Star Wars: The Force Awakens was undoubtedly the biggest release of 2015 and saw the return of one of cinema’s biggest franchises. With so much on the line for the beginning of a new Star Wars trilogy, it’s amazing that J.J. Abrams was able to deliver a story that lived up to expectations. The Force Awakens is now available on Blu-ray, and it brings a plethora of special features along with it. As Han would say, “Chewie, we’re home.”
The Blu-ray revolves around two things; creating a sense of nostalgia for the older generation of Star Wars fans and introducing the franchise to a younger generation of new fans. And it succeeds on both fronts. The film itself is great. While it plays it safe and close to the chest at times, it also delivers exactly what you want from a Star Wars film. The characters, environments, and set pieces all look fantastic on Blu-ray. Between the lightsabers, blaster shots, and explosions the colors simply pop. I was especially impressed with the segments that were filmed in IMAX like Rey and Finn’s escape in the Millennium Falcon. I was giddy watching it on the big screen in theaters, and I was just as giddy watching on my television at home.
The special features include an hour-long documentary Secrets Of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey that goes into great detail about the making of the film with plenty of cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. There’s also a quick glimpse into the first table read for the film in The Story Awakens: The Table Read. Fans will recall that the the first image released for Episode VII was of said table read. Other notable features that are pretty self explanatory include Building BB-8, Crafting Creatures, and Blueprint Of A Battle: The Snow Fight. It was amazing to see so much of the film be part of a real physical set. Watching all the behind-the-scenes footage is a testament to that, as I would much rather watch a crew put together this massive snow forest set than see some guy draw designs on a computer screen. There’s still plenty of digital effects, which is covered by ILM: The Visual Magic Of The Force. Of course you also can’t have Star Wars without John Williams and thankfully there’s John Williams: The Seventh Symphony that focuses on the legendary composer. Rounding out the bonus features are a handful of Deleted Scenes that add just a tad more excitement to the film. Who knew that at one point Rey and Finn got into a speeder chase with stormtroopers!?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Blu-ray is fantastic. You can clearly see the love and excitement that went into making the film from both the newcomers and veteran actors of the series. It’s a great time to be a Star Wars fan, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for the franchise.