The sounds of Star Wars: A compilation of Ben Burtt’s aural delights from the lightsaber to Darth Vader’s voice (VIDEO).

Thanks to Ben Burtt, Star Wars Has Some of the Most Iconic Sounds in Film History

Thanks to Ben Burtt, Star Wars Has Some of the Most Iconic Sounds in Film History

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
May 12 2015 8:30 PM

The Many Magnificent Sounds of Star Wars

chewiesound

Still from YouTube

At the very least, Raging Cinema’s supercut of the sounds of Star Wars provides a rare opportunity to trumpet the name of Ben Burtt. Burtt was the sound designer on the Star Wars films, and his career—which includes credits on E.T., Wall-E, and the Indiana Jones series—is the story of one aural innovation after another.

That’s clear from watching this video. Star Wars’ analog aesthetic—the way it created a futuristic world where things still seemed old, worn, and lived-in—was in large part achieved through Burtt’s brilliant sound design: R2-D2’s beeps and boops, Chewbacca’s primal grunts, a lightsaber’s warm, neon hum. And of course, there's the iconic breathing of Darth Vader, which Burtt captured by filtering his own inhalations through a scuba regulator.

Sharan Shetty is on the editorial staff of the New Yorker. You can follow him on Twitter