NPR on 'The Sound of Star Wars':
"I was a projectionist at that time at USC cinema, and there was a motor in the projection booth that had a humming sound when it just sat there idling. It had a very musical sound, a nice tone, almost a hypnotic tone. And I thought immediately that would be a good element for the lightsaber, so I recorded that motor. And a few weeks later I had an accident with a broken microphone cable, and the microphone picked up the hum from a nearby television. [It] had kind of a scintillating, angry buzz. Normally you throw that away, thinking it was a mistake, but I saved that picture-tube buzz, and I combined it with the sound of the projection motor, and the two sounds together became the basis for the sputtering hum of the light sabers."