It’s finally here! The first chapter in a new saga from a galaxy far, far away comes to a home near your starting today with the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD release of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS!
After getting our hands on our copy we could not wait to dive into the extras. After seeing the movie seven times in theaters we felt confident that the home presentation was suitable. So onwards we went into the slew of extras…
The highlight in the extras is the SXSW screened documentary about the making of the film: Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey. The great piece features tons of behind the scenes footage, interviews, and more. Many of the interviews occurred during production before the film was completed and so we get a peek into some elements that were not in the actual film.
There’s tons of anecdotes, stories and more in the piece. In one segment, Mark Hamill is in the table read giving description from the script about the planet of D’kar with its “copper sea” and “mushroom-shaped trees”, two details that were not actually brought to life in the final film. A keen eye will also notice that Disney seems to have done some wizardry in post production to remove a ponytail from General Leia’s left shoulder; there’s no specific mention but in a few of the behind the scene clips the former princess is donning a ponytail that never made it into the film. There’s a ton of goodies to take in, this feature does not disappoint.
The remaining bonus features on the DVD almost play out like extended cuts of scenes from the documentary.
Crafting Creatures is a really fantastic piece diving into a look at the lengths taken to bring the various creatures, aliens, and lifeforms in the film. From early sculpts and R&D to painting and make-up tests there’s a great general overview of bringing characters new and old (Admiral Akbar, Chewbacca, etc.) to life for the film
Building BB-8 is another great look into the creation process of the evolution of the character that came to life on the screen. Disney had several press moments that showed the fully functioning droid moving about on his own but there were actually several different BB-8s created to do different things in the film, some puppeteered, some stunt doubles, all with specific purposes for the scene at hand.
John Williams: The Seventh Symphony is perhaps less exciting than one might have hoped but does give a good look over of the creation of the character themes and overall score for the film.
Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight was surprisingly more interesting than we’d hoped. We go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber forest battle between Rey and Kylo Ren in this piece getting a look at the stunt work, film lightsabers without their trademark post-production glow, and even a look at the amazing forest that was crafted specifically for these scenes. Practical effects were a vital tool in the making of this film and with obviously fantastic results.
ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force was a really great look at the CG work done for the film but ever so much a tease revealing surpsingly very little at the extent to which computer generated graphics played a part in the film.
The Story Awakens: The Table Read was a featurette that went into the first table read done for the film which was the first time that cast and crew all came together to read the script in full.
Force For Change is a fantastic charity that was setup during production of the film and this little piece goes into how the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others.
Deleted Scenes are a solid standby to any good release and the clips revealed here unfortunately are hardly titillating, unveiling not much more than scenes that should have definitely been cut from the film to begin with! Still it’s fun to see directions that could have been taken including an unnecessary chase scene with Rey and Poe and some Stormtroopers.
There’s a lot to really like about this release for Disney’s first issue of a Star Wars film. If there’s anything to not like is that there’s not more! Clearly, this release is not bereft of extras but what was provided was so good that it left you wanting so much more. There’s tons more to be said about the creation of this film but for what was provided, the breadth and scope is impressive and completely satisfying.
Plus, it’s Star Wars, what are you going to do… NOT own it??
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is available from today on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and Disney Movies Anywhere.