It’s time to look at Return of the Jedi on 4K Ultra HD, as it finally reaches the format. But, how does it scrub up? Is it a must-have, or should you take evasive action?
The story: Once extracting themselves from the oozy clutches (and bondage gear) of Jabba the Hutt, our team of humans, Wookiee and droids meet up with the Rebel Alliance, except for Luke, who seeks out Yoda in order to top up his Jedi training. Then it’s time for a big bunch of family drama, and the small matter of destroying the Death Star II.
“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”
The 4K disc: This third entry of the original Star Wars trilogy comes to 4K Ultra HD with much of what we said about the visual side of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back ringing true. As such, the news is mostly good. A native 4K image is the order of the day, with some variations in detail throughout as a result of different sources being used for different parts – yes, this is the latest version of the film, not the original 1983 cinema cut. The addition of HDR does great things, with darker scenes excelling and brighter scenes also benefitting, but without overdoing it as some releases can tend to do. Film grain is essentially absent, hinting at digital tidying up having been carried out. Some detail may have suffered accordingly, but not to any horrifying degree – we’ve not seen Return of the Jedi looking this good before.
As for sound, it’s time for another wild Dolby Atmos experience, as various onscreen objects whoosh about wonderfully, with the height channels doing as they should and expanding the viewer’s bubble of sound upwards. It’s a top experience, with the balance between effects, the John Williams score and dialogue ably executed, while bass never disappoints – does it Jabba?
While the 4K disc houses nothing in the way of extras, letting the feature come to us as uncompressed as possible, the package includes two bonus standard Blu-rays. The first of these has a 1080p version of this latest mastering of Jedi, as well as two previously available audio commentaries. The first features George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, sound guy Ben Burtt and FX guy Dennis Muren, while the second features interview snippets deftly edited together from all manner of cast and crew members. Pop in the second bonus disc and a raft of trailers, interviews, featurettes and models is revealed.
Release date: April 1, 2020
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.