Ben Burtt Talks Star Trek (& Star Wars) Sounds + Links To More Recent Star Trek/Star Wars Connections |
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Ben Burtt Talks Star Trek (& Star Wars) Sounds + Links To More Recent Star Trek/Star Wars Connections May 19, 2009

by John Tenuto , Filed under: Sci-Fi,Star Trek (2009 film),Trek Franchise , trackback

Today is the 10th Anniversary of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which is still the 6th best grossing film in US history. Star Trek and Star Wars have always had a symbiotic relationship (from Lucas’ ILM providing effects to George Takei’s voice in Clone Wars). So today TrekMovie provides some recent SW/ST links and references, including a new interview with Star Wars (and Star Trek) sound designer Ben Burtt.


Ben Burtt talks Star Trek and Star Wars in new interview
TMPEG has a fascinating interview with Ben Burtt, the sound editor of the Star Wars films and genius behind WALL-E and so many films, who also contributed to the new Star Trek film. The interview contains interesting information on the origins of Star Trek sounds and Burtt’s work on the film. Burtt Talks about creating the sounds for photon torpedoes, phasers, warp, transporters and more. Burtt notes how he brought some Star Wars into the sound for the phasers.

EGM:  We’ve talked about the library of sounds you created for J.J.  Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek.  Can you talk about how you re-created some of the iconic effects for the movie?  Let’s start with the hand phaser.

BB: In the original series, the steady blast of the phaser was derived from the hovering sound of the Martian war machines made for the 1953 version of Paramount’s War of the Worlds.  The original was made with tape feedback of an electric guitar and a harp.  You can achieve a very similar sound on a Moog synthesizer by modulating a steady sine wave with pink noise.  The phasers in the new movie are more like the blasters in Star Wars in the sense that they are flying bolts or tracer bullets, rather than a steady beam.  The steady sound just wasn’t the right way to go because the visuals are so different, so I made something that recalls it, but features a Doppler effect and is shorter and sharper.  My sounds were added to those that had already been supplied by Mark P. Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin.

He also addressed how Trek fans would feel about him coming into their franchise:

EGM: Do you think the Trekkies will “get” your work on Star Trek?

BB: It’s very difficult to satisfy all fans, especially when these sounds are such a part of science fiction folklore.  But you can’t make a movie just for the fans.  You respect their loyalty and you want them to come along for the ride, but you first have to make the movie for yourself.  It may sound corny, but I feel that if you put love into your work, hopefully that will give the film a special quality that will enamor the audience as well.  What I did on Star Trek was to build on the audio legacy that I loved from the original TV series, and to expand and amplify it to fill J.J.’s epic vision; it’s the original series on steroids!

Read the full interview

Ben Burtt talks sounds of Star Trek and Star Wars


Star Wars actor talks Trek fandom in official Star Wars Magazine
The Official Star Wars Insider Magazine (Issue #109, a Special 100 page Phantom Menace issue, available on newsstands now) has an interview with Star Wars actor Ralph Brown ("Ric Olie") who discusses how William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy’s acting helped prepare him for his role as the Naboo who teaches Anakin Skywalker how to be a pilot. From the interview by Jonathan Wilkins:

I’d grown up with Star Trek and watched William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy speaking with absolute and utter sincerity about faintly ludicrous scenarios. There’s ways of saying those lines, which is to say them with utter convictions and sincerity, which makes them resonate. If you aren’t prepared to do that, you shouldn’t be doing films in this genre, really.

The editors of the magazine also chime in about the connections between Trek and Wars:

The most eagerly awaited movie of all time, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is also one of the most influential. Popularizing the idea of the prequel in modern cinema, a variety of franchises have now gone back to their beginnings, with the James Bond and Batman series of movies both enjoying the prequel treatment to much acclaim and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise boldly going back to the beginning in J.J. Abram’s 2009 take on Star Trek.

Star Wars talk in Star Trek: Original Motion Pictures Collection
There are several new bonus features on the Blu-ray Star Trek Motion Picture Collection which reference the connection between Star Wars and Star Trek. "The Longest Trek: Writing the Motion Picture" features much discussion of how the initial success of Star Wars in 1977 helped influence a Star Trek movie (from the TMP disc). The bonus feature of "Industrial Light & Magic: The Visual Effects of Star Trek" discusses the contributions of ILM to Star Trek (from the TSFS disc).

