J.J Abrams Star Wars sequel Is rewarded with an out of this world Collectors Edition…
There Has Been An Awakening:
The arrival of a new Star Wars movie on Blu Ray high definition is a special event, one that takes precedence on the pages of every fans calendar but when one mentions the phrase collector’s edition it divides opinions. The slogan conjures up images of a “cash cow” that has simply been released by the studio to collect another bounty of revenue from the poor fans who get little in the way of true value for money in return.
With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Blu Ray, we were treated to an edition that offered a plethora of amazing features ranging from creature effects to deleted scenes but, within weeks of it hitting the shelves, news broke of an embarrassment of unreleased additional content that had been omitted from the set.
The reaction to the news was certainly mixed, especially when Disney announced that a future edition was set to be released, one that would offer an overabundance of wonderful content designed to send the fans into a rapture of delight.
And so, when the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Collector’s Edition arrived upon our shelves I was elated to find exactly what was promised upon the three discs provided by the studio and the fun starts as soon as you remove the sealed wrapping.
First off let’s address the packaging which in my opinion is absolutely stunning. The set is presented inside a black faux leather rubberised slipcase that resembles a book more than a Blu Ray cover and gives us the impression of something far more special than a standard run of the mill Blu Ray. My only gripe is the overall size of the case itself which towers above the Complete Saga Boxset making it look slightly out of place once absorbed into the Blu Ray collection. A little cunning rearrangement will easily settle this minor detraction and will not spoil the overall brilliance of the set.
Onto the discs themselves…
The first disc of the set offers us the multi-million-dollar movie in a glorious 3D presentation designed to delight the fans like never before.
The set’s second disc offers us the movie in a standard two-dimensional format akin to the original release earlier in the year however, the sets true value lies within the content stored upon the special features third disc. Comparable to the Ark of the Covenant, once opened the set comes to life in a way the original collection never could and offers us a fantastical insight into the aspects of the behind the scenes story.
Giving us branching special features like: All new Deleted Scenes, Sounds of the Resistance, Foley: A Sonic Tale, Dressing The Galaxy, Inside The Armoury, Force For Change, The Story Awakens: The Table Read, Building BB-8, Crafting Creatures, ILM: The Visual Magic Of The Force, John Williams: The Seventh Symphony, Blueprint Of A Battle: The Snow Fight, A Conversation With Daisy Ridley and John Boyega and finally Secrets Of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, this set was cloned for a purpose.
From the moment the disc loads, we are invited to join J.J Abrams on the set of our beloved seventh episode and get the inside scoop on the filming of what became a triumph for Disney around the globe.
But is this additional disc worth the retail price you ask?
In a word…yes!
The all-new disc is a triumph, a simply stunning entry into the Star Wars Blu Ray fraternity that will undoubtedly grace your Blu Ray player for years to come. The Cinematic Journey is worth the retail price alone, the behind the scenes type featurette is separated into four episodes that detail the four quarters of the movies filming and truly takes you to the galaxy far, far away…
The journey takes us to the casting process of newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley and follows them as they prepare themselves to step onto the set opposite the likes of Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill. Not only does this feature take you from beginning to the end of the production of the movie with J.J Abrams, but it provides us with the inside scoop from the actor’s perspective with a series of interviews from the majority of the movies sublime cast.
The elegant Daisy Ridley shares her amazing story with us before the likes of Adam Driver, John Boyega, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and even Harrison Ford offer a glimpse into the truth behind their characters amazing scenes. The Harrison Ford interview is one of profound significance, not only does he share his personal thoughts about returning to a Star Wars universe but even offers us the reasoning behind his character’s epic demise at the hands of Kylo Ren.
The Seventh Symphony feature is also a joy to watch. Being a fly on the wall for John Williams’ masterful scoring sessions, we are invited to behold a rare opportunity and watch the master at work as he formulates his new entry into the annals of the Star Wars musical journey.
The expanded deleted scenes are a welcome addition to the set giving us an in-depth look into the sequences that were left on the cutting room floor. From Chewbacca’s encounter with Unkarr Plutt at Maz’s Takodana cantina to the First Order’s invasion of the tunnels beneath, we are treated to a host of scenes that could have easily been reintroduced to the final cut and thusly making the finished film an even bigger success.
The Crafting Creatures segment is another welcome addition that follows Star Wars legends Anthony Daniels, Warwick Davis and Peter Mayhew as they return to a Star Wars set to bring their characters to life once again. Accentuating the disc further is the Inside the Armoury featurette that takes an inside look into the weapons of the movie. From Han Solo’s classic DL-44 Blaster Pistol to the redesigned Bow Caster belonging to the mighty Wookiee Chewbacca, this stunning segment is a remarkable insight into the weapons from A New Hope brought back to their glory after almost thirty years.
If you are a fan of the lovable new droid BB-8, then look no further than the Building BB-8 featurette. The amazing segment takes us to the droid factory at Lucasfilm for the design process of the beloved droid and follows his construction until he rolls across the floor of the set ready to start filming.
There is far more content on this disc to traverse in a single review and I am apprehensive to elaborate further in fear of spoiling the magic of the set for you but, needless to say, and as a true Star Wars fan, I have fallen in love with this set. The features have brought me closer to the franchise like never before and have helped me embrace some of the decision making behind certain aspects of the movie I believed dubious at the time of release.
From a Star Wars fans perspective, it would be an act of treason against the Empire not to own this set. The hours of entertainment it provides beyond the movie itself is reason alone to add it to your collection alongside your lonely Complete Saga Collection. So don’t be a Tusken Raider, don’t leave those lonely Blu Ray set’s alone on the cold store shelves, get out there and buy your copy today…
You will not regret it.
And as always…
May The Force Be With You…
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Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!