May 8, 2016

I Love Noisy Spaceships

People often complain about the noises spaceships make in movies like Star Wars – there’s no sound in space! But I have to go contrarian on this one. I love noisy spaceships.

Mainly, I’m just not committed to the view that the sounds you hear in the movie theater need to be the ones you’d hear if you were actually suspended out in space, watching the action (wearing a light jacket of course). I’m also okay with voice-overs, if done well. I don’t have a problem with music playing, as though from nowhere, during critical scenes in movies. I’m usually cool with that editing gimmick you sometimes see in movies, where the transition between two shots takes place first in the audio, and a moment or two later in the images (or vice versa). Or when you hear a loud, pounding heartbeat for a nervous character. Or when you hear voices from characters who are obviously only thinking, not talking. These are all filmic conventions that work well for me.

Not that I’m really committed to the idea that movies taking place in space have much grounding in reality in the first place. If you want to pick on Star Wars, a franchise I love, there are probably better targets than the sound. But even if I were, I’d be fine knowing there’s some connection between those sounds and the engine sounds of the Tie Fighters.

I realize we don’t necessarily pick our pet peeves, sometimes they pick us. This one has never bothered me. I actually like it.

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