George Lucas, Mark Hamill talk about the creation of the lightsaber for Star Wars
There are few objects, if any, that are as quintessential to the Star Wars franchise as the lightsaber. Any kid in the early 80s like myself, instantly had one the moment he or she picked up a cardboard-tube or a yard-stick at any given time. From the classic sounds of deflecting one onto another, to the (vraoom) of turning one on, they were instantly replicated (poorly) and never mistaken.
From the advent of the new trilogy the Star Wars brand has been putting out all sorts of videos on YouTube that talk about the films. From the original auditions, to behind-the-scenes footage, there are even interviews like the one below that focus on certain aspects of the lore for fans to learn about. Most Star Wars fans know that the giant themes behind Star Wars and its characters came from specific genres of films that influenced a young George Lucas. From pirate-films, to westerns, to Renaissance-era knights and nobles, it isn’t hard to see where many of the characters’ roots came from.
Lucas talks about the “romantic side of fighting,” using the great Errol Flynn as an example when he played Robin Hood. There are clips from the original films (the good ones) and the creator and crew talk about what is was like to manifest a weapon unique to the film itself, but still have it portray such a strong connection to the genres that helped create it. As Ben Burtt even stated that the lightsaber was the first sound he created for the Star Wars. Upon hearing the hum of an old film projector idling, he felt it was the perfect, saying it was “musical, in a way. ‘That’s probably what a lightsaber would sound like.'” Burtt wanted another element — the iconic whooshing sound — which he accidentally created through electronic feedback.