The Force of Sound sheds light on Last Jedi Sound Design


ABC documentary takes a fascinating look at the creative team behind the sound  design for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

While the debate regarding Star Wars: The Last Jedi – and it’s function in the larger series – will likely rage on for quite some time, one thing that can and should be agreed upon is the mastery of the craftspeople involved. Which means, yes, it’s time for another behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars sound design.

A few months back ABC News put out a small but highly informative documentary called The Force Of Sound. It includes interviews and insights from some of the best creative minds in the sound design field. It’s well worth the look:

The documentary shows the steps involved in the creation of sound for several key scenes and set-pieces. Sound Designer Ren Klyce says of the creation process:

"What’s so wonderful about sound is that when it’s done right, and when it’s married to the picture in such a way, people just accept that what they’re seeing is making that sound. If your work is invisible that means you’re doing your job properly – and that it’s actually working."

Here Ren highlights the beautiful and ironic truth that most craftspeople know – successful work in this field rarely calls attention to itself. Moving forward in the documentary we get to spend time with some of the foley team as they sample and record various knick-knacks to create the sonic interaction between BB-8 and the alien Dobbu Scay (voiced by Mark Hamill).

Metal boxes, granite spheres, casino tokens, and napkin rings are all used to create the sound profile of BB-8. Regarding foley work Supervising Sound Designer Matthew Wood states:

"Foley is a very specific, almost, sound glue. It’s all crafted and made individual for the movie that we’re working on. It’s like an old radio play. You have a whole room full of props and some dedicated foley artists, recordists, and mixers, putting this track together. …and they’ve got a month or so to come together and build this glue thats gonna stick into the soundtrack to make it real."

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The documentary then goes on to show the process involved with creating the dynamic silence in the force connection scenes, and the counter-intuitive decision to make the Holdo Maneuver initially completely silent after a rising series of sonic tension. If you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan, or just a sound junkie, the whole video is a must see.

Do you have any favorite sound moments from The Last Jedi? Do you have any experience creating sounds yourself? Give us a shout below!