Review: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” Blu-ray & Home Video Release Offers Multitude of Bonus Features

Hi everyone!

We received Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blu-ray to review, a film that opened in December yet quickly became the highest grossing film of 2017. The wealth of bonus features on this release is something I wish we’d see more of with home video releases, with a feature length documentary that I enjoyed as much as the film itself called “The Director and the Jedi” that is available on Blu-ray and on Movies Anywhere.

This release also marks Disney‘s first title available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in both Dolby Vision™ HDR and Dolby Atmos® immersive audio.

“The Director and the Jedi” is the highlight of the bonus feature set, and will be the feature I talk most about. It is a wonderful companion piece to the movie, and does not shy away from Mark Hamill’s thoughts on his character Luke Skywalker. Director Rian Johnson says early on in this feature that his one goal was to “make the most powerful Star Wars movie that I possibly can”. But he also says about Hamill that “Mark, very understandably wasn’t thrilled about some of the choices in the script”, including that it isn’t the Luke Skywalker that everyone knows. And yet, throughout the documentary, there is a great deal of repect between the two men – and really, between Johnson and the entire cast and crew. Hamill was able to get his feelings off his chest, and said he trusted Rian even if he pretty much “disavowed” everything that would happen with his character (Hamill laughed as he talked about it toward the end of the documentary).

I didn’t anticipate seeing as much of Carrie Fisher in interview form as is here, which was really a pleasant surprise for me. She also talks about Johnson, saying how great he is in structuring story and with actors but that he has “flaws in other areas”. She didn’t know what those areas were, though. Johnson said emotionally of Fisher in the film, “On the one hand, this movie was not made with the intent obviously of it being a goodbye to her. On the other hand, there’s many scenes in the movie that I think…will feel good for people to see.” And honestly, that can be said exactly the same for “The Director and the Jedi” and how it showcases Fisher, who says of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, “I think it was my best work”.

There is so much to this feature, and one of my other favorite parts was Frank Oz bringing Yoda to life. When Frank Oz was asked by Rian Johnson to bring Yoda to the film, he thought it was CGI and didn’t realize until weeks later that he would play Yoda with a puppet (which was created with an original mold). To see Frank Oz as Yoda, to see Mark Hamill’s first reaction to seeing Frank Oz and Yoda, it’s very powerful.

There is so much else to “The Director and the Jedi”, what I just wrote about encompasses just a tiny bit of it – but are some of my favorite parts and are some of the more emotional aspects to the feature. Of course, we see Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver and other actors – along with crew – who brought this newest Star Wars chapter to life.

There is also a bonus feature that is called the Score-Only Version, where you can watch the movie with just music.

It is worth watching the audio commentary as well. I haven’t watched this whole version yet, but it is interesting to hear Johnson’s thoughts – including about what happens with Luke at the end. And he calls working with John Williams one of the joys of working on the film. There are also deleted scenes, and there are deleted scenes with commentary. In other words, if you want to hear what director Rian Johnson has to say about the film – you have so many chances to have that with these features.

As a casual Star Wars fan since I was 10 years old in 1977, I really enjoyed both Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the bonus features – there is so much here to watch, even if you aren’t a diehard Star Wars fan.

Mousesteps grade: A

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