SPOILERS: I do get into spoiler-territory here, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to skip this part.
I have to say… I have very mixed feelings about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I go way back with Star Wars… all the way back to 1977. Because my cousin wanted to see it, our whole family went to our local theater and saw the original. I was hooked. Naturally, I’ve seen every Star Wars movie since. But… like a lot of fans, I found the prequels a little wanting and felt that they tarnished Star Wars’s reputation. I was eager to see what Director J.J. Abrams and the folks at Disney had cooked up to take the bad taste of the prequels out of our mouths. For months as the trailers rolled out, I crossed my fingers and said, “Let it be good… let it be good… let it be good.” Having seen it, though, I came away disappointed. While I loved the new characters, especially Daisy Ridley’s Rey, I felt like the original characters really got the short end of the stick. All these years later, and either everything is the same or changed for the negative. Han and Leia broken up? Say it ain’t so! Stormtroopers running around…still?! Han back to being a smuggler…. really?! After becoming a military leader? And the movie robs us of the chance to see Han, Leia, and Luke all sharing the screen again.
So as far as the older characters go, I almost wish they had just set it farther into the future and just said the originals died happy deaths. Despite all my misgivings, I am still looking forward to Episode VIII. Hopefully, the next movie will be more about charging forward and less about looking back. I want to see the next chapter of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren, and I want to see Luke Skywalker kick some butt!
Although I did not love the new movie, I still jumped at the chance to receive a copy of the Blu-ray Combo Pack to review. Deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes stuff, it’s packed with goodies!
Arriving early on Digital HD April 1, 2016
Bring it home on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on April 5, 2016
Including new in-depth bonus offering fans the chance to experience more
BURBANK, Calif. (March 3, 2016)—Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered box office records upon its debut to become the cinematic event of a generation with over $926 million domestic and $2.05 billion worldwide. As announced this morning by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger at The Walt Disney Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the epic movie will be available to own early on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on April 1. It comes home on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on April 5.
Discover the complete story behind the making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with in-depth documentary and bonus material that will take fans on an exciting journey behind the scenes. Secrets will be revealed through extensive footage, never-before-seen deleted scenes, and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers. Bonus features include*:
- Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – For the first time, discover the complete story behind the making of The Force Awakens, revealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers in this feature documentary.
- The Story Awakens: The Table Read – Cast members familiar and new reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie’s script.
- Building BB-8 – See how the filmmakers brought the newest droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favorite in the Star Wars universe.
- Crafting Creatures – Watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of new creatures to life.
- Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – Go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
- John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – The legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens.
- ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – An insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects.
- Force For Change – Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others.
- Plus Deleted Scenes
* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer
Star Wars: The Force Awakens saw the eagerly anticipated reteaming of original Star Wars stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, along with Anthony Daniels, the only actor to have been in all seven Star Wars films, and Peter Mayhew. The returning cast was joined by newcomer Daisy Ridley, who beat out fierce competition to take the principal role of Rey; BAFTA Rising Star Award winner John Boyega (Attack the Block, Imperial Dreams) as reluctant stormtrooper Finn; Emmy® nominee Adam Driver (Lincoln, Girls) as the villainous Kylo Ren, and Golden Globe® winner Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, The Bourne Legacy) as Resistance pilot Poe Dameron.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt. Lucasfilm president and eight-time Academy Award® nominee Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams, along with his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, are the film’s producers.
Having established a musical legacy with his iconic scores for the previous six films in the Star Wars Saga, acclaimed composer John Williams returned to score Star Wars: The Force Awakens, ultimately garnering his 50th Oscar® nomination for it.
FEATURE RUN TIME: Approximately 136 min.
RATING: PG-13 in U.S.; PG in CE; G in CF
ASPECT RATIO: Blu-ray Feature Film = 2.40:1
DVD Feature Film = 2.40:1
AUDIO: Blu-ray = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1
Dolby Digital Language Tracks
DVD = English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio Language Tracks
LANGUAGES: English, French & Spanish
SUBTITLES: English SDH, French & Spanish
ABOUT STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS:
Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.
ABOUT LUCASFILM LTD.
Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company’s activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS andINDIANA JONES franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.
Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.