Fan Boys DVD release
Today, the DVD of the film Fan Boys is released. The film features a very fast William Shatner cameo and the stereotypical Star Wars vs. Star Trek sillyness. [see TrekMovie interview with Fanboys director Kyle Newman on Fanboys/Trek connections].

Recent Trek connections at the Official Star Wars Blog
TrekMovie isn’t the only place that sees connections. Since the release of the new Star Trek movie, the official Star Wars blog has been doing a few Star Trek/Star Wars stories:

May the force live long and prosper with you
At TrekMovie we have never seen a ‘Star Wars v Star Trek’ battle and we are fans of both. So happy birthday, Phantom Menace. And as Star Wars becomes a new television show and Star Trek a new motion picture, we know that the futures of these franchises are forever linked.

Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas

George Lucas and JJ Abrams



1. luke montgomery - May 19, 2009

love the sounds of the new trek!

2. StarFleet Captain Carson - May 19, 2009

Moog synthesizer music ROCKS !!!!

3. Tony Whitehead - May 19, 2009

I am very glad that not only did the producers team up with ILM, but that they were able to make use of the considerable talents of Ben Burtt. What a talent!

4. MORN SPEAKS - May 19, 2009

Woah, never saw that pic with Roddenberry and Lucas!

5. The Gorn Identity - May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Phantom Menace!

6. Andy Patterson - May 19, 2009

I like Ben Burtt but I still love the original sound effects more.

And I completely agree with the guy who was inspired with how delibarate and seriously Shatner and Nimoy would emote. It inspired me too. It is a classic text book example of how to sell something – a concept – a show. There was a time when it was okay to be serious. Being uber serious in character and taking yourself seriously these days seems to be a dirty word.

7. Steve-O - May 19, 2009

That picture wit J.J. Abrams and George Lucas is so well-taken…. it’s so beautiful.

8. TrekkyStar - May 19, 2009

Very cool, from Roddenberry to Lucas and Lucas to Abrams!

9. Julio - May 19, 2009

Ben Burtt is really a legend… such iconic sounds in Star Wars and he did an amazing job with the new Trek as well. I hope he’s involved again in the sequel.

10. darendoc - May 19, 2009

Ben Burtt was one of my earliest heroes… and the sound effects in the new movie were one of the things that I really liked about it. It is clear that he has a connection and love of the original… and I am glad that survives.

11. jas_montreal - May 19, 2009

Its good that trekmovie did this article. Theirs been quite a bit of Star Wars -vs- Star Trek crap going around the web and how the mccoy bar scene in trek 3 is a copy of the cantina scene, etc. Its just annoying to see stuff like that. I admire both franchises quite a bit actually (obviously bigger trek fan), but non the less. Why can’t both franchises exist in harmony ? Why can’t the fans just enjoy both and respect both. No one really wins. Its just a great story to tell. People should be happy both exist.

12. Captain Roy Mustang - May 19, 2009

This is the first time i seen gene and george meet and shake both of their hands for the first time. Wow this is epic
Great shows and movies from both great legends

13. Mike - May 19, 2009

George Lucas….the ‘Citizen Kane’ of movie making.

14. richpit - May 19, 2009


Because Star Wars sucks! ;-)

No, just joking. I agree with you. Why must the fandom be mutually exclusive? It shouldn’t be.

15. Sean4000 - May 19, 2009

It has not been a decade since TPM, ………has it?

16. Mark - May 19, 2009

Although I defer to Burtt, I suspect that the original Trek phasers were based on a bandwidth limited frequency test recording. Of course I went out and tested his technique of modulating a sine wave with pink noise and it works amazingly well. The guy is a legendary craftsman.

17. Steve-o - May 19, 2009

dude.. i’m steve-o.. have been for a long time.. could you not?

