Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrived on Digital HD and Blu-ray this past week. This is the initial home video release of the latest blockbuster in the Star Wars universe. If you are one of the few who have not seen the film here is my spoiler free first impressions from December when it was released. For other Star Wars: The Force Awakens stories here on the geek’s blog including some box office milestones and more click here
In addition to the film here is the bonus material that is part of the package (I reviewed the DisneyMoviesAnywhere Edition):
- Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey (1:09:13) – For the first time, discover the complete story behind the making of The Force Awakens, revealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers in this feature documentary.
- Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight (7:02) – Go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
- ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force (7:56) – An insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects.
- Building BB-8 (6:03) – See how the filmmakers brought the newest droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favorite in the Star Wars universe.
- Crafting Creatures (9:34) – Watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of new creatures to life.
- The Story Awakens: The Table Read (4:01) – Cast members familiar and new reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie’s script.
- John Williams: The Seventh Symphony (6:51) – The legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens.
- Force For Change (3:21) – Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others.
- Deleted Scenes:
- Finn Will Be Fine
- Finn and the Villager
- Kylo Searches the Falcon
- Snow Speeder Chase
- Tunnel Standoff
- Jakku Message
- X-Wings Prepare for Lightspeed
My first impressions:
With this release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens Disney continues to deliver this time with a good selection of quality bonus material, especially compared to other modern releases. The most impressive is a full length documentary, clocking in at over an hour, which looks at the production of the film. This starts at the beginning and shows the journey to create the film. It is always impressive to me the amount of time, number of people, and talents involved to bring a movie to life. This was an impressive collection of talent spanning modern as well as original crafts to deliver a film that looks and feels like it fits into the Star Wars world we all know from the original three films. I am looking forward to re-watching this documentary to pick up on some of the details I missed in the first pass through.
Even the handful of shorter featurettes still had a majority clocking in at over six minutes so you felt like you were able to get into it a bit more than most. Even with these longer running times I wanted to see more… especially of the table read (teaser below) and the BB-8 package.
The one area of bonus material I was disappointed with were the deleted scenes. I am usually not a fan of deleted scenes and it seems a lot of releases rely on them for bonus material. Here they felt like an afterthought and they were thrown in to check the box that they have some. There was no introduction or notes just the seven scenes that were all relatively short, the longest being a minute. I could have done without them or some type of context for why they were not used would have been really good.
I think there was a missed opportunity, especially on the digital front, to include some of the world wide attention and launch of the film and an opportunity to mention the upcoming Star Wars projects in the parks.. maybe even in a trailer form.
Overall I think this is a solid edition and a chance to learn more about the creation of the film and travel back to the Star Wars universe at home. I thought the bonus material was substantial and substantive. I also found it to be approachable for the non “geek” while still offering details for those of us “geeks” too. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to learn more about the film.