The second Death Star has been destroyed. Darth Vader is dead, as is the Empire as we know it. In its place, a new threat is growing. Star Wars: The Force Awakens occurs 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Kylo Ren and the First Order are the new threats to the galaxy far far away. A defector named Finn crash lands on a desert planet and finds himself enmeshed in an intelligence operation for the Resistance with a droid and Rey, a local scavenger. Soon their adventures have them racing across the galaxy with Han Solo and some other classic Star Wars characters as they search for Luke Skywalker.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes the quality associated with Star Wars right back where it should be. The mix of practical and CGI effects are incredible. Visually, this is a presentation that doesn’t disappoint. The movie is crisp and the colors accurate. The audio is equally impressive and immersive. It would be wonderful to just listen to this without the picture but… why split up two good things that go so well together?
There are several extras included with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While some releases of it will have store specific offerings, this is what the main Blu-Ray Combo Pack includes:
- Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – First off, there are FOUR CHAPTERS for this. This is in-depth and incredibly enjoyable to watch. I will be re-watching this multiple times. There is a lot to learn, a lot to enjoy, and a LOT to geek out about here.
- The Story Awakens: The Table Read – This is a historic look at the table read for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It isn’t too long, which is probably smart. It is enjoyable and offers insight to that historic day.
- Crafting Creatures – Star Wars: The Force Awakens uses a LOT of practical effects, especially with many of the characters. This feature takes a look at this process. It is very enjoyable and at times, for lack of a better word, beautiful.
- Building BB-8 – This shows how this beloved droid came to life. The design and creation of BB-8 is pretty awesome and this shows the entire evolutionary process.
- Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – This was an incredible scene in the movie. This feature makes the scene even more incredible. This was definitely one of the better extras included with this film.
- ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – There are a LOT of special effects in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And when it comes to special effects, ILM is the best in the business. This goes into how ILM helps tell the story of Star Wars in the most convincing possible way. It is a combination of real sets and computer graphics. The restraint showed in this process is clearly evident and it was interesting to hear how they did this project with this feature. The result is a movie that one can just sit back and watch and believe its all real.
- John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – The music of John Williams IS Star Wars. His music is essential to the telling of the story as the characters. It is awesome hearing how Williams used music to help tell this story. It is also great to hear how J.J. Abrams and others feel about his music. Watching this feature makes me want to go back and listen to the soundtrack again, and then watch the movie again. This is a bonus feature that I would loved to have seen doubled or tripled in length.
- Deleted Scenes – Several deleted scenes are included in this feature. For the most part, they are actually quite enjoyable. As with most deleted scenes, it generally makes sense why they were deleted. However, this series of scenes were definitely fun to watch.
- Force For Change – Take a look at how Star Wars fans have raised millions of dollars for those in need through the years. This takes a look at how fans from around the globe partnered with the production team for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to support UNICEF and several other charities during the course of production. This is a heartwarming extra that shows how a glimpse in how Star Wars isn’t just entertainment, but also quite literally a “force for change.”
I have been waiting to review this movie since the moment that Disney purchased Lucasfilm. The movie itself didn’t disappoint. It is very enjoyable and I can guarantee I will be watching it multiple time at home. The bonus features were an incredibly pleasant surprise. I really didn’t expect to enjoy them as much as I did. There were quite a few more included than I was expecting, and the quality surpassed expectations as well. This is a presentation that is very easy to give a hat tip too. I definitely would suggest adding it to the collection. After watching both the movie, and the extras, I now find myself even more excited for the future of Star Wars!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available for digital download on April 1. The Blu-Ray Combo Pack and DVD will go on sale on April 5th. What will you be getting?
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