18. John from Cincinnati - May 19, 2009

The reason (s) the original is still my favorite version of Trek:

1) The acting. A lot of people love to criticize Shatner’s work, but when you look at it objectively, he did have a lot of ridiculouus lines and situations and he did deliver it with the utmost conviction and sincerity. He portrayed Kirk as a very confident explorer and soldier, not a brash arrogant jerk. Nimoy created a character that was very regal and noble and beloved around the world. DeForest Kelley, one of the most underappreciated actors of his day. His humor and humanity help make the show so great.

2) Set design. Call me crazy but I loved the 60’s design look in the sets. It kind of reminded me of Ken Adams (of the early Bond movies) work. It’s style of sleek lines and simple layouts are beautiful to me.

3) The music. To this day, TOS music is still the best. It was serious without being presumptuous. It did humor without being corny.

4) The sound effects were wonderful. Nothing beats the low hum of those warp engines!

19. S. John Ross - May 19, 2009

#11: “Why can’t the fans just enjoy both and respect both?”

Honestly, with most of the films it’s a challenge to enjoy either.

But many of us do try our best.

20. Dr. Image - May 19, 2009

Though I have tremendous respect for Burtt and his achievements in Star Wars, to me his sound effects in the new Trek fell far short of my expectations.
The sound and “action” of the new phasers were nowhere near as cool as the TOS phasers.
This was for me in fact the most annoying aspect of the new movie, despite the plotholes, etc.
Updating is one thing. Watering-down is another.

21. BenAvery - May 19, 2009

“But you can’t make a movie just for the fans. You respect their loyalty and you want them to come along for the ride, but you first have to make the movie for yourself. It may sound corny, but I feel that if you put love into your work, hopefully that will give the film a special quality that will enamor the audience as well. ”

Quoted for truth.

~ Ben

22. Frank - May 19, 2009

Tricorder and Phasers in New Movie = VERY DISAPPOINTING

23. Jeffery Wright - May 19, 2009

burtt is a legend, a true artistic inspiration.

loved his work on WALL-e and SWars.

his commentary is what dvd commentary was invented for. great insight!

24. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - May 19, 2009

Wow. Kool Picture of George Lucas and Gene Rodeenberry. I wounder what they said to each other. Oh to be a Fly on that wall.I love Trek and i do love Star Wars as well. Both are great Scifi shows and movies. I think this Galaxy is big enough for both of them.

25. VOYAGER's WARP ENGINE - May 19, 2009

Ben Burtt Rocks!!!
I’m glad he’s still doing sound for movies and I’m very glad they snagged him to do Star Trek. He has created so many iconic sound effects over the years for both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies (not to mention many, many others).

26. Spectrum of the Spock - May 19, 2009

At least Jar-Jar Binks didn’t get a cameo in the new Trek film!

27. Tony Whitehead - May 19, 2009

10. darendoc

Thank you for your contributions to TMP as well. That must have been a blast to work with Mr. Wise.

28. MORN SPEAKS - May 19, 2009

If Sci-FI space based shows were a royal dynasty: Star Wars would be King, Star Trek would be Queen, Battlestar Galactica would be a Prince, Babylon 5 would be Princess, and Stargate would be a Lord.

29. JamfoFL - May 19, 2009

#11 jas_montreal —

I whole-heartedly agree. I have been a fan of both series as long as I can remember… and I’ve been around long enough to have lived during the initial run of TOS! I never thought there was a need to compete; there’s room enough in the sci-fi lexicon for both landmark series. Just as there’s enough room to include other icons like 2001, Forbidden Planet, Silent Running, etc.

Not to say that Trek isn’t my absolute favorite of all of those… but my love for Trek does not preclude my enjoyment of Star Wars.

And… the next time someone gives you garbage about the McCoy scene in TSFS (or any other bar scene in any other Trek movie) just point out to them that Lucas got the inspiration for that from the Trek episode “Journey to Babel,” specifically, the scene with all the different alien races gathering on the Enterprise for food and drinks on the way to the conference. Sure, Lucas’s vision was amped up by a movie budget and 10 years of make-up and special effects evolution… but all great literature borrows from other sources!

30. ety3 - May 19, 2009

I enjoyed the sound design very much, particularly the opening shots of the Kelvin. I also enjoyed hearing the low hum of the warp engines a couple of times, plus the “alien planet ambience” on Delta Vega before the creatures attacked.

