Star Wars is coming to digital video for the first time.
All six parts of George Lucas’ space epic will be available to buy and download from Friday 10th April, both in SD and HD – but, sadly, not in hologram form.
The films are now available to pre-order from Amazon Instant Video, iTunes and Google Play, and will be also available to purchase on Wuaki.tv and blinkbox at the end of the week. The move is a big step for Lucasfilm and Disney, partly because it has been such a long time coming: the shift into digital gear arrives after multiple iterations of physical media releases, from separate trilogy box sets to the original theatrical cuts of Episodes IV to VI.
The films (not the original theatrical cuts) are available to purchase individually from Amazon at £11.99 each in HD, or for £69.99 in one big collection. Google Play is offering them slightly cheaper at £11.99 each, with a six-film bundle for £59.99.
iTunes does not allow you to buy them in a collection, while its HD prices are higher at £13.99 per film. However, Apple’s offering does include its signature iTunes Extras, which are listed below. Google Play will also offer extras, including all of the iTunes special features listed below, plus deleted scenes and trailers (both of these are not confirmed by iTunes, but are expected to be included in the Apple purchases). Wuaki.tv and blinkbox have not confirmed any information on pricing or extras.
The pricing, though, could see fans stick to their old-school guns rather than jump to VOD speed: a Blu-ray set of the entire saga currently costs £49.99, £10 cheaper than the digital collection. The nine-disc box set also comes with 40+ hours of special features, including the documentaries from the VOD releases detailed below – A Conversation with Masters, Anatomy of a Dewback, etc – and commentaries. iTunes has offered director’s commentaries before, often as an exclusive to the Apple release, although these have not been announced for Star Wars.
What do you think: A good chance to catch up before Episode VII for those who have given up on discs? Or an expensive turn to the Dark Side?
Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Conversations: Doug Chiang Looks Back
Discovers from Inside: Models & Miniatures
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Conversations: Sounds in Space
Discoveries from Inside: Costumes Revealed
From Puppets to Pixels: Digital Characters in Episode II
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Conversations: The Star Wars That Almost Was
Discoveries from Inside: Hologram & Bloopers
Within a Minute: The Making of Episode III
Episode IV: A New Hope
Conversations: Creating a Universe
Discoveries from Inside: Weapons & The First Lightsaber
Anatomy of a Dewback
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Conversations: The Lost Interviews
Discoveries from Inside: Matte Paintings Unveiled
A Conversation with the Masters
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Conversations: The Effects
Discoveries from Inside: The Sounds of Ben Burtt