Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker Blu-ray review

Apr 01, 2020- Permalink

In my theatrical review of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker I was torn. I said I loved it’s look and nostalgic recalls. I was in the camp of people who liked Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi and felt that this latest installment seemed to be trying so hard to satisfy the contingent of angry fans that it turned a “saga about a ragtag group of rebels into a polished, sanitized, homogeneous product.” I’m still torn about it, but at least now I have the opportunity to think about it over repeated viewings at home as Disney has released it on Digital, 4K and Blu-ray. I had a chance to review the 4K Ultimate Collectors Edition.

The video presentation is flawless. The 2160p/HDR UHD HEVC/H.265-encoded transfer is in the theatrical release’s 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The black levels are deep which is, you know, really helpful in a movie chock full of scenes in space and dark, moody interiors. The colour palette ranges from dark jungle greens to the grey uniforms and clean interiors of Kylo Ren’s fleet. Details are sharp and crisp from facial features and textiles, to worn rebel ships and sandy environments. I didn’t notice any digital noise or compression artifacts. If there were any, I’m pretty sure Kylo had them killed.

On the audio side, your ears have the choice of English Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 tracks as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 tracks. Subtitles are available for English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish. Like many recent Disney releases, you’ll have to increase the volume a scootch over reference levels to get the full effect of the soundscape. The low frequency elements add the right amount of menacing to the First Order fleet. Ships and battles move perfectly across your surround speakers. You’re immersed so much in the action that you’ll want to become a Jedi. John Williams’ score sounds beautiful and the dialogue is crystal clear. Top marks.

As for extras, the set comes with a Blu-ray copy and a digital code. There is also an additional Blu-ray disc of bonus content. The Skywalker Legacy is a 2 hour documentary that looks at both the making of this film and the entire saga to date. There’s a featurette on the speeder chase, a look at the various creatures that populate the saga, and a piece on Warwick Davis, who return to the saga, this time accompanied by his son.

Star Wars fans are going to want to add Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker to their collection. Flawless video, beautiful sound and a full-length documentary in the extras. A must have.