31. Kirk, James T. - May 19, 2009

that pic with Roddenberry and lucas is kinda surreal, not sure why lol

32. Sci-Fi Bri - May 19, 2009

the sound effects were awesome. they go by so fast tho ;;^^. the sonic boom effects were nifty too.

33. Trekkie16 - May 19, 2009

#1 – George Lucas was influenced by Star Trek and I believe I read that Gene was a mentor.

#2 – Where is R2D2? I have seen the movie three times and have looked for it each time.

#3 Great pic of JJ and George; passing the torch.

34. Thomas Jensen - May 19, 2009

I’m glad that Mr. Burtt incorporated new audio with what was used in the original series. We don’t have the same exact look, but the sound effects from the original show can certainly be used.

35. Nate - May 19, 2009

Roddenberry sent greetings to Lucas at the 10th Anniversary of Star Wars convention in 1987; he had his picture in the program with a message that he’d always been a big Star Wars fan.

Four years later, Lucas delivered a message to Roddenberry at the Star Trek 25th Anniversary convention (via Darth Vader) saying the same about Star Trek.

Of course, Shatner famously, ahem, “sang” to Lucas when AFI honored him.

I remember once reading that in one cut of TMP, as V’Ger is reading the computer, you can see Darth Vader and Miss Piggy on the screen.

36. DavidJ - May 19, 2009

The only sound effect I didn’t like in the new movie was for the photon torpedoes. It was this weird, high-pitched synthesized sound that didn’t have nearly enough power behind it.

Everything else was great though.

As for the hand phasers, I thought Burtt did as good a job as he could. But unfortunately the little pulse blasts just weren’t visually dynamic enough for the screen. They either need to bring back the solid beams or go for bigger pulse blasts like they used in the ENT pilot.

37. Capt Krunch - May 19, 2009

The Great Bird of the Galaxy meets the Great T**d of the galaxy!
Phantom Menace//Attack of the Clowns….. indeed!!!!!

38. Capt Krunch - May 19, 2009

Some of the sound effects were awesome…
warp speed sounds… awesome
communicator, tricorders….litle wimpy

39. tiberius 1000 - May 19, 2009

In comparison the prequel star trek film was much better as Star wars eoisode 1 and what a epic pic!!

40. Gary - May 19, 2009

That picture of Lucas meeting Roddenberry was taken at the 10th Anniversary Star Wars Convention, where Gene Roddenberry was a surprise guest. This is the only known photo of the two meeting.

41. I'm dead Jim - May 19, 2009

Is there any truth to what I just read in comments on the above R2D2 link, that the Millennium Falcon is in the First Contact Borg battle scene? I’ve never heard that, or seen it.

42. aliotsy - May 19, 2009

I’m surprised that I haven’t seen this mentioned here or elsewhere, but the rumble of the warp drives firing up before the fleet jumped to Vulcan was easily my favorite use of sound in the film. There was a meatiness that gave the feel of massive, barely-harnessed power.

43. Clinton - May 19, 2009

While talk of a “battle” between Star Wars and Star Trek fans makes good press, I’ve rarely found it to play out in real life. I find that people tend to love or hate a movie on its own merits, even if it’s a franchise like Star Trek, Star Wars, Ghostbusters , Aliens, Jurrasic Park, or Terminator. (We all know of clunkers and gold in each of these series.)

And don’t let anyone kid you. Everyone borrows from everyone else. It’s a practice as old as the art of storytelling itself.

44. Mark - May 19, 2009

RE #36
I agree that the new “blaster” style phasers were a little too generic and wimpy. It would have been visually interesting to see (and hear) classic Federation phaser bolts during the fight scenes on the Narada.

BTW, if you click on my username, my web link takes you to my page that compares the original TOS sound effects with some attempts at re-synthesis (sound examples on page 3). Let me know what sounds you’d like to hear re-created, as we are planning a second part to this feature.

PS. Andy Patterson: Shouldn’t you be at work?

45. OneBuckFilms - May 19, 2009

Ben Burtt’s sounds for the movie are fantastic.

