Backstroke Of The West 10th Anniversary Special

During the summer of 2005, an American living in China blogged about a bootleg DVD copy of ROTS he’d purchased. Even though the film still had its original voice track, whoever produced the bootleg decided for some crazy reason to translate the subtitles from Chinese (which had been in turn translated from English) back to English instead of just stripping the subtitles. There are even English subtitles during the opening crawl! Moreover, the bootlegger probably used a cheap knockoff of Babblefish to produce nonsensical word salads. The result was “Star War The Third Gathers: The Backstroke Of The West,” one of the greatest pieces of unintentional comedy in the history of human existence. It quickly went viral as screenshots were shared all over the internet.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is rechristened as “Ratio Tile” and also (among other names) as “Ratio Prosperous” and “The Willing To Compares” and “Ratio The Tile.” Anakin Skywalker becomes “Allah Gold,” “Gold,” and “The Peaceful Is Willing To.” Padme is “It Gets The Rice” or “The Plum Of.” General Grievous gets a better approximation with “Space General.” Artoo and Threepio are transformed into “Reach The Man” and “Blow The Skin.” Palpatine/Darth Sidious gets the rapper-esque moniker “Speaker D” or “Mr. Speaker.” He’s also known as “The Pudding.” Mace Windu is “Text How Big.” Yoda is “Vanquish.”

The Jedi Council becomes “The Presbyterian Church,” while Jedi Knights are “Hopeless Situation Warriors.” The Force is “Wish Power” or “Original Dint.” The Dark Side becomes “Dark World” and “The Black Influence.” The Separatists are “Abruption doctrine.” The GFFA is “the Milky Way.”

The names of characters and institutions are hilarious enough but most of the laughter comes from seeing familiar scenes with mangled dialogue. For one thing, Obi-Wan drops a lot of f-bombs. Threepio complains Anakin and Padme are “kiss(ing) too loudly.” The clone pilot at the beginning of the film exclaims that the enemy “is in my behind!” Grievous complains about Anakin’s lack of hygiene when he calls him “smelly boy.” Yoda jumps the gun and accuses, “Pregnancy? Pregnancy?!” when Anakin goes to see him. Anakin asks for protection from his “cuckoldry” while Padme demands he cops to his “affair.” Anakin calls Padme a “lier.” Sidious refers to Yoda as “my small manikin.” When Yoda escapes he says he’s going to “leave the country.” Anakin tells Obi-Wan his “dead period has arrived” while Obi-Wan tells Anakin he’s standing on “geography” that “compares you superior.” Another nugget is Obi-Wan to Anakin: “Friend, you are crazy” instead of “well, then you are lost.” There are also frequent references to elephants and everyone wants to become “strong and big.” The ever-popular “I have a bad feeling about this” is re-translated to “I feel far from good.”

But the most famous goof was Darth Vader’s “nooooo” transformation to “do not want.” “Do not want” became an internet meme that lingered for these many years.



8 Responses to “Backstroke Of The West 10th Anniversary Special”

  1. Marshall Says:

    OK. I’m going to have fun with this:
    “You don’t know the power of the Black Influence!”
    “Pregnancy? Pregnancy? Begun this conception has!”
    “Remember, the Original Dint will be with you…always.”
    “For over a thousand generations the Hopeless Situation Warriors were guardians of peace and justice in The Milky Way Galaxy.”
    “How could you sit on the Presbyterian Church and not be a master?”
    And finally, how in the world could a man have a “dead period”? I must know!

  2. peacetrainjedi Says:

    Lol. This just made my day. 🙂 I can only imagine how the rest of the movie might have went if Yoda had opened with those lines when Anakin sought his counsel. I honestly wouldn’t think it to be an out of character thing for a playful/mischievous Yoda to say.

  3. Heidi Says:

    Ah yes, you reminded me I need to post that “kiss to loudly” image, it’s been sitting on my computer to long.

  4. Tarrlok Says:

    My favourite caption was to Obi-Wan sighing, “Always on the move.”

    Ratio Tile: “I was old”

    I’ve been looking for a screengrab of that for years.

  5. Scintilla Says:

    And the fan dub (excepting Yoda’s voice) is a thing of beauty.

  6. Michael Thornley Says:

    The bootleg is a prime example of a trope called ‘Blind Idiot Translation’. The early 00’s had some pretty bad cases of that trope.

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