In order to create a fully realized fantasy universe, there are a ton of details to fill in. That, of course, extends to sound — from footsteps and crashes, to beeps and bops. And speaking of those beeps and bops, Star Wars: The Force Awakens foley artist Jana Vance just explained how she got BB-8 to sound so realistic (and so cute!) in every moment of the film.
Vance explained that figuring out exactly how the lovable droid should sound was quite a challenge.
She and the filmmakers needed to think about how BB-8 would move, and how that would translate to sound. And in this episode of The Star Wars Show — which also includes a conversation with Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson — she gives a behind-the-scenes look at how that process played out.
Vance said that she and her team considered all sorts of options for BB-8.
They tested hollow, metal, and plastic materials to see what sounded believable for the droid. Eventually, the team decided that BB-8 was heavier, and thus used a bowling ball covered in dirt for some of its sound effects — for example, when BB-8 moves over grates.
Knowing that so much attention was put into every detail — like what exactly BB-8 should and would sound like rolling along deserts, inside spacecrafts, and over all other kinds of surfaces — makes you realize why this entire world is so believable.
Hopefully we’ll get to see and hear lots more from the charming BB-8 when Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15th, 2017.