The Blu-ray and Digital HD release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just a week away, and Dork Side of the Force had the opportunity to get an early look at the film to review all the tasty bonus material and see what it offers…
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To start, The Force Awakens was again, absolutely stunning, and we watched it again with all the amazement and wonder we did, when we saw it the first three times in the theater, back in December and January. J.J. Abrams crafted a truly wonderful masterpiece that has forever earned its place in the hallowed halls of the Star Wars franchise, as one of the greatest Star Wars films to ever have been put on celluloid. In this reviewer’s humble opinion, The Force Awakens ranks third — Empire Strikes Back being number one and Return of the Jedi being number two — as the best Star Wars films, to date. (let the hate flow through you and the debate begin)
Now to all that bonus material that came attached to the Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens…
- Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – 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.
This was my favorite part of the bonus material. There are four chapters of the Cinematic Journey in all, and they begin with the first announcement that Disney was going to start making The Force Awakens, and it ends with that now iconic scene of Rey handing Luke the Skywalker familial lightsaber. This truly is a treat, and is a must see for any Star Wars fan.
- The Story Awakens: The Table Read – Cast members familiar and new reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie’s script.
One word can only describe this feature: Amazing. To see the entire core cast, as they sat around that room together, for the first time, truly sent chills up and down my spine. What makes this feature so amazing, is that this is where that very first cast photo of was taken from, and as you will find out, everyone there, back in June of 2014, knew the entire plot of the film. Mark Hamill knew that Luke would have no dialogue, no role except a few seconds in the end, when he narrated the table read…like I said, amazing.
- Building BB-8 – See how the filmmakers brought the newest droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favorite in the Star Wars universe.
This feature was much, much more fun that I expected. It’s a great look into what it took to bring to life, the lovable droid that quickly stole the hearts of Star Wars fans everywhere.
- Crafting Creatures – Watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of new creatures to life.
Always a great feature of any Star Wars film, and this is no exception.
- Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – Go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
This is a great bonus feature. The best battle of the film deserves an fantastic explanation…and it got it. Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver’s on-screen chemistry for their duel, and their dedication for their battle was outstanding.
- John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – The legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens.
What else can be said about the icon that is John Williams? He’s a legend, and his music has been as much a part of my life, as George Lucas’ Star Wars films have been.
- ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – An insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects.
A decent feature, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t delve too deep into this one. I’ll admit to saving this one for last, and after all the other amazing features, I may have been suffering from Star Wars bonus material overload syndrome. It’s a serious condition, you guys.
- Force For Change – 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.
I rather enjoyed this feature, personally for the fact that I participated in Force for Change. So, this probably is a take it or leave it feature for those of you who did or did not get involved.
- Plus Deleted Scenes
Of course this was a fun feature. I won’t go into too much detail, for the simple fact that I want you to have some enjoyment of actually have a bit of surprise when you crack open your The Force Awakens Blu-ray on April 5. However, I will say this: There is a digital code you can enter online for a special scene involving Han and the group under Maz’s castle, when the First Order attacks, that is well worth the minor hassle of putting in the code itself. Also, the Kylo Ren aboard the Falcon scene is by far my favorite of all the deleted scenes.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available on Digital HD on April 1, and Blu-ray April 5. Various retailers will have their own exclusive covers, so if you’ve not yet pre-ordered your copy, then shop around first to see which cover you want to collect. Enjoy your bonus material, because it’s well worth it, and may the Force be with you.