Stereoscopic reissue adds an extra dimension and more extras to the sci-fi smash
As we made clear in our review of the initial Blu-ray release, we have a lot of time for J.J. Abrams' long-awaited Star Wars sequel. The frequent re-treading of setups from the Original Trilogy is a little tiresome, but The Force Awakens feels like a natural progression from where Lucas left things, introducing a well-drawn array of new characters (alongside plenty of old favourites) and representing a massive step-up in quality from those pesky prequels.
Picture: As those who picked up the film's previous Blu-ray or have checked our 2016 Movie Awards will already know, The Force Awakens delivers a flawless 'flat' Blu-ray viewing experience bursting with saturated colours and rich textures. But what about this new 3D incarnation?
Presented on a disc of its own, the MVC 2.40:1 1080p stereoscopic encode is equally impressive. While low on negative parallax effects that appear to exceed the boundary of the screen (the film was lensed in 2D and converted in post), the sense of depth is tangible; the interior of the crashed Star Destroyer (Chapter 7) appears to stretch away to infinity. Volumetric effects are also convincing, with everything in shot maintaining a lifelike three-dimensional presence.
Although brightness and colour take a small dip, the overall impact is eye-catching. Indeed, our only real quibble is the decision not to include the 3D IMAX sequences in their full aspect ratio.
Picture rating: 5/5
Audio: Both 2D and 3D versions feature the same DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack that appeared on the original Blu-ray, and it's still prime demo fodder thanks to its excellent imaging, superlative dynamic range and layered effects. Play it loud and proud. Those waiting for a Dolby Atmos remix are still waiting.
Audio rating: 5/5
Extras: On top of the 3D version of the movie, this three-disc 'Collector's Edition' Blu-ray tops up the original array of bonus features (all of which are included here) with some all-new goodies.
Best of the bunch is undoubtedly J.J. Abrams' director's commentary, which provides an in-depth account of the decision-making behind much of the film's production. Backing this up are three new deleted scenes (taking the total to nine); four additional Making of… featurettes exploring Foley effects, sound design, costumes and weapons; and a chat with stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.
Extras rating: 5/5
We say: The year's best Blu-ray blockbuster just got even better. The Force is stronger than ever.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D – Collector’s Edition, Walt Disney, All-region BD, £30
HCC VERDICT: 5/5
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