It feels like just yesterday we were counting down the days until we could see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the big screen. Now another milestone is here: the release of the film on Blu-ray and Digital HD. Does this home media release live up to the hype?
Bonus Features ★★★★1/2
From the very first bonus feature, it’s clear that Disney went above and beyond in documenting this film for its fans. While the bonus features are near perfect, the absence of a director’s commentary is the only disappointment.
- Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – This feature-length documentary really embodies how much effort Disney put into this Blu-ray release. Documenting early events, such as the first cast table read, to showing us how the sets and physical effects were created, this documentary is a complete and utterly satisfying look at the newest chapter in the biggest movie franchise of all time.
- The Story Awakens: The Table Read – This is an interesting behind-the-scenes bonus feature that is rarely seen. Take a look at the first time the entire cast was together as they read through the script, headed by Mark Hamill as the script’s narrator.
- Building BB-8 – When compared to robotic icons like R2-D2 and C-3PO, bringing a new droid into the Star Wars universe is a daunting task. This bonus feature gives us a holistic view at all the aspects taken into account when designing BB-8 and bringing him to life on screen, from special effects to puppeteering.
- Crafting Creatures – Going back to its roots, the Star Wars crew created a plethora of new creatures for this film, many of which were performed physically by actors of all shapes and sizes. Not only do we see how they re-created old favorites such as Chewbacca, but we also get a glimpse into new characters like Maz Kanata.
- Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – One of the film’s highlights is the iconic lightsaber battle in the snowy forest of Starkiller Base. This bonus feature shows us how they created the huge set, in addition to what the crew had to do to make it epic.
- John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – What’s Star Wars without John Williams? This bonus feature is a real treat as it takes us into the mind of the film’s composer as he talks about his process in scoring another Star Wars film.
- ILM: The Visual Magic of the Force – While the filmmakers made a conscious effort to tone down the special effects utilized so heavily in the prequels, there was still a bunch of work needed to make this film complete. The team at ILM breaks down all the work they did to make this universe feel cohesive.
- Force for Change – One of the biggest opportunities the Star Wars franchise has is to make an impact for good. This featurette shows the work that went into the new charity “Force For Change” during the production and post-production of the new film.
- Plus Deleted Scenes – A classic bonus feature staple, these deleted scenes show what was cut in order to streamline the film and make it better. That majority of these are short and not crucial to the plot, but it’s fun to see the footage that was left on the cutting room floor. Take a look at these deleted scenes below!
The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray could have zero bonus features and it would still be worth the buy. But Instead, Disney loaded the release with all sorts of behind-the-scenes goodies that will leave even the hardest core Star Wars fan satisfied.
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes