I don’t generally get to see movies in the cinema. Lately, I’m blaming that on the tiny human that I spawned, but even before then I rarely went because my other half simply doesn’t enjoy it. He’d much rather watch a movie at home – we have an awesome TV, can make our own popcorn, and we can watch on the couch without needing to go out in public or wear pants. Of course, it was really hard to miss out on the cinema experience for a film like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but for me, the Blu-Ray more than made up for it.
I won’t even try to give you my opinion of the movie – I really enjoyed it, but if you want a proper critique, you can read our review of it over here. Back in the early days of home entertainment releases of movies, it was just about being able to watch the film at home. Now, though, that’s just a part of what’s on offer. Sure, it’s great to be able to watch the movie (or just those scenes you have to watch again) whenever you want, but there’s so much more that they manage to put on that Blu-Ray disc.
Of course, there’s the vibrant – yet still natural – 1080p transfer that brings Jakku to life, with the rest of the film looking crisp and clear. There’s also DTS-HD Master audio 7.1 sound mix, which is lovely if you have the right equipment, but the lack of a Dolby Atmos track seems an odd omission. But even if you’re not an AV nut, there’s plenty worthwhile in the BD.
First up, there are the deleted scenes. I don’t know if you’re like me, but after watching a movie, the first thing I check out is the deleted scenes. It’s a testament to the editing of the film that the deleted scenes don’t really add anything necessary – the movie still worked so well without them – but it’s still cool to see the extra moments with Finn.
Then there is a host of behind the scenes videos. There’s a detailed look at building the BB-8 and crafting the various creatures, as well as an insightful look at the secrets of The Force Awakens that shows a ton of details about the making of the film. I found it most intriguing to realize how Star Wars was treated almost like a period piece. By bringing on people who worked on the original trilogy, and striving to make these movies look as much like those but in a modern way, the team nailed the look and feel of the Star Wars universe. There’s also a feature on the music of the movie, and even a how the climactic battle between Rey and Kylo was put together.
So, whether you’re only into Star Wars for the cool battles or the interesting tech, or because of the mythological lore of it all, there’s something on the Blu-Ray for everyone. If I’m totally honest, I probably will only watch the movie again; I can’t imagine going through the making of features on a regular basis, but I’m definitely glad to have the Blu-Ray as part of my collection. At least it makes waiting for the next episode a little more manageable.
Here’s what you get on the Blu-Ray in addition, obviously, to the film itself:
- Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey
- The Story Awakens: The Table Read
- Crafting Creatures
- Building BB-8
- Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight
- ILM: The Vosual Magic of the Force
- John Williams: The Seventh Symphony
- Deleted Scenes
- Force for Change
None of this stuff, however, is available on the DVD version of the film, so if you want more than just the movie, you may want to skip that version. As a nice addition for the hard of hearing though, this release – unlike far too many in South Africa – does have full subtitles and full closed captions.
Last Updated: April 22, 2016