Deconstructing The Sounds Behind The Lightsaber Dream Sequence

Just a bit of fun for a Friday afternoon - and spoilers ahoy!

Star Wars VII contains the most magnificence dream sequence. When Rey lays her hand on a lightsaber for the first time, the world dissolves as a cacophony of audio hallucinations plague her. It's a short sequence - lasting just under a minute - but the sound design is beautiful.

After seeing the fabulous Path of a Lightsaber video I thought I'd have a go at deconstructing all the voices which went into creating such a mesmerising piece.

I've isolated, as far as I can, all the different people - ducking out the background noise and boosting the spoken words where possible.

The original surround-sound audio is presented here in stereo - it's well worth listening to with a set of headphones to aid clarity.

Plenty of Obi-Wan - both Ewan McGregor and a digitally reconstructed Alec Guinness ?. Quite a lot of Yoda too.
I didn't hear any Jake Lloyd or Hayden Christensen - which is a shame - although we do get some of Vader's heavy breathing. Listening back I also expected to find some of the villains in there. Unless my ears deceive me, there's no Kylo, Palpatine, or Snoke. A curious commission, I thought.

I used Audacity to clear up the audio, isolating the sounds from each channel where possible.

Force Awakens Dream Sequence Surround Sound-

As you can see, there's a lot of stuff happening in the surround channels, which makes that part of the film incredibly immersive. It's interesting to see just how each element is placed in the sound field to build up a coherent landscape of voices coming at you from all directions. When paired with the tremendous special effects, it produces one of the stand-out scenes of the movie.

Later on this month, I hope to show you how the movie cheats with its 3D effects to give an enhanced feeling of depth.

Thanks for listening!

One thought on “Deconstructing The Sounds Behind The Lightsaber Dream Sequence

  1. Tyler Anderson says:

    Ahhh thank you so much for this! I just got the digital version and the first thing I did was jump to this scene and listen to it many times over. I caught most of the dialog but this recording makes everything much more clear. I've been trying to figure out which soundbites they used. It's such a neat scene.

    Though, I do think I hear Palpatine. Right before a child Rey's scream (when Ren walks up to Rey, or alternatively when the cursor is above the 'c' in "sequence" in the clip you made, hah), I'm hearing "a jedi..." which sounds like Palpatine. More specifically, it sounds like its taken from the "Ah yes, a jedi's weapon" line in return of the Jedi. After listening to that clip though, I'm not sold. It could just be a slowed down version of Alec Guinness, or really anyone for that matter.

    I also have no clue what is being said right after that, haha. In the full audio version, I hear "you were" (which would be interesting d:), and in your cleaned up version (minus a small blip) I maybe here "you learnt how."

    Cool stuff :D.

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