If you haven’t at some point in your life waved your hands about making Light Saber noises imagining you’re defeating Darth Vader then this isn’t the video for you. Star Wars VII is fast approaching, but not fast enough, so for the second time this year I’m revisiting the first six movies this time taking on the trusty Jedi’s Light Saber. .
The original lightsaber sound effect was developed by legendary sound designer Ben Burtt as a combination of the hum of idling interlock motors in old movie projectors and interference caused by a television set on a shieldless microphone - a sound Ben Burtt discovered by accident as he was looking for a buzzing, sparking sound to add to the projector-motor hum.
The pitch changes of lightsaber movement were produced by playing the basic lightsaber tone on a loudspeaker and recording it on a moving microphone, generating Doppler shift to sound like movement.
According Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, light sabers are “not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”