Kylo Ren’s Sound in The Force Awakens Was a Purring Kitty


Nerdist’s Amy Ratcliffe interviewed Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Matthew Wood, supervising sound editor, and David Acord, supervising sound editor and sound designer, and found out some very interesting information about the film’s new baddie…(meow)

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The awesome Amy Ratcliffe caught up with Star Wars: The Force Awakens supervising editor Matthew Wood, and David Acord, supervising sound editor and sound designer, to discuss their work on the film. They spoke about one of the most sound-intensive scenes in Episode VII, some of the weirdest sound sources (cat purring…we’re not kidding), creating the voice of BB-8, recording the “Traitor!” line, and developing sounds for Kylo Ren.

David Acord does go into some detail about the sound of Kylo Ren’s chaotic lightsaber. If you aren’t familiar, according to the visual dictionary for the film, Kylo’s saber is an ancient design, though made y untrained hands, and uses a cracked kyber crystal. This is why there is a need for vent ports on either side of the crossguard…or quillons.

"“I think the most obvious new sound effect in the movie is Kylo’s lightsaber. We were attempting, along with his Force power effect, to create sound effects that would mimic his persona, which is this raw power he has that’s not quite formed. He’s not well trained, but he’s extremely powerful. It’s a little wild and dangerous. The sword itself, the look of the sword has the extra darts coming out the side, and it’s really sparky and wavery and it looks a little homemade. The idea of the sound was to match that–something that sounds like raw energy, just pure power, very brutal and kind of wild and dangerous sounding.”"

Now to the sound ominously emanating from Kylo’s mask, and Matthew Wood chimed in:

"“The thing about Kylo’s mask that was interesting is its function is purely intimidation because it’s not keeping him alive like Vader’s mask is.”"

Okay, we knew that part, it would seem that Kylo in his fanatic devotion to the dark side legacy of his grandfather, has donned the mask in order to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies, and the lesser subordinates around him.

Now we get to the good part, what could possibly have caused Dave and Matthew to use a cat, to emulate the sound coming from Kylo Ren:

Kylo Ren as a kitten…you’re welcome, internet.

"“Off the top of my head, the Kylo Ren Force rumble—the really chunky and animalistic rumble—is my cat’s purring. It’s heavily pitched and slowed version of my cat’s purr that becomes Kylo Force rumble.”"

Amazing! So, when Kylo Ren got really mad and was rumbling through the Force, that is actually The Force Awakens supervising sound editor Dave Acord’s cat, purring. I love the magic of making movies! You can read this interview in its entirety at Nerdist, and I highly suggest you do, because it’s pretty cool…oh and Nerdist is a pretty cool site as well.