One of the more fascinating bits of trivia to come out of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the revelation that everyone’s new favorite droid, BB-8, was actually voiced by two incredibly talented performers. The credits of the film previously revealed that Bill Hader and Parks and Recreation standout Ben Schwartz servedas “voice consultants” for BB-8, but we still weren’t exactly sure what that meant since BB-8 speaks in beeps and boops, not words.
However, a new featurette from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Collector’s Edition Blu-ray now finally reveals exactly how Schwartz and Hader made BB-8 come to life. In the video, we see that Schwartz was the first actor to come in, and he provided what’s basically “English dubbing” of BB-8’s thoughts and dialogue so that the animators and sound design team had a baseline. Then, Hader—a phenomenal vocal performer and one of the greatest living impressionists—came in and provided the actual sounds of BB-8 with J.J. Abrams modulating Hader’s voice work with a synthesizer.
It’s a really interesting process and one that I imagine greatly aided in bringing BB-8 to life as the adorable scene-stealer we now know and love. This featurette is one of a few new bonus features available on the new Force Awakens Blu-ray, but the highlight is Abrams’ audio commentary, which offers a number of interesting insights into how the film was put together, including the revelation that a number of the film’s scene were actually captured during reshoots.
Check out the clip from the sound design featurette below. Star Wars: The Force Awakens Collector’s Edition Blu-ray is available to purchase now.
— Star Wars (@starwars) November 15, 2016