Disney made a killing with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The J.J. Abrams-directed film smashed all sorts of box office records and is just the first major film release in the relaunched saga since Disney acquired the franchise. With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the way this holiday and Episode 8 already wrapping principal photography, one can only imagine how strong the force must truly be for Disney.
In addition to theatrical revenue The Force Awakens made and record-setting licensing and merchandhising, the film's initial Blu-ray release is also a best-seller, boasting a terrific video/audio presentation, as well as some worthwhile behind-the-scenes footage courtesy of a feature-length documentary. However, Disney knows fans will always pay to get more.
Lucasfilm has announced a four-disc “3D Collector’s Edition” for The Force Awakens, which will begin rolling out overseas on October 31st, releasing in North America on November 15. While it means purchasing the film again, this new edition of the film includes a 3D copy and all-new bonus features, including never-before-seen deleted scenes and a commentary track by Abrams. It will essentially fill in the gaps some may have thought there were with the initial release.
Bonus features for this upcoming Blu-ray include:
- Audio Commentary with J.J. Abrams – Enter the mind of visionary director J.J. Abrams as he reveals the creative and complex choices made while developing the first film in the new Star Wars trilogy.
- Foley: A Sonic Tale – Foley artists, consisting of old pros and new talent, unite to bring the world of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” alive through the matching of sound to action.
- Sounds of the Resistance – Hear how the epic sound design of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” moves the Star Wars legacy forward.
- Deleted Scenes – View never-before-shared scenes that didn’t make the film’s final cut.
- Dressing the Galaxy – Costume Designer Michael Kaplan reveals how the costumes of the original Star Wars movies were re-envisioned for a new generation.
- The Scavenger and the Stormtrooper: A Conversation with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega – The two new stars share the thrill of working together on the adventure of a lifetime and becoming part of the Star Wars legacy.
- Inside the Armory – Take a fascinating tour through the design and creation of the weaponry in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
- Classic Bonus Features– These offerings from the April release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” include the complete story behind the making of the film, an unforgettable cast table read, insights from legendary composer John Williams and deleted scenes, as well as features that dig deeper into the creation of new characters such as BB-8, the design of the climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren, the film’s remarkable digital artistry and the Star Wars: Force for Change global aid initiative.
In addition to the new extras, this four-disc contains the original theatrical release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, Digital HD and DVD. This means having the film available in nearly every format, aside from 4K and it's only a matter of time until that happens. Save for when new ultimate sets are created to package all the episodic Star Wars films, this should be the definitive Blu-ray for just The Force Awakens alone.
Given how the film was already a go-to purchase item for many in its initial Blu-ray release, it will be understandable to hear some complaints regarding the news of a newer version of a film in such a short amount of time. This is nothing new, as you can look to the various releases of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit releases, but many already knew those were coming and they would be featuring extended versions of the film. The Martian's Extended Edition Blu-ray may be the most recent example, which amounts to Fox rushing the film out on Blu-ray for awards season, before giving it a proper release down the line.
The good news is, regardless of the cynical play Disney is making here, fans will be able to get to watch the film in 3D in their home as well as enjoy a slew of new extra features. A commentary track was clearly missing the first time around, so hopefully Abrams will be able to share quite a few stories to go along with all the goodies inside this huge 4-disc package.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Collector’s Edition will be in stores November 15, 2016.
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