The “Wilhelm Scream” is a stock sound-effect that has been used in hundreds of films over the years as an inside-joke/homage among filmmakers. It was first heard in the 1951 film Distant Drums but is famously named after Private Wilhelm who is shot with an arrow and screams in the 1953 film The Charge at Feather River.

The scream rose to fame in recent decades when Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt used it in his work on Star Wars and other films. And other filmmakers have followed the lead—such as Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, and Peter Jackson—and used it themselves in their films.

If you are unaware of what the Wilhelm Scream sounds like, watch this video compilation which includes clips of it’s use in Star Wars films among others:

Since each Star Wars film including the prequels has had at least one occurrence of the “Wilhelm Scream” in them, can anyone recall/remember if the Wilhelm Scream was heard anywhere in The Force Awakens? I realize the film is still in theaters and sources for actual clips don’t exist at this point, but some description of a scene and perhaps who might have screamed the Wilhelm Scream would be appreciated.

  • 3
    @boflynn: I noted in my mind that I heard the scream during that segment. I specifically thought to myself that they "got it out of the way early."
    – Yorik
    Dec 22, 2015 at 17:07
  • I actually came looking to see if anyone noticed it, yeah the willhelm scream can be heard multiple times throughout the film, usually when a stormtrooper is shot during a large battle, most likely so they could add it in to the background. It was funny but I do wish they had used it more prominently.
    – user30125
    Jan 20, 2016 at 4:15

1 Answer 1


It did occur in the movie, very near the beginning, when Poe and Finn escape in a TIE fighter and fend off some stormtroopers with the TIE fighter's weapons. It is, of course, one of the stormtroopers blown away who utters the Wilhelm scream.

It is a bit faint and overshadowed by the general noise (and soundtrack?) and not directly in your face, which might be why you missed it. But you can definitely hear it in that scene.

  • Accepting this for now because it seems like the most reasonable answer given the resources we have to work with right now; just memory. And that scene was so chaotic it’s placement would make sense there anyway. Dec 23, 2015 at 1:43
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    @JakeGould Fortunately I knew about the question beforehand and recognized it right while watching the film.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Dec 23, 2015 at 1:44
  • Good ear! Hopefully this question will help attract the attention of others who have a similar question. And the scene itself is really screaming (ha!) to be posted on YouTube as well since it was so cool to experience. Dec 23, 2015 at 1:45
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    @JakeGould "Hopefully this question will help attract the attention of others who have a similar question." - Well, I honestly hope it doesn't. I like this question, but of course it bears the danger of millions of similar questions about every movie ever, whose actual usefulness will be overshadowed by the overabundance of such triviality. But yeah, until that happens, interesting question.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Dec 23, 2015 at 1:47
  • I heard that one, which seemed subtle, and another subtle one when Finn was being chased in the village when he met Rey, but that seemed out of context for a Wilhelm Scream and then I heard a strong one when Rey shot her second stormtrooper when then went to see Maz. I immediately leaned over and told boyfriend and in fresh hindsight, agreed that it had to be the one.
    – user29040
    Dec 23, 2015 at 7:17

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