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Pew-Pew: See How Every Whirring, Whooshing Sci-Fi Sound Effect Started With Star Wars

Pew-Pew: See How Every Whirring, Whooshing Sci-Fi Sound Effect Started With Star Wars

If a Death Star explodes in space and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes, of course it does. But what kind? When Ben Burtt approached his work on the original Star Wars film, the pioneering sound designer was tasked with dreaming up that specific noise, along with hundreds of other whizzing, bleating, and skershing sounds that we have sing been woven into the audio fabric of cinema. A new supercut has collected the most impressive aural effects from that film together so that we can appreciate them anew with fresh ears.

Filmmaker Rishi Kaneria put together The Sounds of Star Wars, which also uses clips from sequels Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but none of the prequels. Anyone who makes little finger-guns and playfully goes “pew-pew” may not realize it, but he or she is pulling from a vocabulary that didn’t exist before Star Wars. Such is the extent of Burtt’s influence, which can be heard in just about every movie with robots and lasers in the past three or so decades.


Oddly missing from the video, though, is perhaps the most important sound in all of the Star Wars movies, or any other movies, the Mos Eisley cantina song, which we have helpfully inserted below.

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