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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Home Video 1st Impressions

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Blu-rayStar Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now available digitally and will be on disc March 31st.  This is the ninth and final film in the Skywalker Saga.    For more on the film itself here is Lee’s spoiler-free review.

The home video release features a variety of formats spanning DVD, Blu-ray, 4K and various digital formats.  Bonus material can vary by format and retailer.  For the full technical specs and information on the home video options here is the full press release.

I had the opportunity to review the Blu-ray and DisneyMoviesAnywhere Digital version of the film.    Here are my first impressions and some info on the bonus features –

  • The Skywalker Legacy (126 minutes) – This full length documentary is the centerpiece of the bonus material.  Like previous Star Wars Releases the documentary takes a look at the characters, filming process, and history of the franchise.  This being the last of the  Skywalker Saga the focus is on the legacy and there are interviews with both the original three films casts and current films.   I thought this two hour piece flew by and was interesting.  Even at its extended length you felt yourself wanting more at times.
  • Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase (14:16) – A look at the landspeeder chase sequence. This expanded featurette explores the entire process from story boards to practical effect shots to special effect shooting.   I really enjoyed this piece.
  • Aliens in the Desert (5:59) – This featurette shows some of the logistics and the scale/complexity of the Pasanna desert scenes.  The numbers and size of this operation were as impressive as the scenery.  I would have liked to have seen a schematic/map to help show the size and scope of the project.
  • The Maestro’s Finale (11:03) – An exploration of John William’s scores from the previous films and this finale film.  This is a digital exclusive and some pieces of it are in the full length documentary. (Also note the documentary segment on John Williams has some pieces not in this).
  • Cast of Creatures (7:45) – A closer look at some of the puppets and creatures in the film.  This featurette clocks in at just under 8 minutes but still feels short and only scratches the surface of the creatures in the films.
  • D-O: Key to the Past (5:34) –  This was a more traditional featurette looking at the newest Star Wars droid and the ship that connects Rey to her missing parents.   I would have liked to have seen this broken into two featurettes and expanded a bit.  It seemed to skim the surface.
  • Warwick & Son (5:37) – A 5 minute featurette looking at the roles Warwick Davis has played in previous films and his son Harrrison’s role in this film with him.

As with previous Star Wars home video releases this one delivers on the bonus features.  There are only seven but they clock in at nearly three hours of material.  If you enjoy bonus features and/or Star Wars you will most likely find a lot of positives with this release.  I really enjoy the pieces that take you into the film making process and share the scale of this film.    I did feel like they missed some opportunities with the release to share more about the parks and Disney+.   On the parks side I was really expecting a featurette on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and maybe even a hint at what is to come with the Galactic Star Cruiser.  Maybe a history of Star Wars in the parks piece would  have been a great addition.   I also thought they missed an opportunity to talk about Star Wars on Disney+.

This initial home video release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would make a great addition your library if you are a fan of bonus features,  Lucasfilm again on that front.

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