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Buy 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' and Get an Isolated Score, But Only Online

Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2018 11:31 AM

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Nearly ten years ago, I wrote an article (A Call for More Isolated Scores on Home Video Releases) wishing for more home video releases with the musical scores isolated so that the movie could be enjoyed with just the visuals and music. No dialog. No special effects. Music can be an integral part of a movie, and perhaps no composer is better known for movie scores than the legendary John Williams. He's done the music for all eight Star Wars movies so far (but not Rogue One), and the Star Wars themes are so burned into the consciousness of any movie fan that it isn't possible to separate the two.

So it is with joy, and a bit of irritation, that we saw news recently that the upcoming home video release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi will give purchases a chance to listen to the movie's isolated score. Director Rian Johnson issued a series of tweets on March 13, 2018:

The Last Jedi’s out today in the states for digital download, blu in two weeks. Of all the special features, my favorite one is kinda hidden, so wanted to call it out. If you buy the movie anywhere online (or the blu) you have access to a music only version of TLJ.


This is the full movie, but with no dialogue, fx or backgrounds... just John’s score. I really wanted to put this out, it’s really something to see John’s music play with the movie, like a silent film.


The one hoop you have to jump through to get it: get the Movies Anywhere app and link whatever account you bought the movie with to it. It’s free, it works pretty painlessly. Kinda a pain I know, but I think it’s worth it to get this version.

It's that hoop that is a little irritating. Instead of providing the isolated score on the disc, you can only get it by watching the streaming version and somehow selecting the isolated score option. I like the convenience factor of streaming, but a serious composer's work calls for serious times, and this isn't what it could, or should, be. Streaming means lossy sound. Will it even be multi-channel?

Perhaps this means that Disney is trying to gauge interest, and if there is enough, we'll see a full-blown isolated score -- on-disc -- in future releases. The way it is now just seems like a carrot to get more people to register their discs online or buy the online version in the first place, and that doesn't sit well.

But that's what we're getting, folks. One could look at it as better than nothing, but we could have gotten better than this with a simple choice of adding another audio track to the disc.

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