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Star Wars Roundup: Rogue One & The Force Awakens Special Features

Maximilian Rivera April 9, 2016
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It’s pretty difficult to run a movie site without bringing up Star Wars these days. With the release of The Force Awakens on DVD, blu-ray, and digital video, it’s time to tear into all the bonus content that comes along with the film itself.

And I mean, hello Rogue One teaser trailer! Sweet, glorious Rebel-era goodness? While skeptical for a brief moment at best, it’s safe to say that I’m down. ​​

Keep Those Deleted Scenes Deleted

Let’s get down to it—the deleted scenes were kind of a let down.

Really, it’s easy to see why they were deleted. None of them really added anything to the movie, and at best just expanded what we already knew.

I’m pretty happy about that for the sake of the film, because there’s a key deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith where the roots of the Rebellion forms. Of course, they opted for Hayden Christensen lava dancing instead.  I’m wondering if there are MORE deleted scenes that will stay that way because of Rey’s purposely-vague backstory.

Of course, I did like a few of the extraneous scenes. Specifically, I wanted more of the Starkiller base moments that were deleted. When Kylo Ren climbs onto the Millennium Falcon, I could see memories of the good and the bad flowing through his mind. And when Rey and Finn are in the snow speeder, that was fun! But neither seemed necessary. So good call, editors!

Overall, I wasn’t blown away by the deleted scenes. But I do like seeing them, and I’m glad it at least lets me know the film was a complete work.

Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey

Honestly, this was the highlight of special features. There are more niche featurettes and documentaries on the disc, but this is a pot of gold.

Starting with George Lucas’s sale and running through the entirety of filming, this behind the scenes look does a great job at wrapping you in the emotions of a Star Wars fanatic, letting you re-live the last 4 years of anticipation and excitement.

There are plenty of highlights within this featurette, which for me mostly was the heartfelt friendship that kindled between Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. Chemistry between these characters are natural, and it shows with the actors’ genuine real life relationship.

And if I wasn’t already a big fan of Oscar Isaac, I would have become more so from his genuine concern and then relief over the plans for Poe Dameron to die early on in the film. And finally, Gwendoline Christie’s maniacal laughter is always a treat.

Watching this feature, you see the genuine excitement J.J. Abrams had for the property, and the time he and Lawrence Kasdan put into the writing and planning.

And finally, Harrison Ford’s dedication to Han Solo’s character completing a sacrificial arc was important. For years, people wrote off Ford’s love for Han Solo—but really, he just wanted more for Solo. Combined with Adam Driver’s care and emotional depth he put behind Kylo Ren and his anxiety over the iconic confrontation with his father, I knew that the cast and crew cared as much as the fans.

What about the Other Featurettes?

There are a lot of other cool features that I will delve further into as time goes on. I’m excited to listen to the table read (with Mark Hamill narrating the action lines, I believe), and all the other behind the scenes goodies.

There’s a really fun interview with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, but some of this content can only be accessed online. It takes getting used to, but worth it for the hardcore fan.

Basically, the blu-ray for this film is a goldmine for BTS fans, but will let you down if you wanted deleted content.

And finally, did you see that Rogue One teaser?

We did! Here it is:

This looks great, not gonna lie. The New Star Wars Era is upon us, and we couldn’t be happier over here.

What are your thoughts on Rogue One and The Force Awakens bonus features?

Don’t forget to check out our podcast, now featured on the iTunes New & Noteworthy for TV & Film!

Max is a marketing copywriter by day, filmmaker and screenwriter by night. He resides in Charlotte, NC, and loves his dogs, watching movies, building LEGO sets, and eating food. Lots of food.You can find Max at his personal website and twitter.