Sounddesigner Ben Burtt’s responsibility on Star Wars was to create specifically unusual sounds – weapons, vehicles, character and key backgrounds.

Ben Burtt was a film sound buff as a child (he recorded and replayed the sound tracks of his favorite movies) Burtt enrolled at the university of Southern California’s film school with the intention of becoming a director. He received a student job cataloguing the Columbia sound library, which had been donated to the University. A call by Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz to U.S.C. led to a successful interview for Burtt. He was given carte blanche to work out of his apartment near the U.S.C. campus in order to collect at a leisure pace those sounds that might be useful. 

He spent a year recording anything that could be turned upside down and backwards to make Lucas world come alive. 

“In my first discussion with George Lucas about the film, he – and I concurred with him – that he wanted an ‘organic’, as opposed to the electronic and artificial soundtrack. Since we were going to design a visual world that had rust and dents and dirt, we wanted a sound which had Squeaks and motors that may not be the smooth-sounding or quite. Therefor we wanted to draw upon raw material from the real world: real motors, real squeaky door, real insects; this sort of thing. The basic thing in all films is to create something that sounds believable to everyone, because it’s composed of familiar things that you can not quite recognize immediately” (Ben Burtt in Film Sound Today)