The Last Jedi’s Chinese Bootleg Subtitles Are Just The Best

One of the most famous bootlegs of all-time is an obscure Chinese Star Wars DVD of Revenge of the Sith — or, as it’s more commonly referred to: Star War The Third Gathers: Backstroke of the West. This specific pirated copy translated the film into Mandarin Chinese, and then translated that back into English for the subtitles. The extremely not-done-by-a-professional vibe is clear from the outset and, as the internet at large discovered, the results were incredible.

That last one — “Do not want” plastered over Vader’s melodramatic “NOOOOOOOOOO” — is what truly cemented this bootleg’s place in Star Wars prequel history.

After over a decade, we finally have a true successor to Backstroke of the West. Some call it “The Latest Jedi,” others prefer “The Vast Majority of these Last Samurai” or “Star War The Eighth Gathers: The Final Hopeless Situation.” Whatever you call it, this bootleg is a delight.

Unlike its prequel predecessor, the subtitles for this version of The Last Jedi weren’t created by hilariously inept bootleggers. Piracy has changed dramatically since 2005, and the streamlined sophistication of easily accessible technology means that gems like Backstroke of the West don’t come around often these days. Eager to fill the messy broken hole in our lives, Reddit user Achaewa came up with a way to replicate the bizarre, roundabout way that Revenge of the Sith got so mangled all those years ago. Achaewa explains:

(…) I use Nikse Subtitle Editor which has built in google translate, though it does require you running the subtitles through a combination of languages to get the funniest results.

Whatever blood magic incantations Achaewa had to utter in order to produce this gibberish was all worth it. The end product, the entirety of which you can see over here, strikes exactly the right tone. It’s nonsensical, and yet, you still know exactly where every character stands.

“Snooker Supremo” is such a perfect Star Wars name that it wouldn’t be surprising if it was one of the original names brainstormed for Supreme Leader Snoke. And while General Hux doesn’t explicitly call for a galaxy-wide ban on fornication in the movie proper, the subtitles say what the actor’s body language has been telling us all along.

For the most part, the subtitles are oddly comprehensible. But all it takes is one or two words out of place, and suddenly it’s a perfect bootleg.

It’s hard to overstate just how much of the movie’s emotions made it through the bootleg translation ringer. Kylo and Rey don’t say anything close to these lines if you count word-by-word, but all things considered, this isn’t far off.

Funnily enough, in some instances the mixed-up subtitles kind of make Yoda sound a bit more normal.

At this point, I think Disney should just get on with it and release a special edition of the Last Jedi that changes all instances of the word “Snoke” to “Snooker.”

Hey, we haven’t seen Leia so far, what’s she up to? Why, giving solid advice, as usual.

One of the best things about these bootleg subtitles is looking up memorable phrases and seeing what they came out as on the other side of the translation mangler. In this case, “Blow that piece of junk OUT OF THE SKY!” becomes this:

Again, this is… mostly accurate to what is actually said in the movie. Mostly.

And finally, in the last few minutes, the bootleg comes full circle.

It’s like poetry, like they rhyme.

Be sure to check out the full post by Achaewa for more!



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