The Force of Sound: Silencing the Wilhelm Scream?

Around the Galaxy: Star Wars News & Notes - Feb. 21, 2018

Spoilers for any number of Star Wars properties may be ahead…

I’ve got a meeting in 45-minutes, so let’s get this underway. Punch it!

Did Wilhelm go silent?

According to ABC News and the fabulous new documentary, The Force of Sound, the legendary Wilhelm scream is no more – at least as the latest batch of Star Wars films is concerned.

There is another… scream

“We’ve started another scream that we like,” Supervising Sound Director Matthew Wood told ABC News Clayton Sandell. “It’s actually been in this film and Rogue One, and some other films that are not ‘Star Wars’-related. But it’s our own little calling card.”

But where is this card dropped, exactly?

“It would reveal too much, but in due time it will be revealed,” said Wood to Sandell. “I’ll let it gestate in a few more films before we start talking about what it is.”

Now there are others who swear they heard Wilhelm in The Last Jedi. GamesRadar.com’s Alex Avard wrote that he heard it back on Dec. 19:

“Cinema’s most famous sound effect, the Wilhelm Scream (trust me, you’ve heard it), has appeared in every Star Wars movie to date so far, and The Last Jedi is no different,” wrote Avard just days after the premiere. “This time, however, it’s slipped into the most unlikeliest of places; Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. Yep, in a blink and you’ll miss it moment during Kylo’s fight with Luke on Crait, the infamous scream can be heard as the new Supreme Leader swings his saber towards his former mentor. It’s hard to hear it if you’re not paying attention, but it’s definitely there.”

Hmmmm.

Magical and amazing

Now, while I can deal with this kind of lighthearted controversy, there’s no doubt that The Force of Sound will enhance your Star Wars viewing.

“Sound is still such a mystery to people,” said The Last Jedi Director Rian Johnson to the crew of The Force of Sound. “It’s not even something you’d think about there being an involved process behind.

“And maybe you kind of know in the back your head there is, but really seeing what folks like [Sound Designer] Ren [Kyce] and his whole team and Matt Wood, and what they actually do to create these sounds – it’s magical and it’s amazing.”

Watch the entire documentary below:

End of “controversy”

UPDATED: My man Clayton just dropped the mic on this kerfuffle by DM’ing me a screen capture:

The Force of Sound: Silencing the Wilhelm Scream?

Touché Mr. Sandell. Touché.

A Mature Makeover?

“But you can not stop the change, no more than you can stop the suns from setting.” ― Shmi Skywalker.

Change may have seemed inevitable for Mama Star Wars — Anakin Skywalker’s mother Shmi — but NBCnews.com’s Ani Bundel says there is always an escape pod. The gist of her argument:

I’m not saying Benioff and Weiss aren’t compatible with the world of Star Wars. Maybe a harder, sexier, darker trilogy is what the franchise needs to balance out the force (and Rian Johnson’s trilogy.) Also, as we saw with Solo: A Star Wars Story, Kathleen Kennedy doesn’t suffer fools who won’t follow direction. If Benioff and Weiss won’t stay within Lucasfilm house codes, they may find themselves out on their ears. After all, Ron Howard is always available to save the day.

I enjoyed Ani’s take very much – although I am not sure I want a harder, sexier, and darker Star Wars.

Speaking of Sound

Syfy.com’s Shana O’Neil and did us a solid and tracked down Dave Filoni for a Q & A. In it, the director spoke about “Jedi Night” and “Dume” and gave us some insight into his own use of sound as s storytelling device.

Filoni said:

It’s a tricky thing. Sound is very important to me as a storyteller. I think part of that stems from my love of Skysound and the work Matt Wood and Ben Burtt and Dave Acord have done, and I’ve worked with them for years, so I have a lot of appreciation for what sound can do for you in a story. To the very last moment of this series, we really orchestrated the sound to tell you important third and fourth layers of the story.

Awesome insight and an awesome piece, especially the part about Dume the Wolf.

Okay kids, I have to run, but I may update in a bit… JB

 

 

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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for BostonBruins.com prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.

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