Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is still playing in theaters nationwide, grossing $3 million in 1,433 theaters during its eleventh weekend of release. However, now that the film has rewritten the record books and a majority of people have seen it at the multiplex (some multiple times), the biggest question is when Star Wars 7 will be made available on home media.
No official date has been confirmed by Lucasfilm yet, but the rumor is that The Force Awakens can be streamed via iTunes beginning March 15, with the physical Blu-ray release coming on April 5. As fans eagerly await an announcement, all signs are pointing to one happening very soon, given that possible box art and bonus features have made their way online.
Ever since the movie came out last December, consumers have had the ability to pre-order their copy at numerous places. Most of those listings used the theatrical poster as a placeholder for the actual cover, and Wal-Mart's pre-order (which is now unavailable) may have given fans their first look at potential artwork. It features lovable droid BB-8 on the desert planet Jakku next to the film's title:
In all likelihood, this represents a prototype of an exclusive cover Wal-Mart will unveil for the release. Collectors may recall that when Guardians of the Galaxy hit Blu-ray, the retailer had slipcovers for each member of the team, allowing fans to buy their favorite (or get them all). The home media release of a massive blockbuster like The Force Awakens is sure to generate a ton of interest, meaning each store (Target, Best Buy, etc.) will be working on their own batch of goodies to incentivize customers to buy the Blu-ray from them. There's a strong possibility that steelbooks and store specific bonus features will be part of the overall plan, giving moviegoers a wide variety of options.
Speaking of the supplemental content, Stitch Kingdom caught wind of a rumored list of extras that will be included on the disc. Previously, it was revealed that there would be seven or eight deleted scenes, but thankfully there seems to be much more than that, considering this is true:
- Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey
- The Story Awakens: The Table Read
- Building BB-8
- Crafting Creatures
- Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight
- The Visual Magic Of The Force
- John Williams: The Seventh Symphony
- Deleted Scenes
- Force For Change
Movies like Star Wars are ripe for behind-the-scenes featurettes, detailing how the production team brought the galaxy far, far away to life. Cinephiles should get a kick out of the looks at BB-8, creature design, visual effects, and John Williams' score. In addition, it will be interesting to see the table read, watching the actors work their way through the script before they tackled one of the most anticipated films of all-time. All in all, this is a nice collection of bonus materials, giving fans lots to sort through after they watch the movie again.
Hopefully Disney will provide some clarity on all the speculation soon. A while back, there were those that publicly shared the April 5 date and then took it down, perhaps at the behest of the Mouse House to not take away from their official announcement. Regardless, The Force Awakens will be out on Blu-ray in the near future, and it's shaping up to be a fun release for all.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.