Star Wars The Last Jedi: Blu-Ray Review

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“This is not going to go the way you think!”

Star Wars The Last Jedi has finally arrived on Blu-Ray/DVD in a set that includes stunning extras, exclusive behind the scenes footage, and more in depth insight at the risks in bringing the latest Star Wars installment to the big screen. For the sake of review, SocalThrills cracked open the Target Exclusive Edition that also includes a 40 page booklet highlighting characters, scenes, and making of the film along with a beautiful presentation which can be seen below.

The Last Jedi Target Exclusive Edition.
The Last Jedi Target Exclusive Edition.

As expected, this set packs a punch, providing over 14 deleted scenes, candid moments with the cast and crew, and a deep dive into director Rian Johnson’s process. The most notable aspect of the set comes from the first featurette, The Director and the Jedi. As we all know, The Last Jedi had a mixed reception with the fan base and took the franchise in an unexpected direction.  Even Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, was vocal about his reservations with his character. Yet, the set is one of the first times fans have had a chance to hear in to some of Rian Johnson’s own doubts and anxieties with the film process. Being a Star Wars film, a big level of responsibility is given. Especially as an outsider to the world of big franchises, Johnson was in a whole new universe of film making.

© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The feature shows that not all of his ideas worked, and rather than focus on the possibility of failure, Johnson strapped in and pushed himself to write and create the best possible film he could. The weak areas were scrapped, and the entire production came out even better for it. This is a wonderful way to show the immense weight any film maker has at taking on the Star Wars brand. There are huge expectations, and especially given the split reaction to Johnson’s vision with The Last Jedi, this feature helps level the playing field. It provides an intimate insight that needs to be shared, and shows how important Star Wars is to Johnson.

As the set list continues, there’s plenty of behind the scenes footage to keep you occupied. Andy Serkis’ motion capture performance is shown, highlighting the genuine skill and acting chops the veteran has. We also get a look at some of the amazing set pieces that took months to build that include the Canto Bight and Acht-To scenery. Though both planets do feature live locations, intricate set reproductions were made that seamlessly mesh with the real spaces.

Yet, the real power of the films come from the talent on screen, and the set does not hesitate to remind you of all the work each member of the crew put in to making the film a reality. Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver filmed each scene together during their Force bond moments to create a sense of real connection. Rather than speak to an empty room, Ridley could be found on the opposite side of the camera during Driver’s scenes. Both perspectives were shot, giving more depth to each interaction.

© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Some time is spent on Carrie Fisher and while somber, is a nice tribute to the late actress. Being her last film, Fisher stated during the featured content that this may be her best work. Though there is not a separate feature focused specifically on Fisher, Johnson takes the time to honor her and we have a last chance to say goodbye.

The Target edition also comes with an exclusive featurette, “Meet the Porgs”, which brings the creature shop to the spotlight. Over 15 Porgs were created that included traditional puppets, animatronics, and background pieces. Every feather was hand sewn, showing the level of dedication the shop had in bringing the new creature to life in a big way. Though, the feature comes on a separate DVD disc and it does not appear any other content is on it.

© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

For those who download the digital copy of the film through the service, Movies Anywhere, a special score only version of the film will be available in the features section. It allows the viewer to watch The Last Jedi as a silent film, only accompanied with John Williams’ score. Johnson teased the version via Twitter, and it is a fantastic bonus to keep an ear open for.

Here’s a review at the full breakdown of features:

  • The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
  • Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
  • Scene Breakdowns
    • Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
    • Snoke and Mirrors – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.
    • Showdown on Crait – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
  • Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
  • Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
  • Audio Commentary – View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
  • Target Exclusive Feature: “Meet the Porgs” Take a behind the scenes look at Star Wars’ newest creature and the practical magic made to bring the Porgs to life.
  • Movies Anywhere Exclusive: Score Only Version of the Film. A special edit of The Last Jedi that will allow fans to experience the film with no dialogue set to the epic score by John Williams.

You can purchase your copy of The Last Jedi at any major online or local retailer. You can take look at the full list of exclusive packaging and options by visiting Star Wars’ featured link below.

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