The Audience in Listening: The Film Sound Legacy of George Lucas

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter illuminates George Lucas and his company’s positions in the history of film sound from an industrial standpoint by examining Lucasfilm companies that have impacted the film industry; Skywalker Sound and THX. Lucas’s film school and early industrial experiences in the 60s and 70s influenced his perspectives on sound in film where it is a significant storytelling element. In practice, this is ensured through the Northern California approach to sound design. As Lucas produced his films, he developed the leading post-production film sound company Skywalker Sound and pushed for higher standards for film exhibition though the THX Division. Lucas did two things that make him and his companies stand out in the film industry. Lucas hired the right creative and technical people to develop technologies and production practices that brought sound out of the antiquated studio era and develop companies to produce films his way. The next step was in making the advancements in technologies and production practices of Skywalker Sound and THX available to the major motion pictures, independent films, and beyond. These actions raised the status of films sound within the industry and for audiences, contributed to many of the most highly recognized films of the last 50 years, and helped make cinema and the cinematic experience what it is today.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLucas
Subtitle of host publicationHis Hollywood Legacy
EditorsRichard Ravalli
PublisherUniversity Press of Kentucky
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • film sound
  • Lucasfilm
  • THX
  • Skywalker Ranch
  • Sound Designer


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