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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: March 20, 2020, 01:42:24 PM »


Studio: Disney / Lucasfilm
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Rating: PG-13
Film: 4/5

Plot
The surviving members of the resistance face the First Order once again, and the legendary conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its peak. The ninth and final episode in the Skywalker saga welcomed the return of original characters Luke Skywalker, General Leia Organa, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Emperor Palpatine and Lando Calrissian, along with the latest generation of heroes and villains, including Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, Maz, Rose, General Hux and Kylo Ren. Newcomers include Jannah, a new ally of the Resistance; Allegiant General Pryde of the First Order; and smuggler Zorii Bliss.
 

My Thoughts
There are two ways of evaluating this film—on its own merits or how it fits in with the other Star Wars films. I’ll attempt to do both. On its own, this is an exciting and entertaining piece of filmmaking. The story moves along at a very brisk pace—despite its long runtime—and it has a satisfying conclusion. However, when deconstructing it as it relates to the other 8 films in the Skywalker saga, it’s somewhat middling.

The biggest issue I have is Kathleen Kennedy, the President of Lucasfilm, screwed the pooch once Disney bought the studio. Whether this was from pressure from her new bosses or on her own volition, but the intent was to turn Star Wars into the next Marvel hit factory for the House of Mouse and release a film every year to keep fans satisfied. While The Force Awakens was entertaining and se the stage for what was to come, there was no overarching plot laid out for the writers to follow—unlike the Marvel films. With Marvel, they knew where they were going to end up from the beginning and had a plan to tie in all of their films with one overarching story. Sadly, that wasn’t the case with Star Wars.

J.J. Abrams was hired to write and direct the first film, then Rian Johnson was brought into do the second and essentially took the trilogy in a completely different direction with arguably the worst Star Wars movie ever made (in my opinion) for too many reasons I won’t get into here, so whoever was going to make the final film, had some serious work to do to fix the travesty that preceded it. J.J. Abrams was eventually brought in for the final film after the original director, Colin Trevorrow, was fired over creative differences. To add insult to injury, Abrams wasn’t given enough time to adequately “fix” the film and I’m confident that with an additional 6-9 months of time he could have ironed out some of the problems with the film and given the Skywalker saga the sendoff it deserved.

One thing not to be disappointed in is the 4K encode, which is fantastic. The black levels are bottomless and the starfields are reference. Colors are bold, natural, and accurate, and detail is off the charts in both long shots and close-ups. While the Blu-ray also looks great, this 4K encode is definitely the way to watch the film.
The audio track is recorded lower than it should be—a recurrent problem with Disney tracks—but once volume adjusted, it provides a very enjoyable experience. Bass response is surprisingly good, especially the low rumble of spaceship engines, and John Williams still knows how to deliver a fantastic musical journey.

Video 10/10

Audio 9/10 (Dolby Atmos)

Special Features:
  • The Skywalker Legacy
  • Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase
  • Aliens in the Desert
  • D-O: Key to the Past
  • Warwick & Son
  • Cast of Creatures
  • The Maestro’s Finale (Digital Exclusive)
  • Blu-ray+ Digital Copy




Conclusion
While this won’t go down in history as the best Star Wars film, it’s definitely not a bottom feeder either. If I were to rank the Skywalker Saga, here would be my order:

1.  Star Wars
2.  The Empire Strikes Back (really a tie with Star Wars)
3.  The Force Awakens
4.  The Rise of Skywalker
5.  Revenge of the Sith
6.  Return of the Jedi
7.  The Phantom Menace
8.  Attack of the Clones
9.  The Last Jedi

Some may say I have to films from the current trilogy ranked too highly, but I have enjoyed them as entertaining films and while they don’t have the emotional impact of the first two films in the sage, they are fun to watch. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll certainly be buying this film and I have to tell you, the bonus feature “The Skywalker Legacy” is a must watch. It clocks in at over two hours but is well worth the time investment. Highly recommended.

Reference Review System:
 
 
Reference Review System:
 JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
 (Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
 Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Fixed Screen
 Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor
 ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels

ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
 Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
 System Controller: URC MX-980

M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
 Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
 SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
 HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
 JL Audio Fathom F110 Subwoofers x 2 (stacked)

JL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (stacked)
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
 Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
 PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

AVSCraig

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Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2020, 02:07:24 PM »
I'm looking forward to buying and watching this - when it finally gets released for sale at Amazon ! 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 07:58:36 AM »
Preordered the Skywalker Saga from Best Buy. Can’t wait to watch the series again in 4K. Although I already watched the first 8 by streaming them from Disney+, i think the uhd version will be a notch better.
JVC RS2000K, 144” Stewart Studiotek 130 Cinemascope screen, Anthem AVM 60, Oppo 203 UHD Blu ray player, Panasonic UB820, B&W 803 D2s, B&W HTM D2, B&W 805s, B&W CCM ceiling speakers.

TRainH2O

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Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2020, 08:17:53 AM »
I'm looking forward to seeing this one. Given what he has done with other series', I had high hopes that Abrams could bring the story back home.

It's good to read your positive review of both the story and the disc's AV quality. As always, thanks for the review, David.

Barry

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Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2020, 01:55:53 PM »
    David, for some reason I have time to kill.  So I thought I’d give a list of the Star Wars movies in the order I liked them.  I still think Empire is one of the best sci-fi movie I have ever seen.
 
Rather than list the ones I really didn’t like, in the order that I didn’t like them, I just put the four I didn’t like in Alphabetical order.
 
 
The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars
Return of the Jedi
The Rise of Skywalker
The Force Awakens
Rogue One
The Last Jedi
 
 
I didn’t care for….
Attack of the Clones
Revenge of the Sith
Solo
The Phantom Menace


Krell 707 3D; Krell 400e (center) 600e; S-1500 (rear); Panasonic 9000 4k player; Revel speakers: Salon 2, Voice 2; W990; SVS subs SB-13 Ultras; JVC DLA-RS3000; Stuart StudioTek100; Krell Cipher; Day Sequerra FM Reference: VPI 19 Mark 4 & SME 309 & Audioquest 404i & Krell KPE

Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2020, 03:44:47 PM »
On a second viewing, Solo was loads better. One reason I didn't love it the first time is the hangover from The Last Jedi, which I abhor. Once I watched it at home I enjoyed it a lot more. I also liked Rogue One and The Mandalorian
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

AVSCraig

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Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2020, 07:46:50 PM »
On a second viewing, Solo was loads better. One reason I didn't love it the first time is the hangover from The Last Jedi, which I abhor. Once I watched it at home I enjoyed it a lot more. I also liked Rogue One and The Mandalorian.

I thought Solo was pretty fun - I've watched it twice in my theater. I love Rogue One !
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
www.avscience.com  craig@avscience.com
We carry projectors, screens, speakers, receivers etc. !!
Twitter - @AVS_Craig Sacramento CA area

TRainH2O

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Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2020, 07:48:28 AM »
On a second viewing, Solo was loads better. One reason I didn't love it the first time is the hangover from The Last Jedi, which I abhor. Once I watched it at home I enjoyed it a lot more. I also liked Rogue One and The Mandalorian.
I forgot about Solo, I haven't watched it yet. As for Rouge One and The Mandalorian, I enjoyed them both especially The Mandalorian. I am dying to know the origins of "The Child".

Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2020, 12:47:52 PM »
I forgot about Solo, I haven't watched it yet. As for Rouge One and The Mandalorian, I enjoyed them both especially The Mandalorian. I am dying to know the origins of "The Child".
Tracy, definitely watch this. My how movie making has changed and in this case, it looks absolutely fantastic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUnxzVOs3rk


Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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