Creating the Sounds of the Star Wars Universe

Star Wars: Sounds
Star Wars: Sounds

The dynamic visual effects of Star Wars certainly capture the imagination, but it is the unique sound effects that give these movies a sense of realism and authenticity.  A new book by Jonathan Rinzler, titled Star Wars: Sounds,  puts the spotlight on sound designer Ben Burtt and his work to bring to life the worlds George Lucas created.  Ben Burtt is the legendary sound designer for all six Star Wars movies, the Indiana Jones films, WALL-E and many other films.

The Sounds of Star Wars illuminates the audio universe of Star Wars by exploring the vision for an “organic” sound that George Lucas and sound designer Ben Burtt brought to the movies’ sound effects, as well as how these distinctive sound effects were achieved. The book features a state-of-the-art audio module that will easily allow readers to hear the sounds while learning the stories behind those sounds. Lavishly illustrated pages will include clear markers directing readers to listen to specific tracks as they view and read about the scenes.

The book includes over 200 sounds in the embedded audio module, along with 300 color photos.  No word yet on when it will be available, but more details can be found at the becker & mayer! site.

One of the things I recall from watching some of the making-of shows for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back was Ben Burtt’s work to basically invent all the sounds of a world no one had seen before.  From the tapping of a guy-wire to create a laser bolt, to the tv/projector hum and microphone swoosh for a lightsaber, the sound design work simply fascinated me.  I can’t wait to see what Rinzler has put together to really bring to the forefront Ben Burtt’s contributions to the Star Wars universe and science fiction movies.

Published by Chronicle Books. Retail price $60

Via OhGizmo!