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Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the most anticipated movie of 2015, had some high expectations to live up to. For most fans, director J.J. Abrams managed to give them a new hope (almost literally) for future episodes in the saga.
Disney, the producers of the movie, has now launched the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD versions of the movie, ready to purchase for people who either missed it in cinemas or who want to rewatch it again and again. But is there enough new stuff included to warrant purchasing your own copy of The Force Awakens? Or should you skip this particular purchase? Let’s find out…
What’s New With This Release?
As with most major home releases, the Blu-ray packs in a few deleted scenes from the theatrical release. That’s right, Abrams and friends have added previously unseen footage, which includes how Han Solo figures out Finn is lying to him when they first meet!
Unfortunately for fans, there is no director’s or actors’ commentaries included in the package. Instead, you get a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the film, which goes in-depth into the characters (providing previously unexplained nuances about them), the brainstorming process between the filmmakers, and interviews.
Along with this documentary, you get peeks into how composer John Williams scored the movie, how the creatures in the new movie were made, the digital effects used in the film, and an in-depth look at the climatic snow battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
Almost everything about Star Wars goes viral, of course, but the first table read photo really made the film more than a concept for fans everywhere. Seeing these actors, both old and new, with scripts in their hand got the adrenaline pumping. And now, with this release, you can hear from the cast members about their memory of that epic first meet to read the movie’s script.
And of course, no discussion about The Force Awakens would be complete without talking about the little robot who stole several scenes, along with everyone’s hearts. BB-8, the astromech droid, has already been turned into a high-tech toy you can buy, but we now get to hear the filmmakers talk about their vision for this new member of the Star Wars family and how they made him a fan favorite.
Where to Buy The Force Awakens
That’s a whole lot of extra juice packed into these discs and downloads. Not to mention the fact that you can watch the whole movie over and over, and maybe even catch Star Wars mistakes you’ve never spotted before. So where can you buy the latest Star Wars film and how much does it cost?
DVD ($19.99): Target, Walmart, Toys’R’Us
Note: Target has an exclusive special edition of the Blu-ray package, which includes a conversation with lead actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.
The Blu-ray pack seems the best of the options available, especially since you get a Digital HD coupon with it which can be redeemed at the applicable service. According to the official Blu-ray information, this means you get a digital copy of the film on iTunes or Google Play, which should satisfy most buyers.
In case your country isn’t supported yet and you can’t buy the digital version, you could just use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to grab it. We also have guides on accessing region-blocked media on Android devices as well as iPads and iPhones.
But Should You Buy It?
While it’s great that you can get your Star Wars fix, pause for a moment and think whether this is really worth buying right now. There are actually a few reasons you might not want to take your wallet out just yet.
This version of the Blu-ray is also limited to Full HD resolution. It doesn’t support 4K or Ultra HD TV resolutions.
2016 is the year of HDR TVs, but HDR content is still hard to come by. There’s no support for it on this Blu-ray set. We’ll probably see an Ultra HD Blu-ray set in the future. In fact, The Force Awakens was one of the first movies made in Dolby Vision, which includes technology that lets your TV recreate colors and tones exactly the way the director intended. If you want to see Abrams’ true vision of Star Wars, you’ll want to wait it out for this future version.
Finally, let’s face it, streaming media means the end of ownership. So, in reality, you don’t really need to buy a digital version of a movie as it’ll probably show up on Netflix sooner or later. If it’s the extras you want, sure, spend that money, but for the movie alone, waiting for a streaming service is the sensible option.
Another reason to pause before buying would be the eventual Star Wars mega-packs. J.J. Abrams is producing two more movies, so his trilogy would be packaged with the earlier episodes, much like the Star Wars Digital Movie Collection. If it’s just the movies that you’re interested in, then, again, the frugal way is to wait until a streaming services buys the rights to this first film, and then buy the mega-pack later.
Will You Be Buying The Force Awakens?
So, that’s everything you need to know about the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens release on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. Given this information, what’s your decision? Will you be buying your own personal copy of Episode VII right now, or will you be waiting it out? Whatever your reasons, we’d love to hear them in the comments below!