Star Wars Blu-ray Review: The Extras

With the release of Star Wars on Blu-ray this week, you’ll find three collections in stores to choose from. Only the nine-disc complete collection comes with any bonus content, and while some may want to avoid buying any prequel EVAR, owning unseen footage like Greedo’s real dialogue or a wampa attack on the Hoth base might make this unmissable. We went hands on with the extra content to see what’s what.

The three extra content discs in the complete collection offer over 40 hours of extra features.

Alongside a selection of classic and new Star Wars documentaries you’ll find a further selection of some of the best Star Wars spoofs ever made, from modern favourites like Family Guy and Robot Chicken to old-school Saturday Night Live sketches.

There’s also a massive library of detailed insights into the effects and design choices across all the films. Whether you just love to watch or you’re into building your own replica models, access to high-definition close ups and 360-degree views of many classic models and designs will show you details you’ve never been able to see before. Most of these special close ups — like one detailing the AT-AT walkers from Empire — include detailed imaging as well as short documentary insights from the team as to the design choices made and how the designs evolved.

The ultimate gems in all this are the extra scenes. You’ll find deleted scenes, extended scenes, and even alternate takes that are offered in raw form.

The deleted scenes cover entire plotlines that were removed from the films. Like introductory scenes featuring some of Luke’s friends on Tatooine (including Biggs), or an entire thread about a wampa attack on the Hoth base. Extended scenes offer moments like more dialogue between Han and Leia before Han leaves Hoth, and the moment when Luke and Leia come as close as you’ll ever see to sharing an incestuous kiss.

Then there are the alternate takes. We had a good look at some scenes in the Cantina Bar, where the alternates are offered with no music or audio effects, just the actors and all their original voices. And those voices are a wretched mix of English cockneys and geezers, proving that Lucas really had a way with using Additional Dialogue Recording to turn near comical exchanges into real movie magic.

Greedo here is some kind of Brit bully boy, chatting with bravado about his capture of Han to take him back to Jabba. This scene alone will be magic enough for many fans to open their wallets a little wider.

And yes, make no mistake. Han shoots first.

Bonus content is often something you like the idea of but never bother checking out. With this Star Wars collection we found so much more than we expected to find. Thankfully, Lucas has treated this collection as something approaching ‘definitive’. As close as you can get when there will no doubt be gaps that some of the most hardcore fans will notice.

But after 35 years it’s great to see the heart is still there for the team at Lucasfilm, and these discs do their best to give fans everything they could ask for.

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