The creation of sound to use in films is always fascinating. What in the real world made the sound that became a lightsaber, or a phaser, or a dinosaur? What real, adorable, precious little thing gave birth to Baby Yoda? In that latter case, it is about as cute as you’d imagine.
Talking to the Hollywood Reporter, sound editor David Acord of Skywalker Sound sheds some light on how the sounds for Baby Yoda came to be. “I was recording animals at this wildlife rescue outside of San Diego. Two of the animals I recorded had this really cute, almost childlike quality to them. One was a bat-eared fox and one is a kinkajou,” Acord said.
Those two voices, initially, were the entirety of Baby Yoda’s audio identity, but Jon Favreau wasn’t quite satisfied.
“Then Jon Favreau thought that they needed to be more human-sounding or something a little more relatable,” Acord said. “We dialed way back on the animal part, and now that’s just there for little grunts and coos and purring. We used some real baby vocals for when [The Child] gets really fussy and that kind of thing. Then I have some of my own vocal in there, too, for more of the articulated vocalizations, pitched way up. So it’s a combination of things.”
Baby animals plus babies, plus, well, one sound designer, equals one very adorable soundscape.
In the rest of the article, Acord and his colleague Matthew Wood go into detail on their work on The Rise of Skywalker, including the secret sauce for the scene in the film where Rey flips over Ben’s TIE fighter. (Turns out, it’s elephant sounds.)