The Last Jedi: Deciphering the Chant from the Jedi Tree

last jedi tree jedi books library

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Daisy Ridley‘s Rey hears a chant calling to her from the ancient tree on Ahch-To, which houses the oldest books from the Jedi religion. What are the chants saying? I spoke with The Last Jedi sound supervisors Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce and got a definitive answer.

This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.


Matt Wood: One of the areas was kind of cool and it’s very subtle, but a lot of the stuff [that] is poignant is when Rey is first getting called back to the tree, she hears like a call out. And so that’s something we worked on with Rian [Johnson] and Bob Ducsay and Ren created the sound design for that, which was really effective and it kind of brought it down to a real quiet moment. And she hears the wind buffeting on them, but the focus of the sound is just kind of drawing her back to the tree. The story group at Lucasfilm came up with a sort of chant we could do. So we had all those voice actors [come and chant] this thing and then Ren took it and kind of twisted it around and made it […] draw her back to the books there in the tree. So that’s a nice collaboration of loop group, editing, sound design, great mixing there and Rian and Bob and everybody’s guidance to come up with like how that’s going to be.

Peter Sciretta: Is that chant an English chant or is it–?

Wood: It is in English actually, yeah.

Peter: Can you tell us what it is?

Ren Klyce: There’s peace. There’s Force. There’s a lot of words in there that is… And then there’s the negative one. There’s no this, there’s no that. And it’s like a chant. It’s like the book is speaking. And it’s cool. The fabric of the sound is not just people making random noises. It’s actually thought out, written dialogue.

Wood: Yeah, and it was from an old Force thing that was done.

Klyce: And you hear the word the Force in there. And that’s actually how it ends. There is the Force. And then she touches it.

Peter: Was it something that already existed?

Wood: One of the members of the story group gave it to me. And it was from an old thing that was produced a long time ago.

Peter: Something that’s in Legends now or whatever.

Wood: Probably. Yeah. That thing is called the Jedi Code. Leland Chee from the story group at Lucasfilm gave me the Jedi Code and it’s in Legends right now, but it’s like a four-sentence thing that we used about peace, knowledge, serenity and the Force. Emotion.

Klyce: Right. There’s peace. There’s serenity. There’s passion. Right.


Chant from the Jedi Tree: The Jedi Code

According to Wookipedia, the Jedi Code was a set of rules that governed the behavior of the Jedi Order:

It taught its follower to not give in to feelings of anger toward other lifeforms, which would help them resist fear and prevent them from falling to the dark side of the Force. Amongst other dictates, the Jedi Code forbade Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters from taking on more than one Padawan at a given time; and forbade Jedi from forming attachments, such as marriage, and other specific, individual bonds, such as family and romantic love. Few understood that this practice of nonattachment did not mean the Jedi were strangers to compassion when, in fact, they believed that all lives were precious. The code also forbade the Jedi from killing unarmed opponents as well as seeking revenge.

Here is the code itself:

There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.

There also existed an alternate version of the Code, known as the Jedi Mantra, recited by Jedi younglings during their Initiate Trials:

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet the Force.

Jedi book pages

The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi gives us greater insight into the tree and the ancient library of Jedi books. The above piece of concept art shows pages from one of the books as imagined by artist Chris Kitisakkul. The Lucasfilm Story Group provided the production designers with a six-page PDF filled with symbols, text and other design elements to inspire the design of the books.

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