The Force Awakens With EXTRAS (BluRay / DVD review)

Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the theater was one of the most thrilling cinematic moments in movie history.  Bringing it home had to add a different dimension to the experience and it delivered!  Most movies being released for the home audience have a few bonus features – some deleted scenes, maybe a couple of interviews or “making of” vignettes – but The Force Awakens has an entire movie’s worth of extras!  What’s more, they are all of the same high-quality, thoughtful, and professional caliber as the film itself.  The producers of the home version spent real quality time recording, documenting, and then putting together pieces that are both worthy of the super fan, and interesting for the casual fan.

Han, Finn, and Chewie from the deleted scene "Tunnel Standoff" - love when Han says, "What makes him supreme?"
Han, Finn, and Chewie from the deleted scene “Tunnel Standoff” – love when Han says, “What makes him supreme?”

Of course, the deleted scenes are always a favorite and quite a few are included with this release.  Unfortunately, they don’t have director’s commentary to let you know why they ended up on the cutting room floor, but they were fascinating to see.  Loved the extra scenes, “Jakku Message” and “X-Wings Prepare for Lightspeed” with Snap Wexley (played by Greg Grunberg) because it gives more insight into who he is.  Also thought “Kylo Searches the Falcon” was a nice bridge scene that lets you know of Kylo’s awareness of Han and also that he thought Han was more important than the X-wing attack on Starkiller Base.  My favorite though was “Tunnel Standoff” which can only be found on the digital copy of the film.  It’s funny!  Just a great piece that highlights the humor of Han Solo and his connection with Finn.  I wish they had included that one in the movie.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens..L to R: Director J.J. Abrams w/ actress Daisy Ridley (Rey) on set...Ph: David James..copyright 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd.; TM. All Right Reserved.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens..L to R: Director J.J. Abrams w/ actress Daisy Ridley (Rey) on set…Ph: David James..copyright 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd.; TM. All Right Reserved.

“Secrets of The Force Awakens” was the longest feature at over an hour (but broken up into four chapters so you don’t have to watch it all at once).  It was one of the most in-depth looks at the overall scope of a film that you could imagine and really gives you a sense of the effort that went into making this movie, but also the great amount of respect that the entire cast and crew had for the original films.

The little vignettes were great.  At about 7 to 8 minutes a piece, they gave you a more detailed look at individual portions of making The Force Awakens.  One of them highlighted ILM and another highlighted the team that created all the creatures you see throughout the film, but especially in Maz’ castle.  These two are such essential elements of any Star Wars movie and gave you a feel for the vast amount of work and the amazing talent involved.  Of course, there was a feature on John Williams because what would a Star Wars film be without his signature work!  But my favorite had to be about the creation of BB-8.  I love that little droid and to see how many different iterations there were of this loveable ball of metal was amazing.

Now, if you love getting the most for your money, I would have to recommend getting the Target Exclusive version of this home release.  There are two added features that can only be accessed by purchasing this particular one.  Best Buy has a fancy version with a nice case and WalMart has a version with BB-8 prominently on the cover and includes a disc from their exclusive Galactic Connexions game. But Target is the only one to have both the exclusive interview with John Boyega and Daisy Ridley (including Daisy’s now famous Force Awakens rap!), and “Inside the Armory” which details the creation of all of the weapons for the film.

No matter which way you go, The Force Awakens is a great addition to your home collection!



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