Star Wars: The Last Jedi appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Overall, this became a strong image.
General definition seemed solid, with a presentation that usually appeared accurate and concise. A couple of shots looked slightly soft, a factor that may’ve reflected the source photography. Overall accuracy seemed positive.
I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and the movie lacked edge haloes. Of course, the image failed to display print flaws, and with a nice layer of grain when appropriate, digital noise reduction didn’t appear to become an issue.
The palette of Jedi tended toward the usual orange and teal, though not to an obnoxious degree. Those hues dominated but a mix of other colors popped up as well, and the disc reproduced them nicely. The 4K UHD’s HDR brought out extra vivacity and power to the tones.
Blacks came across as dark and dense, while shadows offered good clarity. The HDR added impact to whites and contrast. Even with a smidgen of softness, this remained a very appealing presentation.
Star Wars movies always boast excellent audio, and Last Jedi continued that tradition via its involving Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, we got an engaging affair, and the soundscape’s emphasis on action used all the channels on a frequent basis.
The various speakers provided lots of information that filled out the movie and blended together in a seamless manner. This formed a dynamic soundfield with a lot to offer.
In addition, audio quality seemed strong. Music was bold and full, and even with a lot of looped lines, dialogue remained crisp and natural.
Effects appeared rich and vivid, with clear highs and deep lows. I felt pleased with this impressive soundtrack.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the movie’s Blu-ray version? The Atmos audio opened up the DTS-HD MA 7.1 track from the Blu-ray to a degree.
Visuals showed upgrades, as the 4K seemed better defined and displayed superior blacks. In addition, the HDR colors felt more dynamic. The 4K UHD became a nice step up.
One note about the 4K UHD viewed for this review: it came from a nine-movie Best Buy-exclusive boxed set released in 2020. The cover art seen to the left represents the 2020 Last Jedi 4K but if you click the link, you’ll go to the original 2018 disc.
Going into the boxed set, I assumed it would offer the same 4K disc from 2018, but it didn’t. While both came with identical Dolby Atmos audio, the 2020 4K lost the Dolby Vision compatibility of the 2018.
For those with Dolby Vision players, this may mean that the 2020 4K represents a weaker visual presentation. Because I never saw the 2018 4K, I can’t compare.
As of early April 2020, Disney apparently plans to put the 2020 Last Jedi 4K into individual release, but right now, you can find it only as part of the Best Buy box. For the purposes of this review, I used the 2020 art to differentiate it from the 2018 even though the Amazon link still goes to the 2018 disc. When/if the 2020 4K comes out on its own, I’ll change the link – and delete this part of the discussion!
As we head to extras, we find an audio commentary from writer/director Rian Johnson on the included Blu-ray copy. He brings us a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, connections to other films, various effects, sets and locations, music, costumes, editing and deleted scenes, and connected topics.
In other words, Johnson touches on pretty much every topic you could
hope, as he delivers a terrific commentary. He even digs into little
"Easter eggs" during this engaging and informative chat.
Another audio option, you can watch Last Jedi with an isolated score. Presented Dolby Digital 5.1, this offers John Williams’ Oscar-nominated work in all its glory.
It’s too bad the disc doesn’t give us the music via a lossless track. That said, I still appreciate the addition, especially since isolated scores are a rarity these days.
Note that like the 2020 4K UHD disc, the enclosed movie Blu-ray also differs from the one released in 2018. That version lacked the isolated score.
On a second disc, we find a documentary called The Director and The Jedi. It fills one hour, 35 minutes, 23 seconds and offers info from Johnson, producer Ram Bergman, director of photography Steve Yedlin, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, 1st AD/associate producer Jamie Christopher, unit production manager Tom Karnowski, creature and special make-up effects creative supervisor Neal Scanlan, production designer Rick Heinrichs, supervising art director Christopher Lowe, special effects supervisor Chris Courbould, crowd 2nd AD Jane Ryan, stunt coordinator Rob Inch, hair/makeup designer Peter Swords King, and actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Laura Dern, Daisy Ridley, Frank Oz, and John Boyega.
“Director” looks at pre-production and Johnson’s approach to the project, sets and locations, creature design and execution, and various effects. We also learn about cast and performances, characters and story, stunts and action,
This means we learn a lot about the film’s creation, and the ample footage from the production adds a lot to it as well. I love this sort of “behind the scenes” material and find plenty to enjoy here, such as a charming interaction between Hamill and a creature-costumed actor who accidentally bumps into him.
In addition, the sight of Hamill and Fisher as they shoot a scene together seems likely to inspire tears among those of us with a lifelong attachment to the franchise.
“Director” might benefit from a more concise “A to Z” orientation, as it skips around a little more than I’d like. Still, that’s a minor quibble, as the documentary works very well as a whole.
14 Deleted Scenes take up a total of 23 minutes, two seconds. Some don’t work – like a painful, interminably long version of the “Fathier Chase“ – but a lot seem surprisingly good.
I like the “Alternate Opening”, and a sequence in which Luke challenges Rey to not save the day offers intrigue. Most of the clips could’ve worked in the final film, so they’re fun to see.
We can view the scenes with or without commentary from Johnson. He gives us basic notes about the sequences as well as why he omitted them. Once again, he proves to be engaging and informative.
We also can check out a 49-second intro from Johnson. He doesn’t add much in this quick clip but it’s a painless affair.
A featurette entitled Balance of the Force goes for 10 minutes, 17 seconds. It includes notes from Johnson, Ridley, and actor Adam Driver.
As implied by the title, “Balance” looks at the film’s depiction of the Force and some production details. It becomes a pretty insightful overview.
Three Scene Breakdowns follow: “Lighting the Spark” (14:23), “Snoke and Mirrors” (5:40) and “Showdown on Crait” (12:56). Across these, we hear from Johnson, Yedlin, Fisher, Corbould, Bergman, Heinrichs, Dern, Lucasfilm VPs Janet Lewin, Candice Campos and Jason McGatlin, supervising sound editor Ren Klyce, design supervisor Kevin Jenkins, assistant sound editor Coya Elliott, animation supervisors Michael Beaulieu and Stephen Aplin, concept artist James Klyne, visual effects supervisors Mike Mulholland, Dan Seddon and Ben Morris, computer graphics supervisor Andrew Booth, sound effects editor Bonnie Wild, visual effects producers Danielle Legovich and Daniel Booty, supervising sound editor Matthew Wood, senior modeler Benjamin Flynn,
and actors Kelly Marie Tran, Andy Serkis and Oscar Isaac.
As expected, these featurettes offer details about the creation of various scenes, so they dig into a mix of elements. All prove to be insightful and informative.
Andy Serkis Live! takes up five minutes, 49 seconds and features an intro from Johnson. He leads us into raw footage of Serkis’s performance as Snoke on the set pre-animation. This turns into an enjoyable look at the original footage.
Previously available only as a retailer exclusive, Meet the Porgs runs six minutes, one second. It brings notes from Johnson, Hamill, Bergman, Scanlan, Klyce, Booty, Beaulieu, Seddon, creature concept designer Jake Lunt Davies, creature movement choreographer Paul Kasey, animation supervisor Matthew Shumway, and supervising animatronic designer Maria Cork.
As expected, we learn about the design and creation of the porgs. It becomes a short but informative reel.
A continuation of the new trilogy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi offers a largely satisfying adventure. It doesn’t bring quite the impact of Force Awakens, but it still advances the overall narrative in a rich, exciting manner. The 4K UHD boasts excellent picture and audio plus an informative collection of supplements. Expect the 4K UHD to act as the best way to watch this movie.
To rate this film visit the original review of THE LAST JEDI