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REVIEW: Star Wars The Force Awakens Blu-Ray Combo Pack


This coming April, the 7th installment in the Star Wars film franchise, The Force Awakens, will be making its way to home videos via Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on April 1st, followed by a Blu Ray Combo Pack and DVD release on April 5. We’ve got our hands on a copy of the Blu Ray Combo Pack and decided to take a look, so that we can see if you’re getting your money’s worth.

Of course, to most people, Star Wars: The Force Awakens does not require a lengthy introduction. It picks up several years after the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and focuses on the Rebel Alliance, now known as the Resistance, and their ongoing battle against the remnants of The Empire, called the First Order. In the middle of this galaxy-spanning conflict is the reformed First Order trooper Finn, the enigmatic scavenger Rey, the dashing rebel pilot Poe, and his trusty droid BB-8, who may hold the key to finding the one man who can help turn the tide against the First Order – Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Along the way, they get to meet familiar faces such as General Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbacca while also meeting the forces of the dark side – the dark side user Kylo Renn and the enigmatic mastermind Snoke.

Video and Audio Quality

This is a fairly new movie and with LucasFilm at the helm, it is not surprising that the 1080p transfer is crisp and clear, with colors leaping off the screen particularly in places that feature a lightsaber or two. There are some places where the dark lighting could get in the way of visibility, but this is authentic to what it looked like in the theaters and not a fault of the transfer. The choice to focus more on practical effects as opposed to CGI does help in this case, as the visuals do feel like you’re watching a film in the most pristine medium you can get, as opposed to feeling like you’re watching a videogame – a common problem with films that rely too heavily on CG.

Audio clarity is not surprising as well. The Star Wars franchise is known for its exceptional scoring and sound effects. The opening crawl and its operatic score, in particular, is bound to inspire the same kind of thrill viewers first got in the theaters. And any sound system will prove its worth during the lightsaber duel scenes as the hum, buzz, and sparks make for an intense aural backdrop to all the action happening on-screen.

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Extras

Of course, no physical home video release would be worth its asking price without any bonus content, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu Ray Combo Pack knows this, as it comes with a healthy dose of extra features that consist of the following:

  • Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – For the first time, discover the complete story behind the making of The Force Awakens, revealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers in this feature documentary.
  • The Story Awakens: The Table Read – Cast members familiar and new reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie’s script.
  • Building BB-8 – See how the filmmakers brought the newest droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favorite in the Star Wars universe.
  • Crafting Creatures – Watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of new creatures to life.
  • Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – Go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
  • John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – The legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens.
  • ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – An insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects.
  • Force For Change – Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others.
  • Plus Deleted Scenes
  • Conclusion

    Ultimately, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu Ray combo pack is a hard deal to pass up, even if you consider the possibility that Walt Disney may release a better package in the future. What’s already provided in the pack – from the high quality transfer to the bonus content – are already well worth the asking price, that it’s hard to worry whether there’s going to be a better deal that will come along. Frankly, it’s hard to think of what else they can do to top this release.

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    Neil Raymundo

    A cowardly and treacherous Toonbarn blogger who can transform into a McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. Secretly wants to replace Toonbarn Rob as leader of the Decepticons.

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