For Star Wars fans, one of the biggest attractions of Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, has been the ability to watch the early installments of the sci-fi franchise in 4K UHD on their high-resolution screen of choice.
That option won’t be exclusive to the streaming service for much longer, though, as Disney will finally let fans buy 4K UHD Blu-rays of the films.
In an announcement of the release date for the latest film, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, on 4K UHD, Lucasfilm also indicated that eight earlier films in the “Skywalker Saga” will also be available to purchase in the high-resolution format for the first time. Those films include the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
All eight films had been exclusive to Disney+ in the 4K UHD format previously.
The eight earlier films and The Rise of Skywalker will all hit shelves in 4K UHD on March 31, with The Rise of Skywalker also available in 4K UHD a few weeks earlier on March 17 via the Movies Anywhere streaming service.
Both Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story are already available to purchase in 4K UHD, making this the first time fans will be able to view the entire live-action Star Wars movie saga in the high-resolution format without a Disney+ subscription.
It’s worth noting that the announcement doesn’t make any indication of when The Rise of Skywalker will be available on Disney+, so subscribers might have to wait a little longer to watch (or more likely re-watch) the end of the Skywalker saga in 4K UHD.
Anyone interested in the acquiring the high-resolution releases will have some options, as Lucasfilm is packaging all nine episodic films — the prequel trilogy, the original trilogy, and the sequel trilogy, but not Rogue One or Solo — in a massive, 4K UHD Skywalker Saga box set available March 31. All of the films will also be available to purchase individually on that same date.
While all of this is certainly worth celebrating if you’re a Star Wars fan who has been waiting to own physical copies of the earlier films in 4K UHD, you should know that the original trilogy films will only be available as the edited versions on Disney+, not the original theatrical cuts. That means you’ll have to endure the less-certain status of Han’s showdown with Greedo in the highest resolution possible.
More details on The Rise of Skywalker 4K UHD release and the rest of the Skywalker saga are available at StarWars.com.
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