in the face,
driven in his soul by Ares and Enyo,
was chasing glancing-eyed Leia's ship
and threw tireless, god-lit fire upon her curved ships.
Some of the men he was burning, others he hit as though with arrows,
sending many brave souls down to Hades,
souls of heroes, and the men themselves he was making booty for the dogs
and all the birds. And they perished in their soul
far from their fatherland, where they stirred lamentation among their dear women,
both their wives and their servants, in the empty halls.
posted by dd42 at 9:03 PM on March 12, 2010 [13 favorites]


Well shit, now we need a Vedic Star Wars.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:53 PM on March 12, 2010


Would it be too much to ask to have a retelling of "A New Hope" where Luke and Leia make a lovers suicide pact and fall into the heart of the death star rather than be forced to marry Mon Mothma (in Luke's case) and Moff Tarkin (in Leia's)?

in the style of The Tale of Gengi?
posted by Severian at 9:56 PM on March 12, 2010


German Viking Metal Band In Extremo

Posers. I only go for authentic Viking metal bands.
posted by stbalbach at 10:28 PM on March 12, 2010


I just got a nerd-on.
posted by grubi at 8:36 AM on April 7, 2010


There's another Old Norse version of Star Wars, Loga saga loptgengils, but that's exclusively in Old Norse, no English translation or summary.
posted by Kattullus at 3:56 PM on April 7, 2010


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