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The Emotional Sounds of Star Wars  

"Dramatic emotional approach" was used instead of "Realistic  approach" 
Since Ben Burtt is trained scientifically, part of his attitude is first the literal one. He asks himself:" It this sound-producing object really existed, what would it sound like?"  

Ben Burtt: 
I do always consider the literal aspect of it because ultimately you are trying to  convince the audience of a certain truth. You are trying make them believe with sound that this object, this vehicle, this weapon, this place is real within the movie.  

You want to be in touch with sounds that are convincing, and there is no better place to go than the truth.  

  • How does a space ship really work? 
  • What pushes it along? 
  • What kind of environment is it in? 
  • How fast does it go?
Those are logical questions you do ask yourself. Of course we had sound in space, so that violated all the laws of physics right off the bat. I had been really impressed with the 2001 because it is a landmark, imaginative voyage into space, and the had treated things very  realistically in a scientific sense.  You did not have sound where there was no air.  

When I initially started on star wars, I asked George Lucas "Are we going to do a movie which is that 2001 style, because I am a physics graduate and I can give you that kind of soundtrack or I can forget all that and we can put in anything that we want. 

He said: "Well we are going to have music and if you are not going to justify where the orchestra  comes from, I guess we can have any kind of sound we want." We sort of nodded and said "Letís go for what is emotionally right." We will put in a sound if we feel we need it for impact or for dramatic value. So we threw out the physic ideas and went with sound in space, which turned out to be a lot more fun.  


How do you create sounds for a fantastic universe? 
Sound design of the The Phantom Menace 

The story behind the creation of the lasergun sound 
the story behind told by Ben Burtt's father  

The Sound Design of Star Wars Episode 1 
mirrowpage to 

Soundings from The Phantom Menace 
interview with Foley and effects team 

Star Wars: a new sound

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