I love that the sounds are very much based on the TOS sounds, but with far greater scope.

The new sounds for the Enterprise and the Kelvin are great, and reading about the Phaser noise was interesting, because I can now pick out the TOS Phaser sound in the new phaser sounds.

Well done Ben !!!

46. THX-1138 - May 19, 2009

It is true that there is at least one Falcon in the battle in First Contact. I have yet to see R2 in the new Trek flick, though. Could someone just tell us where he is? It’s too expensive for me, a person with a short attention span to keep going back to find it.

As for the Star Wars v Star Trek stupidity, I have no idea where that stuff comes from other than fanboys sometimes have too much of a sense of proprietership over the things they ar fans of. Some of the people at the Lucasfilm site (people posting not moderators) actually are saying that you shouldn’t combine sci-fi. I hate to tell them that Star Wars is nothing if not a combination of ideas, sci-fi and otherwise. Asimov’s law for robots being one of them. You sure wouldn’t want to combine your ideas with a crackpot like Asimov, would you? (a joke)

47. Gary - May 19, 2009

Star Trek has had a large influence on Star Wars. The cloaking device is a perfect example. In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, when the ISD Avenger loses track of the Millennium Falcon, Captain Needa dismisses the possibility that his target engaged a cloaking device because the target ship is too small to have one. In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn asks if Queen Amidala’s yacht has a cloaking device, but Captain Panaka informs him that it does not.

48. T Negative - May 19, 2009

I love Star Trek and Star Wars. Always have.

I immediately fell in love with Star Trek when I was a kid in the 1970’s during re-runs, and also when I saw Star Wars in 1977, I was absolutely blown away by it.

Both franchises are great. Both have made a big impact in my life.

49. Jamjumetley - May 19, 2009

Let’s live in harmony. I’m OK with that. But please do not put anything SW related into the next ST film.

There’s no that much space for both franchises in one galaxy. Star Wars have its own galaxy far, far away. ;)

50. Aaron R. - May 19, 2009

Star Trek is better!!!! J/k …

Star Wars has its own little world just like trek! Both have the goods and the bads…


51. Blowback - May 19, 2009

Wow Gene looks a lot taller than I remember. Is that photo just taken at a strange angle or was he really that big?

52. Dr. Image - May 19, 2009

The sad truth (for some):
You gotta admit- ST’09 blows away SW eps. 1,2 AND 3!!

53. Paulaner - May 19, 2009

I love the phasers in ST09. Steady laser beams have become so cheesy and outdated. In my opinion, the idea of energy “bullets” is wonderful.

54. Kirksgirth - May 19, 2009


The Darth Vader/Miss Piggy are visible in TMP during Spock’s space walk. You can vaguely see it reflected in his face shield. It’s kind of hard to see, but it’s there…

55. John from Cincinnati - May 19, 2009

I still want to see TAS re-done in CG. Keep the original dialogue with the original cast but new sound effects and new music from the original series. Anybody with me!

56. Izbot - May 19, 2009

“it’s the original series on steroids!”

Just as long as it isn’t “the original series on acid.” Or “the original series from hell”. I can handle “the original series on steroids”, though. Actually, you know what? Scratch that. I think I’m completely beyond things being “on steroids”, “on acid” or “from hell”. These non sequitors have got to end. It’s totally B.S. studio talk. Let’s all make an effort not to use these expressions ever again.

57. Izbot - May 19, 2009

“has an interview with Star Wars actor Ralph Brown (“Ric Olie”)”

Who and who??!

58. indy4fan - May 19, 2009

Ric Olie is the Pilot (Queen Amidala’s ship) in Phantom Menace–

Interesting pictures:

Gene gives Lucas the shake–symbolically passing the torch

Now an old Lucas give J.J. the torch :)

59. DanNC - May 19, 2009

@ 47: Not sure about the cloaking device, but nearly all scifi technologies, including the transporter, have already been ‘invented’ by authors like H.G. Wells, Hans Dominik, or Kurd Lasswitz in the 1890s and 1900s.
Since that time the same tech-stuff has been used over and over again for telling space fantasy and science fiction alike. Aside from that aspect, both genres, like Star Wars and Star Trek, never shared big similarities. SW is a huge system of references, with esoteric elements, while Trek was most of the time more of a ‘hard’ scifi and classic way of storytelling. Well, the new film has some more fairy tale elements, and I hope they will keep it ‘real’ science fiction and not go too much in that fantasy direction. Nonetheless, there are still considerable differences between SW and new ST – thank God ;)

60. Magic_Al - May 19, 2009

^47. Also tractor beams. A lot of the space-opera jargon Star Wars was able to toss around was familiar to the 1970’s audience because of Star Trek.

