This week, Disney and Lucasfilm released their latest Star Wars stand-alone film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Blu-Ray Combo Pack and of course, Digital HD. While the wonder and perfection of Rogue One would validate the release of the film, the release of the film conjures up a neat array of great bonus features, but it falls slightly short of perfect. Strap in Star Wars fans, as we take a closer look at Rogue One’s Blu-Ray release and determine if the latest Star Wars standalone film is worth a purchase for any fan.
When Rogue One hit theaters back in December, we were thrilled with its sheer quality and expertly crafted originality, gripping intensity and an overabundance of emotion. While we called the film ‘Star Wars at Its Absolute Best’, what makes Rogue One unique is that the film is unlike anything the Star Wars universe has ever accomplished, yet everything within the film feels familiar and truthful to the George Lucas-created universe. Everything within this film is marvelous and perfect, making it an instant worthwhile purchase right out of the gate.
Luckily, Disney isn’t releasing this film on a bare-bones release though. To accompany the film is a collection of bonus features that clock in at close to an hour and a half of behind-the-scenes content. While these features are absolutely wonderful and perfect, the number of features isn’t numerous. Aside from one four-minute short that discusses the Easter Eggs and Hidden Connections within the film, all of the bonus features on the disc are found under one category, which when watched altogether by the ‘Play All’ option, plays as an hour-long documentary style look at the film. This hour-long feature is fantastic and insightful, but then again, it doesn’t nearly amount to the great number of features that made their way to The Force Awakens Blu-Ray just last year. Those problems aside, what we do get from the release makes up in quality for the lack of numerous bonus features and the amount of behind the scenes fun and insight we get is sure to excite any Star Wars fan.
The hour-long feature is titled ‘The Stories’ and is split into segments that highlight topics such as ‘The Stories’ and its origins from concept to screen, looking at the visual effects for the film (including recreating Tarkin for the film), and specifically zeroing in on the film’s core cast. It’s incredibly insightful and entertaining, and even gives a large look behind-the-scenes and doesn’t stray from allowing viewers to understand the full journey that was behind getting this phenomenal film to the big screen. The other feature, Rogue Connections takes a look at the hidden details that tie the Star Wars universe together, and with Rogue One’s prominence in this saga, there are certainly a lot of them.
What we don’t get with this release is far more disappointing. When Rogue One was just a few months away from its release, the film was called for re-shoots after several tests were screened for audience feedback. While we don’t know much about the changes or what wasn’t well received by the test audience or by the filmmakers, director Gareth Edwards has confirmed that the film changed dramatically, particularly in its climactic third act. Furthermore, all of these change are rather evident in behind the scenes features and trailers and promotional material for the film, with a large amount of iconic scenes hardly making the actual film. While the end result of the film is incredible, it would have been nice to at least get a small amount of Deleted Scenes or a short feature about how the story was originally intended. Fans have been clamoring for information about the Rogue One that they never got, so it is a bit saddening to see that being withheld from the release, but we hope it’ll make its way to other re-releases of the film, which is something inevitable to happen.
Overall, Rogue One adds up to a release that’s slightly satisfying but is missing so much potential. There’s much room for more great bonus features but it seems that potential wasn’t nearly tapped as much as it could have. However, the small amounts we are given is truly entertaining which helps soften the blow rather well. Rogue One is a film that is bound to delight and sure to excite any Star Wars fan and those who love the film will be satisfied to know that the film’s home release does a satisfying job at giving viewers insight into the creation of a masterpiece.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now available to own on Blu-Ray and Digital HD