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Ben Burtt

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Ben Burtt
Ben Burtt
Biographical information
Born

July 12, 1948

Career
Star Wars work
Other works of note
  • The Indiana Jones Series
  • WALL•E
  • Star Trek

Ben Burtt (born July 12, 1948) was the sound designer for the Star Wars films, and others made by Lucasfilm Limited with subsidiary Skywalker Sound. His most famous creations are the sound of the lightsaber, Darth Vader's breathing and R2-D2's "voice". He has created many of the languages heard in Star Wars—most of which are marked by shared etymological roots with English—and has written the Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide.

Burtt has a reputation for including a sound effect dubbed the "Wilhelm scream" in many of the movies he's worked on. Taken from a character named "Wilhelm" in the film The Charge at Feather River, the sound can be heard in Star Wars when a stormtrooper falls into a chasm in the Death Star, and in Raiders of the Lost Ark when a Nazi soldier falls from a moving car. The scream appears in many other movies.

Burtt appeared in two of the Star Wars films as an extra. He appeared in Return of the Jedi (as the Imperial officer Colonel Dyer who yells "Freeze" before Han Solo throws a toolbox filled with explosive charges causing him to fall off a catwalk; he utters a Wilhelm scream at that moment) and The Phantom Menace (as Ebenn Q3 Baobab, who appears in the background near the end when Amidala congratulates Palpatine). He also provided the voice for Lushros Dofine in Revenge of the Sith. Burtt was also heavily involved in writing the animated series Star Wars: Droids, to which the prequel trilogy makes many references.

Ben Burtt appeared at Celebration IV in 2007 for a question and answer session.[1] In 2008, Burtt was the sound designer and actor for the titular character in the critically acclaimed WALL•E.

Also in 2008, Burtt worked as a sound designer for J.J. Abrams' Star Trek film, which was released on May 8, 2009.[2]

Lucasfilm announced on October 24, 2013 that Burtt will return as sound designer for the upcoming film Star Wars Episode VII.

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