Today we’re having a peek at what’s included with the digital purchase of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with Movies Anywhere. This service is like a central hub for multiple connected streaming video services like VUDU, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, and Fandango Now. With Movies Anywhere, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released with a version of the film not available with any other service.
Buying Star Wars: The Last Jedi with Movies Anywhere isn’t the same as just buying the film. With the film, you’ll get a Featurette on Rose the Rebel – Kelly Marie Tran, just for starters. That’s the same feature as you’ll see below – but without the black boxing in around all the edges.
In the Extras category you’ll find the full “The Director and The Jedi” as well as “Balance of The Force.” The former is all about directing the film, and the journey Rian Johnson went on from start to finish. He’ll be back for more Star Wars movies in the future. As such, this video is a rather good primer for the intensity of Star Wars film directing in the future.
Several Scene Breakdowns are included in this package, including Lighting The Spark: Creating The Space Battle, Snoke and Mirrors, and Showdown on Crait. Included in this category is a feature called “Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only.)” This is more than just a behind-the-scenes look at how Snoke was made – it’s an entire film sequence showing the work Serkis put into Snoke.
In other words – it’s a scene from the film with Andy Serkis playing Snoke, but without special effects. Generally we only get tiny clips of this sort of thing – it’s extremely rare that we get to see an entire performance. If only we were able to watch the entirety of Lord of the Rings this way – that’d be fantastic.
The cutscenes from The Last Jedi are numerous, big, and entirely worth the time to behold. Johnson includes a short introduction to the whole collection, and you have the option to watch each clip individually or the whole lot, one right after the other. There are FOURTEEN CUTSCENES. On the same note as the full Serkis scene, here Johnson provides (optional) director commentary on every single one of the fourteen cutscenes presented.
Commentary for Film
The feature audio commentary – for the whole film – includes Johnson alone. I was a little bummed that no other creators or actors came along for the commentary ride, as their many different takes on what’s presented can be quite entertaining. Especially for people who are hardcore fans of the film – and this is a Star Wars film, so you can bet your biffy they’d all be listened to many times over.
The Silent Film
The most excellent part of this whole Movies Anywhere edition of the film and extras is the “Score Only Version of The Last Jedi.” That version is only available for people who’ve either purchased the film with Movies Anywhere or connected their purchase account (one of those listed above) to a Movies Anywhere account. This version of the film is extremely unique.
I compare it to the bootleg version of Mad Max: Fury Road called “Mad Max: Black and Chrome” – but not the same version included with the Blu-ray. The first version of Black and Chrome for Mad Max: Fury Road had an isolated music score and very limited, very precisely chosen additional effects audio. It was and remains a masterpiece – if you’re able to get your hands on the file, that is. With The Last Jedi, we get a true isolated music score edition of the film, and it’s glorious.
The full film (with dialogue, etc,) includes chapter markets, English and Spanish audio options, and English and Spanish subtitle options. The film is just the film, in all its glorious big screen released glory.
A bit on why not
Only a few reasons are left for buying a full-fledged Blu-ray of the film, and most have to do with the Internet.
If you have no internet connection, you can’t watch The Last Jedi – unless you’ve used the Google Play option to download the film to your device locally. The Blu-Ray version of the film is going to give you the most crisp, highest-resolution version of the film. That won’t matter too much to you unless you have a 4K or higher display with which to watch the movie.
UPDATE: The Movies Anywhere app for mobile devices actually DOES have a download option – so scratch that bit above! It’s only on the desktop through a web browser that you’ll definitely need an internet connection to watch.
If Movies Anywhere ever goes out of business, you might lose access to The Last Jedi – that’s always a risk when you buy things digitally. But given the ease with which Disney Movies Anywhere transferred over my library of movies to Movies Anywhere, I can’t imagine there being a problem with similar switches in the future, if the need should present itself.
Is Star Wars: The Last Jedi worth the purchase price through Movies Anywhere? Sure – but only if you plan on watching the extras and don’t ALSO plan on buying the video on Blu-ray. Just buy one. Let’s not get too crazy.
This movie will cost users approximately $20 USD through Movies Anywhere. It can also be purchased through your favorite movie streaming service for right around the same price, and it’ll be available on Blu-ray (with the digital edition included) for around $25 USD. The physical release of this film takes place on the 27th of March, while digital copies are available immediately.