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Blu-ray Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

March 31, 2020

By John Corrado

The ninth and final chapter in the Skywalker Saga, J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now available to watch digitally, and it’s being released on Blu-ray today.

While I personally found the film to be a bit disappointing, especially as the conclusion to a saga over forty years in the making, it still has enough fun and enjoyable moments to make it worth seeing, and the Blu-ray should earn a spot on your shelf alongside the other films. For more on the film itself, my full review can be found right here.

The Blu-ray also includes a second disc that is loaded with bonus features, the centrepiece of which is a feature length documentary entitled The Skywalker Legacy. At just over two hours long, the piece offers a thorough look behind the scenes at the production of The Rise of Skywalker, touching upon the story, character motivations, stunt work, special effects and set building, with specific focus on how this final chapter ties in to the eight films that came before it.

As an added bonus, the piece brings things full circle by working in bits of archival footage from the making of the original trilogy and vintage interviews with the original cast members, beginning quite appropriately with footage of fans on the set of Return of the Jedi in 1982. While some chapter breaks might have been nice to help divide the lengthy piece, The Skywalker Legacy is far above average in terms of a Blu-ray bonus feature. It’s an excellent and engaging documentary that often flies by despite the 126 minute running time.

This is followed by five additional featurettes. Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase takes us behind the scenes of the film’s big speeder chase set-piece, from designing the speeders to shooting in the desert. Aliens in the Desert offers a look at shooting in Jordan, and the help the crew received from the locals, including the Jordanian Army. D-O: Key to the Past offers a closer look at the new wheel-and-cone droid D-O. Warwick & Son looks at veteran Star Wars actor Warwick Davis’ return to his role as Wicket the Ewok from Return of the Jedi, this time joined by his son Harrison.

Finally, Cast of Creatures introduces us to some of the many alien creatures in the film, revealing the makeup and effects work that brought them to life, including a healthy dose of old fashioned practical effects. Disney has gone above and beyond with this release, delivering a superior supplemental package to back up a film that, regardless of your personal feelings, fans will want to add to their collections.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment release. It’s 143 minutes and rated PG.

Street Date: March 31st, 2020

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