Watch & Listen: Hearing a Galaxy Far, Far Away

It’s hard to believe that nearly 38 years since the release of the original Star Wars movie, there can still be new ways of looking at it. In this case, the looking is secondary to the hearing of it. Ben Burtt‘s work in the field of sound design is unparalleled. Some of the most iconic sounds in the pop culture landscape are a direct result of his efforts – the lightsaber igniting, Darth Vader’s breathing, R2-D2’s voice, the list goes on.

To highlight the massive accomplishment of Burtt’s work on the original “Star Wars” trilogy, Rishi Kaneria created a supercut of “The Sounds of Star Wars“. Removing the dialog and (most of) the music, what remains is a collection of sounds that are familiar but presented in a new way. The sounds are edited out of chronological order to achieve a syncopated rhythm but still tell the story of the Rebellion and the Empire.

You can hear the mechanical oppression of the Empire and the varied nature of all of the aliens, creatures, and environments. You can also hear my personal favorite sound, the Death Star slowly and almost silently coming into orbit around Yavin IV.

Walking around the convention floor of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim a few weeks ago, my head would turn whenever I heard one of these iconic sounds. They are set as ringtones on cell phones, kids have toys that play sound effects… who are we kidding, adults have toys that play sound effects, they are simply engrained into our culture. One thing is for sure, you know when you’ve heard a sound from “Star Wars”.

All this does is make me even more excited for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens to see where J.J. Abrams will take the story and the sound of a galaxy far, far away.


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