Star Wars: The Last Jedi Digital HD Home Release Review: A Complete Package
Yesterday the digital HD version of Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit the home release market through various digital movie retailers, and for $19.99 (UHD) it is a value buy. Not only does it contain the 4K version of the film (if you buy the UHD version), but it comes with a commentary version of the movie, a score only version of the movie, and close to three hours of behind-the-scenes bonus items. The bonus items aren’t just cheap little 1-minute clips either, they’re carefully crafted featurettes that provide great insights into Rian Johnson’s filmmaking process, as well as his vision for the tone of the narrative. Unlike The Force Awakens’ initial home release, The Last Jedi’s features every thing a Star Wars fan could want in a home release.
Like I said, the movie itself looks stunning in 4K with HDR if you have a capable home theater setup. It also sounds fantastic with Dolby Atmos support, so I highly recommend watching the digital HD version on Vudu on a 4K HDR capable device like the Shield TV, so you can get the best possible visuals and sound possible. I also love that the commentary track is included in this initial release, because it wasn’t for The Force Awakens, which forced superfans like myself to rebuy the film at a later date when it released in a 3D collector’s edition, which finally featured Abrams’ commentary. Plus, Johnson offers some great insights in the commentary, so for those of you who love to get inside the head of a director to find out what they were thinking when they crafted a particular scene, you will be pleased with the commentary offered up for The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s home release really shines with its bonus content though, which as I previously mentioned, provides about three hours of extra footage to check out. The shining star of the bonus content is a feature length documentary called The Director and The Jedi, which provides a very detailed look at Rian Johnson’s journey in crafting this movie Star Wars sequel. It provides fantastic insights into the film’s production, as well as the story choices Rian made that didn’t necessarily sit will with some of the cast. In particular, there is a heavy focus on his relationship with Mark Hamill, which if you’re a fan you will know that they didn’t see eye-to-eye on how Luke was being portrayed in the film.
Quite frankly, and the title gives it away, this documentary serves as a detailed behind-the-scenes look at the creation of The Last Jedi, but at its core it showcases the evolution of Rian and Mark’s relationship. It shows how Mark had to eventually just trust Rian’s vision for Luke and give his best performance regardless of his disagreements with how Rian portrayed Luke, and seemed like a painful journey for the actor. He went on record to explain his disagreement with the director, but has since walked back his critiques after seeing the final film, and now believes Rian’s vision was the way to go all along. It just took Hamill longer to get there due to his attachment to the character of Luke and how he thought he should react in the movie.
In addition to the documentary, there are also shorter featurettes, which cover the Battle of Crait, the importance of keeping the Force in balance, and a few other key scenes from the film. Each one give behind-the-scenes look at each scene being examined, while also providing insights and commentary for why certain decisions were made. These too are very informative, especially in terms of understanding some of the narrative choices Rian made for the characters, especially Luke. The spot on the Force is particularly insightful, because Rian explains in detail why Luke is the person he is when we first meet him in The Last Jedi.
If a feature length documentary and a handful of featurettes aren’t enough for you, there are also 14 deleted scenes that can be watched with commentary on or off. Not all of the 14 deleted scenes are that exciting to watch, but at least half of them feature some great content that got cut, and at least two of them add some great insights into Luke and his relationship with Rey, so while it’s a shame that they got cut, at least we can now see them in all of their glory.
Finally, if you bought the digital HD version from Vudu, iTunes, Prime Video, Google Play, or FandangoNOW, and have linked those accounts to your Movies Anywhere account, you can get the score only version of the movie, which just features John Williams’ musical score and the visuals. You can learn how to get this version of the film in our how to post.
The digital HD version of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a no brainer purchase for Star Wars fans, or just fans of the film. It looks fantastic thanks to its 4K HDR support, but it also has more than enough bonus content to warrant its $19.99 asking price. It’s loaded with informative featurettes and a full documentary, so it provides plenty of insights into the film that die hards and fans of filmmaking will surely appreciate. Make sure to pick up your copy today, or pre-order the Blu-ray/UHD release, which will feature the same content on disc.
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