While the debates about the merits of The Last Jedi as a whole rage on, audiences in Japan have been having a different sort of debate – one about the very way in which we experience films at the cinema. And that’s because they’ve had the choice of whether to watch the latest Star Wars from the perspective of the Rebels or the First Order, with special effects tailored to each side.

4DX Screenings of ‘The Last Jedi’ in Japan Can Be Seen in ‘Light’ or ‘Dark’

If you’ve not come across the 4DX cinema concept, it’s interesting to say the least. For Star Wars: The Last Jedi, fans in Japan have been choosing between the light or dark sides of the Force for screenings of The Last Jedi. Depending on which was chosen, the same theatre offers immersive special effects which are tailored to give audiences contrasting experiences.

4DX isn’t just about what’s seen on screen either, it’s all about immersion. That means vibrations, tilts, strobes, wind, fog and other effects are used to enhance the on-screen action. For Star Wars, lighsaber battles are complimented by different reverb effects for the two sides.


It’s an incredible concept, and naturally it will probably only ever work for large budget films which A) lend themselves to immersion and B) have large production companies backing them, just like Star Wars has with Disney.

But while the film undoubtedly needs the capital for 4DX to ever make serious waves, your own bank account may not. In Japan, ticket prices for the 4DX versions are around £18.50 (¥2,800) for 2D and £21 (¥3,200) for 3D. That’s only an extra £10 over a standard ticket in the country.

It remains to be seen whether the 4DX cinema experience will ever make its way out of Japan or South Korea, where the technology has been pioneered by the country’s CJ Group. But currently, the Light and Dark versions of Star Wars: The Last Jedi are Japan-only, and there’s no plans to show them elsewhere.


To celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, outerwear brand Columbia released some limited edition jackets perfect for the plains of Hoth.



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