ABOUT DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE (DMA):
Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) is an engaging and family-friendly cloud-based digital movie service that makes it simple to buy your favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies once and watch them anywhere. With DMA you can explore Disney’s library of over 450 eligible digital movies, discover hours of new and exclusive short-form content, and watch your digital movies from the comfort of the living room or across multiple mobile devices. Using the free DMA apps and website, you can connect your DMA account with participating providers including iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, Microsoft Movies and TV and Google Play and unlock access to your eligible movie collections across platforms and devices – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV/Airplay, Amazon’s Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Microsoft Movies and TV service on Windows and Microsoft Xbox devices, Android mobile and tablet devices and Android TV, Chromecast and the Roku®platform. In addition, you can redeem Digital Copy codes found in Disney, Pixar and Marvel Blu-rays and DVDs, as well as earn Disney Movie Rewards points with every digital purchase.
ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS:
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!.
Join Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, for an evening of conversation and fun with director J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek, Lost) on Saturday, November 21 at 8:00 PM. This event features the pair in a wide-ranging, onstage discussion of their influences, ideas and creative work. See which geek shall inherit the Earth!
Proceeds from this event benefit The Montclair Film Festival, New Jersey’s leading film non-profit.
Co-Presented with NJPAC
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center St, Lodi, New Jersey 07102
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS AND MORE COMING TO SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2015
THE FORCE IS STRONG THIS SUMMER IN DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO.
The power of the Force is coming to San Diego Comic-Con, and StarWars.com has your opening crawl for the megaevent’s Star Wars programming. Check out our guide below for information on panels that cover Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Hasbro’s latest action figures, new novels based on the original films, and much, much more. (If you can’t make it, don’t worry; visit StarWars.com for exclusive real-time liveblogs!)
The event takes place July 9-12 at the San Diego Convention Center, with Star Wars panels scheduled for Friday, July 10; look for some exclusive Star Wars: The Force Awakens products at SDCC, and be sure to check out EW.com tomorrow for details.
Friday, July 10, Star Wars Schedule
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Hall H
Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy, director J.J. Abrams, writer Lawrence Kasdan, and special guests provide a special look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Star Wars Publishing 2015, Part 1: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; Room: 7AB
Join a dynamic, all-star, New York Times-bestselling panel of authors including Alexandra Bracken (the Darkest Minds series), Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark andGrim series), Tom Angleberger (The Origami Yoda series), and Tony Diterlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles) in conversation with Lucasfilm’s Mike Siglain about the new Star Wars retellings for a younger generation of fans. From picture books to novels, these authors present A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi in perspectives that will change the way readers understand who these beloved characters are and how they became legends for legions of fans.
Star Wars Publishing 2015, Part 2: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.; Room: 7AB
Join a variety of authors as they talk about their upcoming projects from that galaxy far, far away. Moderated by Lucasfilm’s Mike Siglain, authors from Del Rey and other publishers will participate in a discussion on writing stories for the exciting new future of the Star Wars universe.
Hasbro Star Wars, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., Room: 7AB
Join members of the Hasbro and Lucasfilm teams as they discuss the popular Hasbro Star Wars line. Attendees will get an in-depth look at Hasbro’s latest action figure offerings, and word on the Holonet is there may also be a few surprises, including a special product reveal.
Star Wars Collectibles Update with Lucasfilm’s Anita Castellar, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., Room: 7AB
Join eFX, Gentle Giant Studios, Kotobukiya, and Sideshow Collectibles for product development insights and exclusive previews of the latest in Star Wars collectibles. In attendance will be Anita Castellar, a self-professed Star Wars fangirl who manages licensing for hardline categories at Lucasfilm such as toys, collectibles, consumer electronics, automotives, and more.
ILM 40th Anniversary, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Room: 7AB
For 40 years, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has set the standard for visual effects, creating some of the most memorable images in the history of modern cinema. From advances in the photo chemical process, optical compositing, motion control, and models and miniatures — to the company’s pioneering efforts in computer graphics, digital compositing, film scanning and recording, morphing, digital environments, performance capture, character animation and modern digital pipelines, ILM continues to break new ground in visual effects for film, television, themed attractions, and new forms of entertainment. The presenters will discuss the company’s work from its earliest days and breakthroughs along the way.
Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition at San Diego Comic Con 2015
Comments Off on NYC – JJ Abrams Debuts New Novel
Director J.J. Abrams and novelist Doug Dorst appear at Symphony Space on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 6:00pm to debut S.: A Novel!
J.J. Abrams presents S., a brand-new novel and multi-layered literary puzzle he developed with novelist Doug Dorst, PEN/Hemingway and Shirley Jackson Award nominee. J.J. Abrams has created, written, directed, or produced television shows such as the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Lost, Alias, and Felicity and films including Star Trek, Super 8, Cloverfield, and Mission: Impossible.
