Does Soviet power
exist in other
galaxies?

'Star Wars' back in the USSR and dubbed western films

There is a great line in Vassily Grossman’s epic Life and Fate (read this book!) which asks ‘Does life have a meaning? Does Soviet power exist in other galaxies?’

Well, Christian Blauvelt at the BBC has recently posted a wonderful collection of Star Wars posters from the 1980’s Soviet Union, Hungary, and Poland, which show how the ‘Evil Empire’ portrayed ‘The Empire’.

Here is the epic intro in the original Soviet dub.

You can watch the remainder of Episode IV here.

To learn more about the lasting influence of Star Wars in modern Russia and Ukraine, see ‘Evil Empire: why is the post-Soviet world so obsessed with Star wars?’ by Jamie Rann at The Calvert Journal.

The question remains as to whether Star Wars has ever been dubbed in North Korea, a country which has extremely talented voice actors who occasionally take on Hollywood hits the likes of Titanic, Bend it Like Beckham, most Disney classics, and Con Air. Yes, that’s right: Con Air, that 1997 classic starring Nicholas Cage, John Cusak, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, and Ving Rhames, in which a group of the baddest prisoners around hijack a DEA prison transport plane and crash land it on the Las Vegas Strip has been dubbed in North Korea at some point, either officially or unofficially.

Why couldn't you put the bunny back in the box?

My guess is that somewhere out there exists a North Korean copy of Star Wars, but we probably won't be seeing it anytime soon.

For now, we will just have to make due with this set of North Korean science fiction stamps, which themselves wouldn't make a bad basis for a pretty stellar film.

Interested in the Soviet pasts and futures? Check out our tours to Abandoned Russia and the 'Nuclear Polygon' in Kazakhstan.

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