The Native-'Star Wars' Connection: Bunky Echo Hawk and Steven Judd
Right about now, in Window Rock, Arizona, casting is underway for the Navajo-dubbed version of Star Wars. Among the many efforts by many tribes to keep Native languages alive, this is an unprecedented project.
It also raises the question: Why do American Indians like Star Wars so much?
One obvious answer was provided by Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum and the prime mover behind the Navajo Star Wars project. "It's not difficult to be a fan of Star Wars," he told ICTMN. On other words, Star Wars is such a huge race-crossing, culture-crossing phenomenon that you could ask the same question of a lot of groups, and find evidence to support it.
Why do hip hop fans like Star Wars so much? Why do Millennials like Star Wars so much? Why do Irish Americans like Star Wars so much?
The group we're most concerned about, though, is American Indians, and in honor of the Navajo-dubbed Star Wars and Star Wars Day (which is tomorrow -- "May the Fourth be with you") we're bringing you a few works by Steven Judd and Bunky Echo-Hawk, two of the leading Native pop artists working today.
There is also a connection between these two -- not quite the master-apprenticeship of the Sith, but an acknowledged heredity. When asked by Native Max magazine about his influences, Judd answered, "I have two people, Bunky Echo Hawk, and Andy Warhol."