Laser weapons aren’t just for sci-fi movies anymore. Companies like Boeing have been developing real-life laser cannons for years, and they’re no joke. They’re powerful enough to shoot down a drone in mid-flight.
But unlike their movie counterparts, real world lasers aren’t brightly colored beams of light that make PEW, PEW noises; they’re invisible and silent. That can be a problem for the people using a laser, because they have to pay close attention to know when they’re firing it.
To remedy this issue, and because the world is hilariously awesome, a Boeing rep recently told Nature that, and this is totally real, the company is adding Star Trek and Star Wars sound effects to its laser weapons, so operators know they’re actively firing them.
According to Popular Science, the sound effects will be added to Boeing’s High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD). This system shot down 90 mortar rounds during a test in 2013. In other words, this thing is a beast.
And now, it will make the same noise as Han Solo’s blaster. (Of course, real-life lasers are much larger than Han’s trusty sidearm. They need enormous power supplies that have to be mounted on huge vehicles.)
This isn’t the first time sound effects have been added to a real-life product. Because some car engines run so quiet nowadays, many automakers have begun adding sound effects to their vehicles to ensure that pedestrians can hear you driving by.
Without the sounds, you might not hear a car coming when you step into traffic. Other car companies have been known to pump in additional sounds to make their cars sound more impressive.
That’s all well and good, but nowhere near as cool as the sound of a laser beam being fired.