61. CarlG - May 19, 2009

Ben Burtt is a master. Thank you so much for that link to that fascinating (hur, hur) interview.

Who knew that the TOS phasers were made from a harp and an electric guitar?! Awesome.

62. captainedd - May 19, 2009

Well, it is safe to say that both franchises are linked to each other. After all, if there wasn’t a Star Wars movie, Star Trek would never had made it to the movies, and we may not be having this conversation at all. I always thought that it was “fun” to do Star Wars vs. Star Trek, but it really doesn’t matter…can’t we all just have a little bit of fun?

63. garen - May 19, 2009

64. Spockish - May 19, 2009

When I first saw the movie, I recall hearing R2-D2 like beeps in the back ground of Vulcan as it was getting torn apart. Second time it was harder to ID the sound because of theater audience noise, still could not see R2-D2. Guess I’ll have to wait for the DVD to come out so I can frame by frame step through it.

Ever was that good at finding the hidden stuff in live motion. Use to be able to Speed Read before my head injury now I have a hard time reading TV AD text, guess I’m lucky most with my injuries rarely live let alone are able to communicate and then in full sentences. But I wish to thank Spock and Mind over Matter being able to recover to more than a three year old thinking level.

65. Cobalt Ben - May 19, 2009

Happy birthday, Phantom Menace! Awesome movie!

66. JKP - May 19, 2009

Ben Burtt rocks! He’s influenced so many kids (and adults) who run around aping the sounds he’s created for the last 30+ years while swinging sticks or pointing their fingers like blasters.

A true genius.

67. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - May 19, 2009

I’m surprised that Ben Burtt did the sound effects for “Star Trek” – I thought he was capable of much better work.

The sound effects that weren’t directly based on the TOS sound effects sounded really cheesy; I’m surprised Abrams used them at all, since he had such an aversion to “cheesy” things.

68. Buzz Cagney - May 19, 2009

I’ve always preferred Trek to Wars- and I always will, but are the differences between the two really so vast?
Ok, Wars has, up till the latest Trek, looked ‘bigger’ on the screen but at the heart of the subject matter they are more similar than not.
A group of people that come together and pull for each other when confronted by adversity and work together to defeat sometimes overwhelming odds. In doing so they form friendships and bonds that endure. Its really not so different to me.

69. Hat Rick - May 20, 2009

That photo of Roddenberry and Lucas just about says it all.

By the way, was the Great Bird of the Galaxy standing on something in that photo? He just towers over Lucas.

I, too, see no conflict between ST and SW. They are both great. (It’s just that ST is greater, in my opinion.)

By the way, I don’t think I’ll see either Trekkies (1 or 2) or Fanboys, two of the movies out there about “rabid” fans of both franchises. I’ve never bought into the stereotype, and I don’t want to see it promoted, intentionally or not. (No offense to any of the makers of these three fine films.)

Great article about Mr. Burtt and sound design, by the way.

70. John Lunt - May 20, 2009

I remember as a young Star Trek fan getting Starlog Magazine and I remember a very early edition with a full spread of artists concepts for a new movie called Star Wars. I eagerly awaited that movie and was thrilled a bit later when Paramount decided to revive Star Trek. I also enjoyed BSG the original and remake.

I love both. I was a Star Trek fan first. But if a new Star Wars movie comes out… I’ll be there. Let’s enjoy great story telling regardless of which universe… or even time line it’s from

71. Jorg Sacul - May 20, 2009

Lucas is about 5’7″… so, that looks about right if Gene was 6′ tall.

72. frederick - May 20, 2009

I loved all the audio references to TOS, it made things feel more familiar and like the original. Not cheezy at all. The original effects were truly creative, and deserved to be recreated.

