Blu-Ray preview gives us a glimpse into the making of the mighty Wookie roar for Chewbacca.
Solo September is in full swing here at Dork Side and as we continue to shine a spotlight onto everyone’s favorite scruffy looking nerf herder, it’s important to give a little love to his most important companion – and it’s not Leia Organa. Chewbacca is our focus here! The following SYFY WIRE featurette shows how the sound design team at Lucasfilm added to Chewbacca’s vocal library. Check it out:
This brief behind-the-scenes preview has Supervising Sound Editor Tim Nielsen walk us through the sounds used to create Chewie’s initial roar upon meeting Han in a detention cell. In the context of the scene there was a real element of danger and ambiguity to Chewbacca. Star Wars being a rhyming self-referencing saga the scene plays very much like an inversion of their reunion in Return of the Jedi – with Han bearing the brunt of Chewie’s strength instead of a warm embrace. To that end, the sounds used are guttural and visceral.
Unsurprisingly, the team is working off of an inherited sound library from sound design maestro Ben Burtt. Two of the real world animals that the featurette highlights include a bear and a very large sea lion. These sound sources provided a fitting aural base for the massive Wookie warrior. Of course, post-production wizardry comes into play to change and alter the original sounds, and that crucial step is – unfortunately – not displayed for posterity. But with each new dive into the territory of Skywalker Sound, we get closer to understanding how these artists bring our favorite characters to life.
It’s no secret that the sound library created by Burtt and his successors has produced some of the most iconic and recognizable tones in all of pop-culture. While it would be difficult to rank them all (perhaps an article for another day) it should be non-controversial to suggest that Chewbacca’s various grunts, purrs, yowls, and yelps constitute some of the most popular and instantly recognizable in all the Star Wars saga.
Solo: A Star Story is set for digital release on Sept. 14 and on Blu-ray Sept. 25.