Skywalker Sound is a sound production company located on Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California. Its origins can be traced to 1975, when George Lucas and Gary Kurtz hired Ben Burtt as the sound director for the original Star Wars. The company was founded under the name Sprocket Systems, and shared space with the fledgling Industrial Light & Magic in San Rafael. It was renamed Skywalker Sound when it relocated to Skywalker Ranch in 1987.
The Skywalker Sound Library has many sounds from Star Wars, including Wookiee vocalizations for Chewbacca's family for The Star Wars Holiday Special. During the production of The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, sound designer David W. Collins found these Wookiee sound effects and used them in the scene in which Chewbacca's family shows up on the Millennium Falcon.
Currently, Skywalker Sound — depending on the workload — employs anywhere from 80 to 160 employees and provides sound postproduction services for movies, commercials, television, IMAX, and other large-format films, theme park attractions, and video games. Their scoring stage records and mixes music ranging from solo piano pieces to works using full 130-piece orchestras. Each year, they work on twenty to thirty different films, and have won a total of eighteen Academy Awards.
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- Behind the Mac: Skywalker Sound