Star Wars The Force Awakens was finally released on Blu-ray yesterday and like many eager fans I devoured the special features that evening. It was some of the most fun i’ve had watching special features in quite some time but before we get into all that we need to talk about something else first.

Save Yourself The Pain and Just Buy The Normal Blu-ray Version Of This Movie

One way to upset fans is to hype something up and under deliver. The Force Awakens was a well hyped movie but for all of that it completely delivered and was well received by fans as well as myself. So when they mentioned the Blu-ray was coming out with a boatload of special features I was in. Absolutely gonna buy it day one. After reading an article on StarWars.com I decided to purchase the version at Target because for an extra $5 you got a different cover and 20 minutes of extra special features. To me the extra 20 minutes of special features is important so yesterday I hit up Target when it opened to grab my copy of the movie. First unfortunate thing I learned is that the special Target version came in a very flimsy cardboard case. This isn’t a huge deal all told, but the normal version comes in a standard Blu-ray case with is more sturdy and better designed. I also prefer the art on the normal Blu-ray release as well. The Target special version I purchased feels more flimsy and I don’t like how you have to slide the discs in and out of the tight sleeves. I put the discs in other sleeves to avoid scratches because… I really hate disc scratches and want things I enjoy to last a very long time. So the inferior packaging wasn’t a huge deal but it was a thing I had to mentioned. That said the deal-breaker was that the extra 20 minutes of special edition footage was online only. I went on Target's Facebook forum weeks ahead of time to find out if the extra features would be on disc. Customer service reps said the special features were on disc and I imagine myself and many implied this meant the extra 20 minutes would be too. Turns out you get a digital code you have to redeem at a Disney website and that grants you access to the extra 20 minutes. They've since updated the language on their website after a ton of complaints but that doesn't help me.

Really at the end of the day this isn’t the end of the world but it was disappointing. If I had known what I know now I would have just bought the normal version, saved $5 and been served slightly less disappointment.

That all said...

This Is One Of The Best Blu-ray Movies I’ve Bought In a Long Time

The Force Awakens on Blu-ray is worth purchasing for the amazing 1 hour and 9 minute “Secrets of the Force Awakens” documentary included. From start to finish it gives a well detailed look at the film starting with George Lucas selling LucasFilm to Disney to the launch of the film itself. It’s a very special look at a really important movie and I am happy Disney spent the effort to make this documentary incredible. Peter Jackson took a documentary style look at film-making to new heights with the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions and I haven’t seen much to top that but Force Awakens is in that ballpark.

Besides the aforementioned 4 part documentary, The Force Awakens includes a segment on the script table read, creature creation, BB-8, snow battle and ILM. One of my most anticipated parts were the addition of deleted scenes and they were also very fun to watch. I’d say each deleted scene was nice to see but I could see why they weren’t included in the final film. One deleted scene “Tunnel Standoff” is a digital exclusive and the funnest one of the bunch. It’s a shame it’s not included on the disc but you can watch it if you redeem your digital code with iTunes or Google.

Like I said, the Force Awakens special features and deleted scenes are worth the price of admission alone yet this is also an incredible Star Wars movie too. We dedicated an entire episode of the Cheerful Ghost Roundtable to our thoughts on Force Awakens so if you want to know more check that out. If you liked the Force Awakens and enjoy getting a behind the scenes look at how films are made, you need to pick this one up!

UPDATE

Just wanted to note that Disney launched a teaser for the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One trailer coming out tomorrow!

https://youtu.be/MaYv3Y8tyoQ

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 04/07/2016 at 03:49am

Thanks for posting this! I didn't pre-order it, so I'm going over to Amazon now to buy it. Me and Vinny really enjoyed watching it together even though our 3D experience was horrible. I think he really likes BB-8, because when we were in Gamestop last week he said he sees him everywhere (it didn't sound like that was in a bad way, after all he did buy some BB-8 socks around Christmas).

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 04/07/2016 at 01:07pm

Yeah, BB-8 really is everywhere. I remember seeing him show up all over even before I bought the movie. Disney hit paydirt with that droid!

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 04/09/2016 at 05:59am

(Removed previous comment. I thought I sent that in a message, why did I put that in the comment section here?)

Anyway, when I went to order A Force Awakens, it looked like it wouldn't be here until Monday. However, tracking my package now tells me it will be here later today (a technicality seeing as it's about 2am) on Saturday. I don't think it's a special edition at all, but I'm looking forward to watching it again with Vinny.

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 04/10/2016 at 12:35am

Ok, mine came with a DVD, Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray "Bonus" disc, and a code to download the digital version of the movie. No code to go online and get those bonus features you mentioned, maybe they're on the "bonus" disc. It does have a sticker on the cover that says "all new bonus deleted scenes revealed plus Secrets of the Force Awakens."

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 04/10/2016 at 02:48am

So if you bought the disc at Target then you can use that code on Disney Anywhere to watch the special stuff I talked about. There is a special Tunnel scene if you redeem the code in iTunes or Google plus not on the disc, but everything else is.

And it's incredible, so enjoy! Curious what your thoughts on it will be.

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 04/10/2016 at 05:25am

Yeah, I didn't see anything about a Tunnel scene. But, it was all cool. Obviously me and Vinny enjoyed the movie, so it was good that we could enjoy it again and not with a bad 3D experience. The documentary was good and what I got from it was just how grand of an idea it was to have a new Star Wars movie including the original cast and many others who worked on the first three movies. There's so much involved and they all did a fantastic job and that's the beauty of it all. I enjoy the generational and family themes they mentioned, like giving Star Wars to a new generation. That really fits with me since it's something I got to enjoy with my son. I don't doubt that they could do a fantastic job on another movie (or more).

Travis   Admin wrote on 04/10/2016 at 05:48am

No, when you redeem the code to get the digital copy, it comes with special features. There's an extra deleted scene with the digital copy that has the tunnel scene. So if you redeem it on iTunes, the tunnel scene will be available to you with the rest of the movie in iTunes. Same with Amazon or whatever else (although I hear Amazon's is just one big 4+ hour video file)

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 04/10/2016 at 07:46am

Yeah it is a big 4+ hour Amazon video. I see now, thanks for letting me know, Travis.

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