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Published On: Fri, Mar 23rd, 2018

Rian Johnson’s ‘fanboy genius’ comes to light in ‘Star Wars The Last Jedi’ extra features

While many fans have complained, the critics raved and Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi truly changed the trajectory of the franchise. Now the Blu-Ray, 4K and digital versions arrive and fans get a longer look at the film and Johnson’s effort.

Following the long-awaited sequel to Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens centered on two force powered heirs to Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker: Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley as Rey. Picking up with Mark Hamill’s big return as Luke, Last Jedi pits the new rebels, the Resistance, against the new Empire, The First Order.

The action centers around the new characters, Finn (John Boyega; Pacific Rim: Uprising), Poe (Oscar Isaac; Ex Machina) and franchise heroine, Leia (Carrie Fisher) with incredible twists and turns, particular around the battle with Snoke (Andy Serkis.)

While there are tons of issues with the film, the extras give fans a better look into Johnson’s intent and it’s clear – HE’S A FANBOY.

Fans should be thrilled with the 4K version, bringing to life stunning visuals, increased clarity so viewers can see every scuff and ding on a space cruiser. The audio is awesome and the digital version on Movies Anywhere is the way to go.

What everyone should want to see: the bonus features.

From Johnson writing the opening crawl first to finding the right kind of special effects for each explosion – there is something for every Star Wars fan. He says “It’s ok to laugh” during the joke sequence between Dameron and Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) at the film’s beginning, reveals the Carrie Fisher ad lib line and making those gorilla-esque Walkers pounding and kicking up flakes of red crystals during the final battle.

There are 14 deleted scenes with commentary and it’s quickly clear: whether you like Last Jedi or not, you can certainly appreciate that Lucasfilm let a real fan have their hands on the wheel.

Another gem is Andy Serkis in motion capture gear, bringing Snoke to life and adding more appreciation to his handywork in the film.

Maybe your opinion of the film won’t change, but understanding the efforts taken to balance practical effects with CGI confirms Johnson’s intentions. Understanding the pressure and thought process on dealing with the elephant in the room, aka Luke Skywalker’s return, should give fans more pause before pummeling Johnson over the final decision(s).

I loved Last Jedi and love the idea of returning the franchise to era before the Skywalker dominance. There were Jedi long before Anakin and Rey will lead the way into this new era.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed.

Featurettes

“Balance of the Force” – This 10-minute doc explores the mythology of the Force, what that meant to Johnson and why he chose to interpret it in the film as he did.

“Scene Breakdowns – Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle” – This 12-minute doc examines the epic space battle from the sounds that help propel the action through the practical and visual effects.

“Scene breakdowns – Snoke and Mirrors” – This 5-minute doc explores the creation of the villain, through conception, the makeup process and storyboards.

“Scene Breakdowns – Showdown on Crait” – This 12-minute doc follows the creation of the film’s climactic battle, from creating the planet’s unusual, red surface to designing new “walker” battle ships to creating the color palette for the fight scenes. It’s awe-inducing.

“Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only)” – Johnson introduces two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring actor Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance in a motion-capture suit as the villain Snoke before effects artists did their digital makeover. It’s a veritable showcase of Serkis’ talent.

“Rebel Rose” – Kelly Tran’s screen test with John Boyega.

Deleted scenes

(There is an option to hear commentary from Johnson on why the scenes were not included in the film.)

“The Costumes and Creatures of Canto Bight” – This shows more of the atmosphere and action of the casino planet.

“Rey and Chewie in the Falcon” – This is a funny outtake that shows them arriving for the final battle.

“Rose and Finn Go to Where They Belong” – This shows more interaction between the characters before they head out into space.

“Phasma Squealed Like a Whoop Dog” – Reveals a battle between Finn and Stormtrooper leader Phasma.

“Rose Bites the Hand that Taunts Her” – Shows a confrontation between Rose and General Hux.

“Mega Destroyer Incursion – Extended Version” – Pretty hilarious scene where Finn gets recognized by an old Stormtrooper buddy while undercover.

“Extended Fathier Chase” – Shows more of the escape from the casino.

“Caretaker Village Sequence” – Rey becomes the blunt of a joke by Luke Skywalker.

“The Caretaker Sizes Up Rey” – The Caretaker creatures on Luke’s island examine Rey (a complete throwaway).

“It’s Kind of Weird that You Recorded That” – The droid BB8 motivates Finn.

“Poe: Not Much of a Sewer” – A (pretty meaningless) interaction between Finn and Poe.

“Luke Has a Moment” – This is a scene that I think by all means should have been included in the original cut, as Luke quietly grieves after learning of Han Solo’s death. It offers great insight into Luke’s struggle and Mark Hamill’s performance is beautifully touching (and his best acting ever).

“Paige’s Gun Jams” – A very rough (unneeded) special effects sequence during a space battle.

“Alternate Opening” – Shows Finn waking up in the sick bay.

Other extras

Audio commentary – Johnson offers in-depth audio commentary during the film.

Score-only version – There is an option to watch the film with only the musical score composed by John Williams.

Multiple versions

There are several Blu-ray and digital packages available. The Multiscreen Edition (formerly the Blu-ray combo pack) includes Blu-ray and a digital copy, giving viewers the flexibility to watch the film on different devices. Those with 4K Ultra HD capability can opt for a 4K UHD Collector’s Edition, which includes a 4K Ultra HD disc with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, a Blu-ray disc and a digital copy. There are also digital-only versions available for download and streaming.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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