Geek Trivia

What Animal Was Used To Make The Sound Of The Star Wars TIE Fighter?

Ant Eater
Nyctalopia, Or Night Blindess, Is Caused By A Deficiency Of Which Vitamin?

Answer: Elephant

The Star Wars movies are full of memorable sound FX like the sound of light sabers swooshing through the air, laser blasts shooting between angry Cantina patrons, and, of course, the iconic screaming sound of TIE fighters zipping through space.

Those sounds are the work of American sound designer Ben Burtt, the man who remixed all manner of sound to bring us the laser blasts, R2-D2′ s beeps and bloops, and the heavy breathing of Darth Vader. In the case of the TIE fighters, he remixed animal and machine to create the terrifying sound of the Empire’s lightweight spacecraft. The sound of the fighters screaming by is the sound of an Elephant’s call remixed with the sound of a car driving down a wet road–if you listen closely to the sound by itself it’s easy to pick out the animal-like scream in the background with the sound of wet tires layered over top.

There’s equally clever back stories to many of the iconic sounds in the series. The laser blasters were based off a recording of a radio tower guy-wire slapped with a heavy wrench and the light saber sound was created with a combination of an idling movie projector and feedback noise from a broken TV set.