Event includes a reading from the novel, a conversation between Abrams and Dorst, followed by a signing. Co-presented with 826NYC, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.
2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025-6990
Comments Off on J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode VII
J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode VII
J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”
George Lucas went on to say “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”
“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.
Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi.Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.
Comments Off on CA – Super 8 Screening
Writer-director J.J. Abrams and some of the stars of the film Super 8 speak on Saturday, January 7th 2012 with Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher in an on-stage interview at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The Q&A session will follow a 7:30 p.m. screening of the retro-spirited sci-fi film by American Cinematheque, the nonprofit, viewer-supported cultural organization that celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. More details to come at the American Cinematheque website.
1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Entertainment Weekly Comic-Con Panel (and Video): J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon Greet the Faithful
J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon are responsible for some of the most obsessed-over and geeked-out-about pop culture creations of the past two decades, so it’s natural they would find an ideal audience at Comic-Con, the home away from home for the obsessive and geeky. When the two took the stage at Comic-Con for EW’s Visionaries panel, hosted by EW’s Jeff “Doc” Jensen, the crowd welcomed them with raucous and adoring applause. For the hour that followed, these two master storytellers gave the audience some insight into their upcoming projects, their creative processes, their influences, and their perspectives on the seismic shifts that are rocking the entertainment landscape. Some highlights:
Following months of speculation, Whedon confirmed that he is, indeed, directing Marvel’s superhero-team-up movie, The Avengers. (See video of the announcement below.) But he said it’s still too early to get into details about the film, which will unite such beloved Marvel heroes as Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk. “I’m still writing an outline,” Whedon said. “But the thing that made me excited to do it was just how completely counterintuitive it is. It makes no sense. These people shouldn’t be in the same room, let alone on the same team.” He paused. “And that, to me, is the very definition of family,” he added wryly.
The always-busy Abrams, who is launching a new spy series called Undercover and finishing the romantic comedy Morning Glory, talked about his thrill at collaborating with Steven Spielberg–who’s long been a kind of creative father figure to him–on a still-mysterious film due next summer called Super 8. “It’s imposible to work with him and not constantly reference the work he’s done,” Abrams said. Though he revealed few specifics about the project, he said, “The movie is very much in the spirit of some of the Amblin films [Spielberg] made years ago.”
The two diverged in their opinions of the current boom in 3-D movies. Whedon was high on it (“Honestly, I totally love it”), while Abrams expressed reservations: “The thing that drives me crazy about 3-D is that when you put on the glasses, everything seems dim,” he says. “I’m not totally on board yet.”
But in more general terms, they both expressed the same kind of unabashed fanboy enthusiasm for the pop culture they love that also drives the Comic-Con crowd. Abrams talked of his admiration for the work of comic-book artist Chris Ware and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World director Edgar Wright (“I just saw Scott Pilgrim–it’s awesome”). And Whedon, for his part, geeked out big-time over some of Abrams’ work. “I’ve had actual moments of sheer f—ing panic because I loved Star Trek so much,” Whedon said. “I just keep watching it and going, â€˜This is the gold standard for a team movie, for a summer movie, for any movie that has come out in the last several years.’ And it makes me throw up with fear, so I have to stop watching it.”
How does this partial list of guests for the first day grab you?
Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, J. Michael Straczynski, Danny Elfman, Rick Riordan, Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, Bruce Boxleitner, Patton Oswalt, Dan DiDio, Jim Lee, The Miz, Brian Michael Bendis, Charlaine Harris, Bruce Campbell, Michelle Rodriguez, Aaron Eckhart, Todd McFarlane, Geoff Johns, Bruce Willis, Warren Ellis, Helen Mirren, Mike Mignola, J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Robert Kirkman, Michael C. Hall, David Duchovny, Sylvester Stallone, Steve “Stone Cold” Austin, Michael Cera, Michael Elizabeth Winstead, and Penn & Teller.
Oh, and the panel announcement everyone’s been waiting for:
3:30-4:30 Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries— A discussion with geek gods J. J. Abrams (Star Trek) and Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) on the future of pop culture. EW presents an in-depth conversation with these two creative geniuses about how technology, gaming, and global culture are reshaping how we tell and consume stories on television, film and the web. Plus: Is the superhero movie waning, or is it on the cusp of reinvention? And what do they think the pop culture universe will look like a decade from now? Moderated by Jeff “Doc” Jensen. Hall H