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The Force Awakens (3D Collector's Edition) - Home Video

Title: The Force Awakens (3D Collector's Edition)

Release Date: November 15, 2016

Number of Discs: 4

Format: Blu-ray (3D), Blu-ray, DVD, Digital copy

Retail Price: $29.99

Credits: Review & Text: Chuck Paskovics; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

Review | Talking Points | Discussion

Half a wookiee isn't much!

Review

The quality of this Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray release was determined using a Pioneer 7.1 Surround system, and viewed on a Panosonic 58" television in a home-theater environment. Your personal results may vary based on your viewing environment.

The Collector's Edition Blu-ray release features 4 discs wrapped in attractive packaging. It is however, important to understand what you are getting with this set. If you've already purchased the original Blu-ray release then the chances are this set is not for you. First and foremost, this set repacks everything from the original set, and then adds in the 3D Blu-ray and some additional bonus content. If you have the equipment capable of playing 3D content and have been waiting for this version then you will be happy with this set.

The standard Blu-ray disc and the DVD disc are virtually identical to their original release counterparts. For the Blu-ray, they have updated the silk screen print on the disc (the original release featured the Millennium Falcon, whereas this release shows X-wings flying across the water). The biggest change is the added audio commentary option featuring J.J. Abrams. This audio commentary is only available on the Blu-ray, NOT the DVD. The silk screen print for the DVD is identical and this makes the DVD disc a straight repack. The remaining contents of both discs are identical to their original release counterparts. For this reason I will not be reviewing the standard Blu-ray release. You can visit our original review for information on that version.

The bonus disc also adds a new silk screen print from the original release. The contents of the bonus disc feature all of the original bonus contents, with the addition of several new featurettes.

We will concentrate our review information on the 3D release and the new bonus content.

Note: This review will focus on the 3D Blu-ray and new bonus content, and not the included standard Blu-ray and DVD.

3D Picture

If you are buying this Collector's Edition, you are buying it for 1 of 3 reasons: You don't have the movie yet, you want the additional bonus features, or you want the option to view this in 3D. If you want to view this in 3D, however, you will need the equipment to do so. This includes both a 3D television and a Blu-ray player with the hardware to support 3D. If you try to play this back in a standard Blu-ray player, you will be greeted with this message.

While not a huge fan of watching movies in 3D, I can certainly appreciate the technology, and Star Wars movies seem to be perfect for this environment. The 3D transfer for The Force Awakens is very well done. The content itself is identical to the original 2D release of the movie. There is no director's commentary on the 3D version. Other than that, you can expect the same sound and menus as the 2D release.

The menus themselves pop out in 3D when navigating. Once the movie is launched, you are treated to a rich, deep 3D experience. The bright sunny desert scenes were very deep, and at times it was like watching the movie through a window. The final lightsaber battle was especially nice since you had the added content of the 3D snow floating around. My only complaint with the 3D effect was in while viewing space scenes. While the ships were very well done with the 3D effects, the star field was always flat. It would have been nice if the stars in the background had a small amount of depth to them. If you were to put a very detailed star background on your computer screen, and then use your hands to fly micro machines in front of the screen, that is the type of depth you saw with the 'flat' star field in the background. NOT that the movie looked that bad as far as effects go, but that was the type of dimension you saw.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this in 3D. If you own the equipment for 3D this will be a very nice addition. The lack of depth in the star field will be my only knock on the score for this set.

Sound

The sound for the 3D release is the same as the sound for the 2D release. A full breakdown can be found in our review of the initial release.

Packaging

If you are buying this set for its collectible display value then this is where this set excels. We are treated to a very attractive flat-black slipcase with gold embossed lettering. The front of the box features a beautiful lenticular photograph. This works very well contrasting with the frame of the black slipcase. And once again we are treated to embossed lettering across the top. The outer case for this set really shines in comparison to the standard packaging we were treated with with the original release.

      

The inner case comes out of the slipcase and opens to reveal a tri-fold display. The outside of the case showcases 3 glossy scenes from The Force Awakens, while the inside features the discs themselves. Once removed, the inside gives us a stunning 3 panel panorama of the Falcon going to lightspeed. The clear disc holders allow us to see the entire scene. The discs are fairly easy to access, using a stacking storage solution.

