It’s finally here. The latest Star Wars film The Last Jedi has just released on home media and it is just in time to start getting us excited for Solo which is just around the corner. Today, I’ll be taking a look at the 4K UHD release, so let’s hop on the Millennium Falcon and get to it.
So, unless you live in a hole in the ground, you are aware of Star Wars. So I’ll skip the backstory here and just say this: The Last Jedi is the ongoing story of Rey and Kylo Ren, and is the continuation of the trilogy that was started by The Force Awakens.
The plot of this film is a bit less of a homage to the previous entries than The Force Awakens was (and, let’s be honest, that movie was really derivative of a certain previous Star Wars film), so there was a lot of hype and expectations surrounding its release in anticipation of what Disney was willing to do with one of history’s most popular franchises. So did it stack up? Yes and no.
The Last Jedi has definitely been one of the more divisive Star Wars films since the prequels released. The funny thing seems to be that arguments against it are split into two camps – those that disliked the story, and those that disliked the social implications and decisions that Disney made. Let me break these down and then discuss why I think this is still a great Star Wars films.
When it comes to story, The Last Jedi does a lot in its 2h 32m runtime. Rey convinces Luke to show her more of the force before she takes off to convince Kylo that he needs to turn to the light side. Meanwhile, Kylo is with the fleet that is very slowly chasing the rebels through space (more on this in a minute), while Finn and his new friend Rose partake in a secret mission to find a “master coder” so they can infiltrate the fleet and remove a tracker so the rebels can hyperjump to safety.
Ultimately, this all leads to Supreme Leader Snoke being eliminated, Kylo taking over the fleet, a completely badass showdown between master and student, and Rey realizing her force powers. That’s the cliffs notes at least, but to be honest, if you haven’t seen this film you either hate Star Wars by now or will be watching it shortly and won’t want the major spoilers.
So why are people dissatisfied with the plot? Well, not to be too blunt about this, but it’s a bit ridiculous. The suspension of disbelief required here is a bit rough. The premise is that the rebel ships cannot travel at lightspeed without being tracked, and are running out of fuel, so instead, they are simply very slightly outpacing the entirety of the fleet is a bit of a stretch. I mean sure, it provides time for Finn and Rose to go on a side mission, but even that is a bit hollow.
These two main plot points just don’t add a lot of development for anyone and feel a bit like filler. Now, to be fair, there are plenty of great scenes involved, but it’s really hard to imagine that this is the best that Star Wars can do. Thankfully there are other subplots involved that sort of end up carrying the narrative, but still, this is a let down for some people.
So the plot leaves something to be desired, what social implications are you talking about? Well, it sort of boils down to this. This movie is being released at a time where a lot of people are discussing (and heatedly debating, let’s be honest) gender and racial equality. For a series that has traditionally been predominately white men, people have been asking for more diversity in the universe and they got it. So, of course, people complained.
It turns out that the galaxy does, in fact, have women and there are more than just one or two token persons of color. Most of the new characters in this film check one of those two boxes, which I applaud. But some people feel that change is distracting or unnecessary. It will boil down to your preferences whether you even care, but I would advise not engaging with the internet on this. There are real times and places to discuss equality, but in my experience debating these things in movie forums rarely prompt any sort of social change.
So those are the two main arguments against The Last Jedi. Surely there must be something good about this film right?
Of course, there is. In fact, I will go so far as to say that The Last Jedi is quite possibly my favorite of the Disney era Star Wars films. And yes, that is even true though I am in the camp of fans who find the overall plot a bit disappointing. So why would I like this movie so much? The moments.
This movie has some of the most iconic Star Wars moments that I’ve seen since the original trilogy. I won’t provide too many details here except to say that this was the first time that I’ve accidentally yelped in a theater during my first viewing. Fans who are investing in the series are quite likely to be very connected to Luke’s plot in this film, even when you don’t necessarily like what it is he’s doing most of the time (let’s be honest, Luke has always been a flawed hero).
For the troves of fans who are new to the series since The Force Awakens or maybe even since the prequels, this movie definitely keeps up with the same brand of humor that we have learned to know and love and still has several fun little moments of nostalgia. Add all this to the fact that we are finally starting to see a bit about where this trilogy is heading but still don’t really know what will happen next, and you have a pretty good recipe for a compelling set of films – even after the setbacks it may have.
So, most of you are probably only here to see if this movie is worth spending a few extra bucks on to get the 4K UHD release. So, how does it look and sound?
Great. It looks and sounds GREAT.
As for visuals, this movie features the latest and greatest in CGI and has a lot of stunning sequences. Even more than in past Star Wars films, color takes on a huge role here. Particularly, the reds and blues are stunning. The textures and tiny details really pop on a 4K panel and I would definitely say it is worth the upgrade. Not only is Star Wars a fan favorite, it is also one that you will want to show your friends.
As for audio quality, you quite literally have to hear it to believe it in this case. The mixing is spot on, and the use of surround is fantastic. This movie has some really exciting scenes that benefit from multiple channels. The other usual signs of a great audio track are here – no lost dialog, full use of available channels, the whole bit. Put this one on high volume, hear your walls rattle, and bask in the goodness that is a galaxy far, far away.
There is a great deal of content here, but sadly no UHD exclusives. However, there is plenty to keep you busy nonetheless.
- Audio Commentary with writer and Director Rian Johnson
- The Director and the Jedi – a feature-length documentary that covers basically all aspects of making the movie Features a lot of cool information and information from lots of cast and crew.
- Balance of the Force – Rian Johnson talks to us about the Force, and where the characters fit into the universe and the story.
- Scene Breakdowns – A few important scenes are called out and discussed in depth
- Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – A look at Serkis’ performance in motion capture as Snoke.
- Deleted Scenes
Star Wars: The Last Jedi 4K UHD Final Thoughts:
Let’s be honest, if you don’t own this already you either aren’t a fan, or you are just waiting for it to go on sale. This is one of the most exciting 4K releases on the format so far and is a great one to show off to friends. I highly recommend it.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.