This post contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens
In just a few short weeks, fans will be able to bring Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens home. Lucasfilm will release the Blu-ray of the blockbuster on April 5, 2016, and there are plenty of bonus features for viewers to check out once they’ve rewatched the film. Chief among them is the feature-length documentary Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, which peels the curtain back and explores the entire process of getting the movie to the big screen.
Secrets of The Force Awakens had its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX, but not everyone interested in seeing it was able to make it to the event. As viewers bide their time until the Blu-ray hits shelves, a sneak peek at the documentary has made its way online, airing during a segment of Good Morning America on ABC (watch it above).
Based on the preview, fans are going to get a comprehensive look at Star Wars 7, going as far back as audition tapes for stars like John Boyega. It will also include exclusive interviews with the cast and crew, many of which talk about their excitement and/or nervousness of taking the project on. Mark Hamill notes that The Force Awakens evoked feelings he hadn’t had since Tunisia in 1976; while newcomer Daisy Ridley remarks that she personally wasn’t ready to start shooting, even though it was time – understandable since Episode VII was her first movie role.
A significant part of the early look covers one of the film’s most hearbreaking moments: the death of Han Solo at the hands of his son Ben, aka Kylo Ren. Adam Driver mentions it was the sequence that “terrified him the most,” and Harrison Ford says he wanted Han to lend “emotional weight” to the narrative. It certainly was not an easy decision on Abrams’ part to kill off a beloved character like Han Solo, so many will be interested to see this particular segment of the documentary and how the principal players felt about the controversial move. Longtime Star Wars fans know Ford vouched for Han to die in Return of the Jedi, so the actor’s take on the scene should be very fascinating.
During the pre-release buildup, The Force Awakens was covered by a thick veil of secrecy, as Lucasfilm worked hard to keep all the twists and turns under wraps. Few details were revealed prior to the film’s premiere, making this documentary a must-see when the Blu-ray comes out. It’s great to see that the studio is not shortchanging on content, ensuring that they dive into just about every element of production. At roughly 70 minutes long, Secrets of The Force Awakens promises to be the most complete look at one of the biggest movie events of all-time. It seems similar to the Empire of Dreams documentary that was included on the 2004 original trilogy DVD release.
The Star Wars 7 home media has a cornucopia of extras, with several deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes on the disc. But the Secrets of the Force Awakens looks like it will be the cream of the crop of the bonus features. It’s rare for a film to share this extensive of an exploration of its development, and getting an intimate analysis of the continuation of the beloved saga will in all probability be a treat for die hard fans and cinephiles alike.
Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens is out on Blu-ray April 5th, 2016; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16th, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode 8 on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode 9 is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: ABC News