The Last Jedi digital version adds a cool full-length bonus: no words, just John Williams’ score

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Mar 13, 2018

We’ve known for a while now about some of the cool bonus features that will greet Star Wars fans when they pick up their Blu-ray copy of The Last Jedi later this month. But we’re just now learning about another killer add-in that awaits buyers of the digital-only version, which just hit streaming platforms today: a dialogue and sound effects-free version of the film that places John Williams’ iconic musical score alone in the spotlight.

TLJ director Rian Johnson revealed the inclusion of the music-only version during an interview with Amazon Video to promote the film’s streaming debut, saying digital buyers will need to access their previously purchased digital version of the film by pulling it up on Disney’s Movies Anywhere app in order to receive the bonus cut.

The idea behind the music-only version, he added, was to offer viewers a present-day experience akin to that of watching a silent movie, relying solely on music to evocatively reinforce The Last Jedi’s lavish visual feast.

“Basically, we did a mix where there’s no dialogue, no sound effects, no backgrounds, nothing but the score playing at regular perfect level,” Johnson explained. “So you can watch it like a silent film, just with John’s score. If you do this, it’s incredible — because you see the nuance that he writes the emotion of the scene with, and it’s being able to just focus on that music.”

Giving John Williams’ score the chance to take center stage is an especially timely move for fans anxious to learn whether he’ll continue to write music for the Star Wars franchise. Williams recently told an interviewer that he has no plans to keep scoring the series beyond J.J. Abrams’ forthcoming Episode IX, which, he said, “will be quite enough for me.”

When the Blu-ray version of The Last Jedi comes out on March 27, fans can expect 20 minutes’ worth of deleted scenes, plenty of behind-the-scenes footage on the CGI wizardry that brings a pair of the movie’s most epic set pieces to life, a motion-capture feature on Andy Serkis’ Snoke, and two separate documentaries focusing on Rian Johnson’s creative process for the film — all enclosed in a primo-looking steelbook case.

But if you’re inclined to go the digital route, you won’t have to wait until March 27 to relive Episode VIII — or its sweeping musical score — from the comfort of home. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is available now on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and Movies Anywhere.