Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens Blu-ray review

Apr 05, 2016- Permalink

To call Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens “eagerly anticipated” was probably the biggest understatement of 2015. Forget the fans for a second. When I went to the press screening, cynical reporters and hardened critics looked like kids waiting to open a Christmas present early. I swear that one TV correspondent was literally hopping in anticipation.

So needless to say the Blu-ray release has been just as anticipated. After all, know the hardcore fans can pore of each scene looking for clues and further information on the story to come.

The Blu-ray has a 1080p transfer in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. To sum it up, it looks great. Star Wars has never been as clean a universe as Star Trek. It may a world full of space ships and intergalactic travel, but equipment still gets dirty, grease is still needed to lubricate things and clothes get torn in battle. The Blu-ray captures every bit of detail, every fabric texture and every menacing piece of hardware. Colors pop when colors need to pop and darker scenes are dark but not muddy.

To say sound is important to Star Wars is also stating the obvious. What fan cannot hum whole passages from John Williams’ score? On the soundtrack side, the disc has an English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The soundtrack is immersive to say the least. The surround channels get a real workout as the viewer is placed in the center of the action and the surround always supports the scene and is not gimmicky. The low-end of your system also gets to flex as starships rumble into view and battles rage on multiple fronts. Starting the Millennium Falcon has always been an exercise in skill and luck and viewer can hear the clicking and beeping of every switch thrown in the process. Dialogue is clear and precise.

The release has a great selection of extras on their own dedicated disc. An hour plus making of feature examines the franchises move to Disney, the hiring of J.J. Abrams, on location filming, digital effects, and character evolution.

We also get a quick look at the table read, creature crafting, building the new droid BB-8, lightsabe duels, practical and digital effects, the John Williams score, and deleted scenes.

Let’s face it, for fans I could have just typed “yada yada” as they’ve already ordered the set. If you’ve just discovered Star Wars, you’ll want this in your collection.