Disney+ is going live today, and it includes an unexpected perk: the first 4K versions of several Star Wars movies, including the original trilogy. Episodes I: The Phantom Menace through VII: The Force Awakens are all available to watch with Dolby Vision HDR and Atmos support. There’s also a 4K HDR version of Rogue One, though Solo and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi aren’t yet on the new service.
“We have actually been spending a lot of time getting the movies and TV shows as appropriate, upgraded and ready to be viewed in that format,” Disney streaming services head Michael Paull said at a media event attended by The Verge in New York City last week. “We are working very very hard at making as much a selection as possible of our programming [available] in 4K UHD.”
The Verge has confirmed through first-hand viewing that the versions of the original trilogy are the 1997 “special editions,” which is disappointing but unsurprising. If you’ve been waiting to see Han shoot first in 4K, keep on waiting.
Still, this is the first time that most Star Wars movies have ever had a 4K release at all, which is a significant bonus for Disney+ subscribers. The Force Awakens and Rogue One are available on 4K Blu-ray, but the original trilogy and the prequels have never ventured beyond HD resolution — and for now, the only way to watch the new masters will be Disney+.