Alright, C-3PO, it’s time to break out those awesome translating skills you’re always humblebragging about — and while you’re at it, break out your wallet, too. Star Wars has just licensed its first-ever official computer keyboard replacement set, coded in Aurebesh, the written version of the official language spoken throughout the Galactic Empire.
This new key replacement set is color-themed to appeal more to the Death Star crowd than to supporters of the gauzy-hued Rebellion. That means don’t even bother looking for X-Wing symbols and Yoda silhouettes here; rather, the Galactic Empire DSA Set sports the cool iconography of the galactic alphabet, plus some killer stand-in Dark Side symbols (like TIE Fighters, AT-ATs, and Darth Vader helmets) for commonly used commands. A red lightsaber in place of an enter/return key? Swish, swish.
The officially licensed key set arrives courtesy of a collaboration between Disney and custom-keyboard maker NovelKeys, and, as you’d expect, it costs a healthy handful of Galactic credits. At $250, this is a kit most likely to appeal to aspiring Imperial linguists or serious Sith fans, so here’s hoping that a separate keyset and color scheme for Rebel sympathizers isn’t far behind.
As for Aurebesh? Don’t feel bad if you’ve been a decades-long Star Wars fan without knowing much about one of the more esoteric pieces of Imperial lore. Aurebesh is the character set (aka alphabet) for Galactic Basic, the lingua franca of the connected Star Wars galaxy. In other words, when Supreme Leader Snoke is speaking (oops, make that was speaking), the language you’re hearing is Galactic Basic. But write down what he’s saying, and the alphabet you’re using is the alphabet of Aurebesh.
While Star Wars has never worn its geekiest depths on its sleeve the same way Star Trek does, there’s no reason a true Lucasfilm nerd couldn’t tap their way to a rudimentary understanding of Aurebesh and hang with the most fluent Klingon speakers out there. But, if you’re holding out hope for a keyboard that’ll help you learn the bleep-bloop of R2-D2 or the guttural nuances of Wookiee, you may still be out of luck. Until that day arrives, it looks like we’ll be hanging onto C-3PO just a little while longer.