The 25-Year Story Behind Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones’ Seismic Charge Sound – SlashFilm


Burtt originally envisioned — enlistened? — the explosions in “Star Wars” as more abstract sounds. Knowing there are no sound waves in space, and that there is no oxygen to burn up, Burtt thought blow-ups shouldn’t sound like earthbound fireballs. He tinkered and came up with a few unused possibilities for “Star Wars” explosions, hoping to add a little extra surreal verse to the movie. One of them was the “bwamp.” He said (via Star Wars Insider Magazine): 

“I actually tried making a sound like that on the very first ‘Star Wars’ movie. I had an idea that explosions in space should sound different from explosions that we normally hear on Earth, and I remember making up a series of different and very odd-sounding explosions, about twenty-five years ago.” 

He also would sneak sound effects into the “Star Wars” movies, mostly to see if they worked:

“I used to do that all the time in order to experiment with sounds. This is how we discovered the laser sound, or the TIE fighter – I would make up a few possibilities, and at different times in the movie things would sound different. People might come up to me afterward and say, ‘Wow, I really liked this particular sound for that starship.'”

The TIE fighters are, of course, the eyeball-shaped ships used by the evil Empire in the early “Star Wars” movies. 

Burtt loved these abstract versions of explosions, but revealed that no one else seemed to. They all said that “bwamp”-like explosions were “too crazy and weird.” Burtt, however, kept the noises in his own personal sound library, hoping to crack them out someday. By 2002, it seemed the world was ready. 

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