Here’s a lovely post by CREWS Project colleague Philip Boyes on some of the fictional writing systems used in Star Wars. The examples of handwriting are particularly fun ways in which the filmmakers have used writing in very human ways. Philip also has interesting things to say on how useful or ‘realistic’ these strategies actually are:
The accumulation of lore and the ever-expanding quantity of stories within a major fictional universe like Star Wars or Doctor Who can be off-putting or can lead to storytellers becoming bogged down in minutiae rather than crafting good stories; the sheer amount of stuff can strain credibility at least as much as a lack of thought-through world-building […] On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys this sort of thing, it provides a great deal of richness – there’s always more to find out, always another connection to make or juicy little fact to winkle out.
Speaking as the kind of person who definitely enjoys this stuff, I love looking for constructed writing systems in science fiction films and TV programs – in fact I start to feel quite cheated if everything feels too 20th/21st century American/British. I’m also reminded of when Prometheus came out in 2012 and we all rushed to the internet to try to confer on what the Proto-Indo-European was supposed to mean. Philip is right – a certain type of person will spend a lot of time thinking about these things!