Remember how it felt when the original Star Wars trilogy was finally released on DVD? Blu-ray didn’t even exist yet, but it was such a fight to convince Lucasfilm to release the films on DVD. George wasn’t a supporter of the format, and tested the waters with the prequel trilogy first. But man, when Episodes IV, V and VI were finally on DVD, it was a revelation. Even though it was the special editions, 90% of the movie were original footage and you could see the shiny helmets and detailed model work like never before.
That’s what it’s like watching The Force Awakens on Blu-ray. Our expectations are a little higher and we have seen both trilogies on Blu-ray by this point. You could go right from 1983’s Return of the Jedi to 2015’s The Force Awakens without missing a beat. Because J.J. Abrams shot on 35mm film, it maintains a consistent look with the other films. Yet it boasts all the new things that could only be achieved now, like BB-8 and Maz Kanata.
Of course the bonus features are extensive. The production of the movie was secretive but it was well documented. They even joke about that when the cast are finally allowed to actually talk about the movie. Considering so much of the film pays homage to A New Hope, it’s apropos that they show a little behind the scenes footage of the original model work in VHS quality. Even the bonus features pay homage to the original bonus features!
The most interesting thing to me was Mark Hamil’s participation in the table read. Since he has no lines in the movie, it was an easy joke about what he was doing there. It turns out he read all the stage directions. How great would it have been if they included the entire table read with Hamill’s narration? As it is, we get to hear a few scenes of it.