Star Wars sound engineers Matt Wood and David Acord have spoken to this week’s ForceCast. Chiefly, they were chatting in a rather specific and delightfully nerdy manner about a single detail of the original Star Wars soundtrack, debating whether or not Obi Wan’s scary roar was borrowed from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon called Dino Boy. However, at the end of the segment, they revealed the following:
And, to be honest, that sound effect has been changed again. So at some point the audiences will be hearing that scene again with the new sound effect.
At some point, unspecified, in the future. Intriguing. Here’s another quote on the new version of the effect:
[We] decided it should sound even more human. And the human it does sound like… yeah, we’ll talk about that another time.
Sounds like they’re trying to forge some new subtext in this latest remix, and very subtly so.
It’s stated clearly in the interview that the DVD remix was done in 2004, and that another full mix was done in 2007. But why? Was that when Lucasfilm started the process of mastering the films for Blu-ray? Very possibly. But the films have played in HD on TV already, and from what the guys were saying here, the fresh soundtrack wasn’t rolled out then; it’s still unheard.
There’s another possibility. Back in 2005, Lucas attended a Showest event promoting the In-Three company’s 2D to 3D conversion process. During the session, they even played the dumbstruck crowd a converted version of a scene from Attack of the Clones as well as the entire opening reel of the first Star Wars picture, the one the die-hards now call A New Hope, with every frame of it in 3D.
Word was that all three Star Wars films would be getting 3D rereleases in cinemas, and it’s a rumour – well, more than a rumour, really – that simply refuses to go away. Official statements from Lucasfilm might have been foggy or even contradictory on the matter, but we know George at least wanted, and has tried, to convert his saga into 3D. And that could well have been the perfect excuse for another, maybe more dimensional, overhaul of the soundtrack too.
You can download the podcast directly as an MP3. The sound FX discussion runs from around 53 minutes to 1 hour, 11 minutes.
A tip of the hat to good guy Marc Godsiff who has also questioned quite what this interview refers to.