Star Wars: The Last Jedi Has Some Out-Of-This-World Blu-ray Extras
If you didn’t like Rian Johnson’s contribution to the latest Star Wars trilogy, you’re not gonna like what I’m about to write. Having seen the film once more since reviewing it three months ago, it still stands as the best entry in the series since 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back.
The Last Jedi is smarter, darker, richer, and overall more spectacular than J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, which I’ve gotta say loses its lustre with every repeat viewing. This won’t be the case here. Since I already typed enough words about the film in my theatrical review, I’m going to focus exclusively on the home video release and what we get in terms of extras.
Before we dive into the goodies—and there are many lovely goodies—I should note that The Last Jedi looks eye-poppingly awesome on both 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. Originally shot on 35mm, IMAX 65mm, and digital, this home video transfer is near-cinematic quality, boasting bright colours (those reds!), inky blacks, and consistently immaculate detail.
If audio is your bag, the film’s DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is just as engrossing, taking us right into the action whether deep in space, on a secluded island, or aboard a gargantuan spaceship.
As I briefly mentioned, there’s a lot going on in the extras department. Let’s start with the best of the bunch. Clocking in at 95 minutes, “Director and the Jedi” is an incredibly comprehensive and entertaining behind-the-scenes documentary that breaks down nearly every element of the film’s massive production. Told mainly from writer/director Rian Johnson’s perspective—as opposed to, say, producer Kathleen Kennedy—the doc is filled with Johnson’s insightful anecdotes and thoughtful ruminations about the franchise, in-depth looks at the film’s most explosive action sequences, and deeply insightful commentary from Mark Hamill, who was definitely not on board with the director’s vision initially, but was fully committed to the role nevertheless. Johnson and Hamill both come across as incredibly humble, thoughtful fans of the franchise, and seeing them work together is honestly quite moving (don’t even get me started on Carrie Fisher filming her last scene as Leia—welp). Even if you were somehow not enamoured with the final product, this is a totally fascinating look behind the camera that may even sway your judgement.
Next up is half an hour of deleted scenes with optional commentary by Johnson. There are 14 in total, and I’d say there isn’t a single dud. The film’s running was already pretty darn robust, so their excision is understandable. Still, if I had my way, I’d have kept Phasma’s extended demise and also more wacky frog nun moments.
If you want more Johnson, he also provides an audio commentary that extensively breaks down elements of the plot, his visual style, and the film’s memorable performances—namely from Hamill and Fisher. Johnson also appears in a brief featurette called “Balancing the Force,” in which he offers his thoughts and theories on the elusive concept of the Force.
Those who still can’t get over the fact that Snoke is toast may want to witness Andy Serkis’ motion-capture moves as the Supreme Leader. It’s quite amazing to see how this character came together, especially considering how goofy he first appeared in Force Awakens (maybe I’m the only person who once thought he looked like a dorky Harry Potter villain).
Rounding out the bonus disc off are three breakdowns of some of the films biggest sequences, consisting of an epic space battle, that wonderfully choreographed fight sequence in Snoke’s chambers, and lastly the showdown on Crait.
John Williams fans take note, you can access a score-only version of the film by redeeming your Digital Copy.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. This is the best initial release a Star Wars film has ever received on home video, so don’t miss out. Watch the “In-Home” trailer below.