Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray Extras: A Deeper Look
With a movie as big as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” nothing less than big Blu-ray extras will do, and the home video release of “Episode VII” certainly does not disappoint in that area.
Yes, it’s the usual: production featurettes, deleted scenes and looks into the filmmaking process that fill out the second disc (of three) of arguably the biggest home video release of the year. (But who is arguing? It might be the biggest of the past five years).
But again: “Star Wars.” Everything just SEEMS bigger and more epic, starting with a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s climactic lightsaber duel between Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley). Production designers discuss building the set while director JJ Abrams talks up the narrative importance of setting the film’s big duel at night and in a snowy forest. Perhaps most interesting, though, is the look at the fight, from glimpses of fight choreography to filming itself.
Deleted scenes are standard, and here we get sequences where Kylo Ren inspects the Millenium Falcon, a speeder chase between Finn and Rey and a gang of Stormtroopers, and various other filler bits. It’s easy to see where some character moments were lost in the editing process, particularly with Leia (Carrie Fisher).
The extras disc’s behemoth, though, is the production featurette, separated into multiple parts and covering various aspects of the film’s development and into filming. Among the notable bits of footage are seeing the Millennium Falcon made for the movies, the actors donning the Chewbacca costume and the admission that Peter Mayhew, in advanced age and declining health, let his stunt double do most of the Wookiee’s heavy lifting segments, as well as bits like Harrison Ford admitting he had reservations about playing Han Solo one more time.
Of course, these types of features are favorites of fans, and if you’re buying the Blu-ray set of “The Force Awakens,” chances are pretty good you’re doing so at least in part in order to be able to view these extras. They do provide an excellent look behind the scenes of the film, dive deep into production and show the planning that goes into making the highest-grossing movie in American cinema history.