Help me, fellow Star Wars fans! This sign from ‘Rogue One’ is driving me crazy

Deputy Entertainment Editor
04.08.16

Yesterday, the world was momentarily distracted by the release of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer. If you were remotely near a computer, you were riveted. Probably more than once, if the 16 million views on YouTube (at the time of this writing) are any indication. Half the fun of multiple trailer rewatches is looking at the background to see what hints or clues might reveal themselves. But sometimes instead you get a mystery. A mystery that takes over your day, worms its way into your brain, and drives you crazy.

For me, this screenshot is currently my Star Wars white whale. Strap in, we”re going Full Nerd™.


Image Credit: Lucasfilm

The first thing you see is the stormtroopers with their hover tanks. I repeat: Hover. Tanks. But after that, your eyes are drawn to the building behind them. Mostly because I drew a giant red circle, but I digress. The building is sporting Aurebesh, the alphabet of Star Wars. One of the great things about this universe is – if you translate the letters – you can read anything in the Star Wars galaxy.

EXCEPT THIS DAMN SIGN. Take a look. This is Aurebesh. It”s pretty straight forward. All you have to do is match the symbol to the corresponding English letter. Decoding 101.

But there”s a problem. NONE OF THE AUREBESH LETTER LOOK LIKE AN “M” OR AN “N”. That throws a pretty big wrench into translating the sign above. You can clearly see the far left symbol – that is part of another word – is the equivalent of an “N” so this isn”t some new language. So how are there two letters that aren”t even in the language? The most obvious answer is that the angle is throwing an optical illusion and these are actually multiple letters. Yet despite my best CSI declarations of “ENHANCE!” the photo refused to give up its secrets. It was possible the two non-N letters were “I” and “L” making the word _ _ I L I L.


Image Credit: Lucasfilm

Now at my wits end, I enlisted the help of the Internet at large. Thus far, everyone is as stumped as I am.

So it”s time to bring out the big guns. Help me, fellow Star Wars nerds. You”re my only hope. What does that sign say!?

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