A really good continuation of the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Blu-ray (2016)
Actors: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill
Director: J.J. Abrams
Studio: LucasFilm/ Walt Disney Studios (4/5/16) (3 discs)
Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color (shot on film)
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 7.1, DD 7.1, French DD 7.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: French, English SDH, Spanish
Extras: (on separate Blu-ray disc) “Secrets of The Force Awakens,” The Story Awakens: The Table Read, Building BB-8 Droid, Crafting Creatures, Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight, John Williams: The Seventh Symphony, ILM: The Visual Magic of the Force, Deleted Scenes, Info
Length: 136 min.
Wow. Seeing that there was a third disc just for the bonus extras, I started with that. The heart of it is an hour and ten minute documentary which is very well done. You learn exactly how they did Maz Kanata, the owner of the watering hole which was this film’s version of the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie (with all the very strange alien characters in it and the strange band playing). The other extras are also of interest, but the deleted scenes are all quite short and don’t amount to much, especially if you see them before the feature film.
Many reoccurring elements from the original Star Wars films are included in this one, and they are made into a quite integral part of the plot – not just thrown in for effect. A son of Han Solo (with Princess Lia) is Kylo Ren, who wants to be Darth Vader of the past, but he can’t quite make it. This is definitely a new story, a new film, and a new director, and it stands up as a perfect continuation of the epic sci-fi tale. The costumes, creatures, music, sets and special effects are all superb. The orphaned girl scavanger Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, and the Storm Trooper escapee played by John Boyega are the main new characters, and they are fun to watch every minute. It’s great to see old cranky Han Solo back again too.
There’s plenty of rousing action, great cinematography, and some welcome humor as well. There will also be a 3D version released later on, but I don’t know if it was originally shot on film in 3D or this will be an expensive post-production 3D remastering.