      

The discs themselves feature standard silkscreen prints. While the DVD disc is exactly the same as the original release, the Blu-ray and bonus features discs showcase new imagary. The 3D disc, however, has the most stunning imagey showing a very dynamic dark sceen with the eye-popping red lightsaber and contrasting bright yellow text. All and all you get what you would expect from the silkscreen prints for a Blu-ray set.

   

Also included are two special codes. The first one will get you the Collector's Edition Digital Bonus Features, while the other will get you a 2D digital version of The Force Awakens.

Menus and Presentation

The menus for the Blu-ray, DVD, and Bonus disc are identical to the original Blu-ray release. For full details on those, please visit our original review. The contents on the menus only differs by adding any additional material the disc now contains. On the Blu-ray release we now see an audio commentary option, while on the Bonus disc we see added options for the new featurettes.

   

As expected, when navigating the menus on the 3D disc, the menu items are in 3D, floating out in front of the TV. The scenes behind the menus are flat 2D by comparison. They are easy to read and fairly enjoyable to look at this way. There are not a lot of options to choose from since the content is the same as the standard Blu-ray disc (minus the audio commentary).

Bonus Content

The bonus content for this release showcases all of the bonus content from the original release, plus these brand new features. All new content is showcased in blue below. All original content can be read about in our original review.

  • Audio Commentary with J.J. Abrams – Enter the mind of visionary director J.J. Abrams as he reveals the creative and complex choices made while developing the first film in the new Star Wars trilogy.
  • Foley: A Sonic Tale – Foley artists, consisting of old pros and new talent, unite to bring the world of Star Wars: The Force Awakens alive through the matching of sound to action.
  • Sounds of the Resistance – Hear how the epic sound design of Star Wars: The Force Awakens moves the Star Wars legacy forward.
  • Dressing the Galaxy – Costume designer Michael Kaplan reveals how the costumes of the original Star Wars movies were re-envisioned for a new generation.
  • The Scavenger and the Stormtrooper: A Conversation with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega – The two new stars share the thrill of working together on the adventure of a lifetime and becoming part of the Star Wars legacy.
  • Inside the Armory – Take a fascinating tour through the design and creation of the weaponry in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

For this release, we were treated with 3 all-new deleted scenes. We also get the original 6 deleted scenes from the first Blu-ray release.

  1. Finn and the Villager
  2. Jakku Message
  3. X-Wings Prepare for Lightspeed
  4. Kylo Searches The Falcon
  5. Snow Speeder Chase
  6. Finn Will Be Fine
  7. Leia & the Resistance – When Starkiller Base destroys the Republic's capital in the Hosnian system, we see a flash of a young lady right before the destruction. This scene sheds a little more light on why we see her specifically.
  8. Unkar Plutt at Maz's Castle – After the novelization for The Force Awakens came out, fans were excited when they read the extra scene at Maz's castle featuring a confrontation between Chewbacca and Unkar Plutt. It turns out that scene was filmed and now we get to see what happens when you are unwise and upset a wookiee.
  9. Tunnel Standoff – This scene seems to happen right after Max hands Finn the lightsaber in the original cut. It's an entertaining scene but one that probably was best left out. It seems like there should be more to this scene, like how they were able to escape the stormtroopers on their way outside of the castle.

Wrap-up

There are many reasons why one should or should not re-purchase a movie when a studio releases a set like this. If you love bonus content then this is a great buy. However, if you just like watching the movie there really is no reason to buy this version if you already have the original release. This set as it stands by itself is a very good value seeing as you receive all of the bonus content from the original release, plus all of the new content. There is nothing unique or exclusive to the original release that would compel you to go back and purchase it in order to 'have it all'. The packaging art is also very well done in this release, and for collectors that is a big plus over the original release's packaging.

Back To TopPromotional Deleted Scene Sneak Peek

Back To TopPoints of Discussion
  • Additional Deleted Scenes
  • Audio Commentary
  • Newly added Featurettes
External Links:
Added: November 7, 2016
Category: Home Video
Reviewer: Chuck Paskovics
Score:
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