The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-24-2005, 01:16 PM
Limbo Donni Limbo Donni is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
The various pronunciations of "Leia" in the Star Wars movies

(I apologize for not being a Star Wars fan, so I don't know any of the minor character's names.)

We have a running argument in our house about how to pronounce "Leia".

They played the original on TV last week and we taped it. Her name was actually only used twice. The rest of the time she was "The Princess" or "Your Highness", etc.
Once was by that guy who blew up Alderon, who pronounced it "Lee-uh".
And again, the rebel commander who's pointing to the charts she's supplied who thanks her by name as "Lee-uh".

Showed everyone the tape. Thought that would end it.

But now last night they showed "The Empire Strikes Back"
And there somebody calls her "Lay-uh".
Then Billy Dee Williams shouts a warning to her "Lie-uh"
And finally Luke mumbles about her as "Lay-uh" while he's hanging upside down off some aerial under the space station.


So . . . .
Is there any official statement about this?
It must come up at those famous conventions.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-24-2005, 01:23 PM
Lord Ashtar Lord Ashtar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
I'd just as soon assume it's pronouced "Lay-uh" since that's how she pronounced it.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-24-2005, 05:02 PM
a35362 a35362 is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 3,483
Well, Billy Dee Williams calls his old buddy "Han" instead of "Hahn," so I think he's clueless.

I always thought the princess's name was "Lee-uh."
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-24-2005, 05:21 PM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Leia and Luke both use "Lay-uh." I chalked up Tarkin's "Lee-uh" to (a) his weird Imperial British accent and (b) the fact that he's a dick.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-24-2005, 07:04 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 28,384
Local planetary accents?

Yeah. I'm a nerd. So what?
__________________
"The rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer, and the vessel of state is driven between anarchy and despotism."
~~~~(Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1821)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-24-2005, 09:45 PM
Limbo Donni Limbo Donni is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
That would work. Yoda and Jar Jar have pronounced accents.

I think it's more just not knowing how to deal with a word with 3 consecutive vowels during a first script reading. And once you've got it pronounced one way in your head it's hard to shake. Especially when the name only appears a couple of times over months of shooting.
__________________
First you spread your limbo feet, then you move to limbo beat
Limbo ankle limbo knees, bend back like the limbo tree - Chubby Checker
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-24-2005, 11:17 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
Leia and Luke both use "Lay-uh." I chalked up Tarkin's "Lee-uh" to (a) his weird Imperial British accent and (b) the fact that he's a dick.
Luke calls her "Carrie" when he comes back after blowing up the first Death Star.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-24-2005, 11:21 PM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 39,429
It has to be Lay-uh, otherwise all the cheap porno puns don't work!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-24-2005, 11:47 PM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissa
Luke calls her "Carrie" when he comes back after blowing up the first Death Star.
Or, depending on who you believe, "HEEEEEEEYYYYYY!" :P
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-25-2005, 12:00 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 19,352
George Lucas doesn't even spell things consistently, let alone care about the pronunciation. For some reason it's something that doesn't concern him too much.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-25-2005, 09:45 AM
Zebra Zebra is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Well if you listen, Carrie Fisher has a slight Brit accent while she is held captive on the Death Star. I guess she was influenced by being around the all Brit cast. When she is with Ford and Hammil she goes back to her US accent.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-25-2005, 11:48 AM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
Vombatus Moderatus
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Montana, U.S.A.
Posts: 9,444
I'd say the "correct" pronunciation is the one that she uses herself, as the Lords said already in this thread.

To me, having various pronunciations of names actually makes the movie seem more true-to-life. I have a very simple first name, and it sounds quite different when pronounced by Americans, Brits, anyone with a French accent, and so forth. Why wouldn't that be true in the Star Wars universe?
__________________
Everything in moderation!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-25-2005, 12:54 PM
Duderdude2 Duderdude2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvisibleWombat
Why wouldn't that be true in the Star Wars universe?
Because George Lucas was never one for consistancy.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-25-2005, 04:42 PM
jackelope jackelope is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
I always thought it was kind of strange that Luke and Leia had regular old Biblical Earth-names*, but everybody else had weird, non-Earth names like "Lando," "Boba," "Tarkin," and "Bibb."

(*This is assuming "Leia" to be a variant of "Leah." If it's not, then Luke has the only regular old Biblical Earth-name.)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-25-2005, 04:45 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 52,830
Leia is also an Earthly name (though uncommon in the US), and is, I believe, generally pronounced "LAY-uh"
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-25-2005, 04:50 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 52,830
Cross-posted with jackelope there. But there's also Han, Owen, and Obi-Wan's nickname Ben, plus many of the background characters who have names that are never mentioned except in the credits (I think Attack of the Clones had an Elian, for instance).
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-26-2005, 02:51 PM
gonzoron gonzoron is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos
Cross-posted with jackelope there. But there's also Han, Owen, and Obi-Wan's nickname Ben, plus many of the background characters who have names that are never mentioned except in the credits (I think Attack of the Clones had an Elian, for instance).
It's Elan, actually. (Still a real name. Hebrew.)

There's also Han. (which is a real name, right? Or is it only Hans?)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.