73. frederick - May 20, 2009

I too think the SW-like phaser-bolts speeded up the action, but they could have used the beam and audio effect when Kirk switched to “Stun” for the guard Spock mind-touched. That would have been even cooler.

74. frederick - May 20, 2009

#55, I’ve wished that for the last couple of years.. they could re-do them a couple at a time and release them. I would love that! We should start a petition to let them know we would buy it.

75. Andy Patterson - May 20, 2009


Yeah, I knew that was you Mark. I am at work. End of the school year. Wierd schedules, kids on field trips, testing, festivals and the like. Plus this is my lunch ’25 minutes’.

Your Star Trek sound site is cool by the way. People should check it out.

76. star trackie - May 20, 2009

I prefer the steady stream effect of the TOS phasers and the old school style of that hot blue electirc energy slicing through Nero’s men and his ship like a hot knife through butter would have been awesome. It also would have made a nice contrast to the pulse weapons that the Romulans were using.

Also miss the low electric hum of the transporter room along with the lighting effects of the old show. It always sounded like they were harnessing incredible energy to achieve the beaming. Was sorry to see it not used. And whose stupid idea was it to make the transport foot pads domed?? It would be like stepping on a beach ball. Pretty bad design. (for the footpad…loved the rest of the transporter).

Also missed the door “swish”.

77. JD Moores - May 20, 2009

Upon my second viewing of “Star Trek,” I became convinced that Burtt’s sound effect for Spock Prime’s Jellyfish ship is lifted straight out of “The Phantom Menace.”

78. Andy Patterson - May 20, 2009


Have to admit I agree with most everything you said. Was really hoping they’d make a tie in with the weird way the transporters sounded in “The Cage” to where they eventually sounded in the rest of TOS. To many other sounds that evolved. Was dissapointed with that. Thought this would have been a genius way of bringing different generations of fans together through the sound vocabulary. Instead of further dividing them, which in my case is what has happened. On many levels. Missed opportunities all around.

79. John from Cincinnati - May 20, 2009


That’s great! I also would buy them for sure. I know back in 1999 they were working on putting TOS faces on CG models for a game that never came out called “Vulcan’s Fury”. The story for that game was even written by Trek vet writer DC Fontana. Even though the game wasn’t released, they did release some trailers for the game, and I have to say even with technology from 10 years ago, they got the likenesses of Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley down pat. I’m all for starting a petition!

80. DesiluTrek - May 20, 2009

Gene Roddenberry was about 6’4″. I am 6’2″ and when I met him in 1983 it felt like he towered over me! So in that pic he and Lucas are indeed on the same level floor!

81. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - May 23, 2009

55. John from Cincinnati – May 19, 2009

I still want to see TAS re-done in CG. Keep the original dialogue with the original cast but new sound effects and new music from the original series. Anybody with me!

I am. And I have made the same comment! The fact that TAS exists, with real stories, with the original actors, is a treasure. You can listen to them like radio shows. Re-doing them with proper animation and music/sounds would seem to be a no brainer. Even if done like Clone Wars.

82. RD - May 25, 2009

The only problem I had with the sound design was on the bridge. I simply don’t understand why the bridge needed to sound like a school-bus full of kids playing a bunch of different video games. Some of the sounds were so toy-like, which would not have been so bad except they really distracted one from the dialogue and made the bridge sound like some kind of full-sized Mego action playset. And what was with the obnoxious sounds the turbolifts made? I really felt like I was inside R2D2’s head during one of his tantrums on that bridge.

83. Petitspock - May 25, 2009

Ben Burt,

Don’t know if you’ll see this so long after the interview. I just want to say my hats off to you for bringing back some of the sound design of the original series. It was by far the best sound design of any Trek incarnation (until now, that is). Your update of that sound design was long overdue. You did an excellent job.

84. Bob - May 31, 2009

I FOUND R2-D2!! He’s in the scene with Kirk & Spock on the Narada as they’re about to go into the Jellyfish ship piloted by Spock from the 24th century. At first it looks like it’s a landing skid, but it’s R2 for sure! is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.