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Aurebesh
The Aurebesh
AurekArial.svg BeshArial.svg CreshArial.svg DornArial.svg EskArial.svg FornArial.svg GrekArial.svg HerfArial.svg IskArial.svg
Aurek Besh Cresh Dorn Esk Forn Grek Herf Isk
JenthArial.svg KrillArial.svg LethArial.svg MernArial.svg NernArial.svg OskArial.svg PethArial.svg QekArial.svg
Jenth Krill Leth Mern Nern Osk Peth Qek
ReshArial.svg SenthArial.svg TrillArial.svg UskArial.svg VevArial.svg WeskArial.svg XeshArial.svg YirtArial.svg ZerekArial.svg
Resh Senth Trill Usk Vev Wesk Xesh Yirt Zerek
CherekArial.svg EnthArial.svg OnithArial.svg KrenthArial.svg NenArial.svg OrenthArial.svg ShenArial.svg TheshArial.svg
Cherek Enth Onith Krenth Nen Orenth Shen Thesh
"These symbols are in our own language—Aurebesh…"
Je'daii Temple Master Quan-Jang[src]

Aurebesh was a writing system commonly used to represent the Basic language. Its name was a portmanteau of its first two letters, Aurek and Besh.

History[edit | edit source]

A Rakatan Star Map bearing pre–Aurebesh letters

"These symbols are a designation—marked on our skin by our Rakatan masters."
―The Force Hound Xesh[src]

Aurebesh was thought to have been derived 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.[1] 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.[2][3]

Generally, Aurebesh was considered to be for the common folk, whereas the High Galactic alphabet was associated with snobbery.[4]

Luke Skywalker learned to read Aurebesh by the time he was four years old, from a set of old educational datatapes given to him by his aunt Beru.[5]

Features[edit | edit source]

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,"[6] that was properly noted using Orenth, was frequently spelled with a double Osk.[7] Similarly, the letter Thesh was often replaced by a combination of Trill and Herf.[8] Such was also the case for Cherek and Shen, often written respectively with combinations of Cresh and Herf and Senth and Herf.[9]

Letters and numerals[edit | edit source]

Letter Name
Meaning
Letter Name
Meaning
Letter Name
Meaning
Letter Name
Meaning
Letter Name
Meaning
Letter Name
Meaning
Letter Name
Meaning
Aurek Aurek
A
Besh Besh
B
Cresh Cresh
C
Dorn Dorn
D
Esk Esk
E
Forn Forn
F
Grek Grek
G
Herf Herf
H
Isk Isk
I
Jenth Jenth
J
Krill Krill
K
Leth Leth
L
Mern Mern
M
Nern Nern
N
Osk Osk
O
Peth Peth
P
Qek Qek
Q
Resh Resh
R
Senth Senth
S
Trill Trill
T
Usk Usk
U
Vev Vev
V
Wesk Wesk
W
Xesh Xesh
X
Yirt Yirt
Y
Zerek Zerek
Z
Cherek Cherek
CH
Enth Enth
Æ
Onith Onith
EO
Krenth Krenth
KH
Nen Nen
NG
Orenth Orenth
OO
Shen Shen
SH
Thesh Thesh
TH
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6
7 7 8 8 9 9 0 0 Plus + Minus


Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Prominent examples in products[edit | edit source]

Evolution[edit | edit source]

The tractor beam information gauge, as it appears in the original Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (top) and the 2004 DVD version (bottom)

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.)

Origin[edit | edit source]

The word "Aurebesh" was developed in a manner similar to the word alphabet, which is derived from the first two letters of the Phoenician/Greek alphabet (alpha and beta).

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).

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Non-canonical appearances

Sources[edit | edit source]

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Notes and references[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Aurebesh Soup Tells the story of the formation of Aurebesh and includes a number of different Star Wars fonts including Aurebesh
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