The first time I tried to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens was at a morning media screening it Atlanta a couple of days before it opened. It was a disaster: the power in the theater went out twice and took almost an hour to return the first time and about thirty minutes the second them. Then the screening window for the digital copy we were screening expired just a couple of minutes from the end (Rey and Leia were having their final scene together), so we missed the big reveal at the end.
Some people at the screening lost their minds, but I mostly just felt bad for the PR team and the folks in the theater. They were even more freaked out than the entitled media audience, many of whom had dreamed about this moment since they first started writing about movies. We all found out much later that a transformer had blown out the power in the neighborhood. And the second outage came when Georgia Power had repaired the first transformer and was switching back to mains from the backup. Disney gave permission for a nighttime do-over, so I finally saw the end of the movie about eleven hours after I saw the opening scene. Worst advance screening ever.
After watching the new home video release (out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD), I can now report that it’s a much better movie when you watch it straight through in one sitting. It’s both a really entertaining movie and one that does a great job of honoring what people loved about the original trilogy.
Both Blu-ray and Digital come with a lot of extras:
- 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
- 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.
- Plus Deleted Scenes
There’s not a lot to the deleted scenes, so you won’t get many clues about future story lines there. The extras get their own disk on the Blu-ray, the best of which is the feature-length Secrets of documentary.
This home release looks and sounds great and it’s better than any of the Episode 4-6 home releases. Maybe Disney will give us restored, unaltered versions of the original films while we wait for Episode 8.