'ARST ARSW' Rebuilds 'Star Wars' in Alphabetical Order (Video)

The 43-minute video rearranges the dialogue from the original "Star Wars" into alphabetical order.
Courtesy Everett Collection

Sure, you’ve seen Star Wars many times before, but you’ve probably never seen it in alphabetical order. ARST ARSW will fix that for you.

As Google engineer Tom Murphy VII explained to WIRED, it took him 42 hours to create a 43 minute video that recuts the original Star Wars so that the dialogue appears in alphabetical order, from the 201 uses of the word “a” to the lone “zone.”

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If you’re wondering what the point of such a video is, Murphy said that it is “meant to be provocative in its uselessness,” adding that he “[doesn’t] really know where it came from. I like to think of stuff like music or a book or Wikipedia or a movie as data — how can you take that and play around with it?”

Murphy said that it took him 30 hours (“Maybe more than that, actually… I wasn’t really keeping track”) to manually login each word of dialogue in the movie, including a timestamp for when each word was uttered. From there, a program re-assembled the entire movie into alphabetical order, with the result being something that is at once both familiar and alien, providing an unexpected makeover to George Lucas’ first installment of the now-mammoth franchise at a time when everyone is buzzing about next year’s seventh movie.