Star Wars: The Force Awakens landed in movie houses last December and like clockwork four months later, the film is just about to roll out on home video. For fans of the franchise, the digital ‘n’ disc release to the masses means we can see The Force wake up all over again — but now with the power to fast-forward/rewind/obsess over all those little tidbits that whizzed by on the original big-screen viewing(s).
And of course, home video traditionally means: BONUS FEATURES.
Disney is not holding back with this one. Not only do most versions of The Force Awakens have extra video treats, you can also choose between delivery formats — and even the packaging for your copy.
And you don’t have long to wait. Digital high-def downloads from various legitimate sources will be available this Friday, April 1st, while physical discs — Blu-ray and DVD — hit stores Tuesday, April 5th.
So, what do you get if you buy the film? Deleted scenes, of course! These snippets from the editing-room bin have already been officially teased by Disney, spoiled here and there and leaked in various places online. There are said to be six official deleted scenes for disc buyers, and a seventh clip for the digital-only releases.
And what would a home-video release be without a few behind-the-scenes minidocs? Sure, the offerings may vary by retailer, but here are the ones most retailers are advertising (complete with original breathless blurbs from Disney):
• 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.
• 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.
• Building BB-8 – See how the filmmakers brought the newest droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favorite in the Star Wars universe.
• Crafting Creatures – Watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of new creatures to life.
• Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – Go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
• John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – The legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens.
• ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – An insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects.
• 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.
Can’t wait four days for a disc and going for the digital downloads? You can get it from all the usual suspects on Friday.
You can find the film on the Google Play store, Apple’s iTunes Store, the Microsoft Store and Walmart’s Vudu service. Most are charging $19.99 for an HD download of the film with bonus content included, and $14.99 for a standard-definition widescreen edition with no extra features. Amazon of course, likes to undercut everyone in price, and is charging $17.99 for the HD download with bonus material and $14.99 for the standard. (You be you, Amazon.)
Want a hard copy of the film on a good ol’ shiny disc? You can get one of those next Tuesday — and you have some options there as well. Film buffs will probably go for the Blu-ray/DVD combo back that also gives you a digital copy for your devices. The combo pack has a list price of $29.99 but you can find it cheaper if you look around. The straight-up DVD will cost around $18.99.
Four big retailers are doing their own packaging as well. These include:
• BEST BUY. The Best Buy Blu-ray Combo pack features sturdy SteelBook packaging for $29.99.
• DISNEY STORE. The Disney Store Blu-ray Combo comes with an exclusive lithograph set. That’s all while supplies last, and the package rings in at $24.99.
• TARGET. The $24.99 Target Blu-ray Combo pack comes with its own special packaging and an added 20 minutes of bonus content. Target claims to have never-before-seen interviews with new stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, plus a deep dive into at the movie’s costumes and weaponry.
• WALMART. Wallyworld’s own Blu-ray Combo pack comes with spunky BB-8 packaging and a Star Wars Galactic Connexions trading disc. List price is $39.99, but it’s on sale for $19.98.
And all these are just for the 2D editions — a 3D version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available later this year. Finally! Something to keep us busy until Rogue One arrives on December 16th.