The Star Wars franchise is full of some of the most recognizable sound effects to ever grace the big screen. Now, thanks to an unearthed video from 1980, the sounds that make up the Millennium Falcon failing to make it to hyperspace have been revealed. As is the case with nearly all other sound effects, the iconic ship's sounds are made up of from more than one source and then mixed together to create something brand-new and unique. Hardcore Star Wars fans can probably already hear the iconic sound in their heads and don't even need to pop in The Empire Strikes Back for reference.
A New Hope sound engineer Ben Burtt demystifies the Millennium Falcon failed hyperspace sound in a quick two-minute video. To make the noise, Burtt relied on five different sounds to achieve what he was hearing in his head. The inertia starter of an old 1928 biplane, an air jet recorded in a dentist's office, the sound of an Arclight motor starting and stopping, the sound of a motor located in the turret of an armored tank, and the pipes underneath a broken sink in the bathroom at the recording studio were all used to make the sound in The Empire Strikes Back.
Ben Burtt is sitting at a mixing console at a recording studio as he explains how he came up with the Millennium Falcon's failing hyperspace noise, isolating each one of the tracks to show how they all blend to make the now-iconic sound. Burtt makes it all sound so easy and even makes some of it sound like a complete accident, especially the pipes under the broken sink at the studio. When all tracks are brought up on the faders, the sound emerges from the speakers.
When it comes to sound effects used in some of the most classic movies of all time, Ben Burtt is a legend. Burtt has done groundbreaking work in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, WALL-E, and Star Trek, to name a few. Burtt is also well-known for popularizing the Wilhelm scream in-joke along with creating the breathing of Darth Vader, the voice of R2-D2, the Lightsaber hum, the blaster guns from Star Wars, and many more.
Ben Burtt also voiced WALL-E in addition to creating all of the robot sounds in the movie. His long career in the entertainment industry has earned him four Academy Awards for his sound design work. While learning how the Millennium Falcon noises were made is certainly cool, it's also a bummer because you wish that Burtt could sit there all day explaining how he came up with all of the iconic sounds he has created over the years. You can watch the video of Burtt breaking down the sounds below, thanks to the Eyes on Cinema Twitter account.