Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Star Wars: Rogue One DVD and Blu-Ray Round Up / Reveiw



Today's the day. Rogue One is officially available on Blu-Ray and DVD for avid Star Wars enthusiasts to add to their collection.

Fans looking for a release that showcases the numerous cut scenes that appeared in the trailers are out of luck on all fronts. According to director Gareth Edwards, you're not going to see those because they don't encompass full scenes that got nixed, but rather snippets here and there. Regardless, ask any Star Wars fan their opinion on the matter - They want to see them. It would also be interesting to see a cut of the film prior to the scrambled re-writes alleged in numerous articles. Again though, you're not going to see that either.

Speaking of trailers - Nope, you won't find those on any of the releases either. Making of the film? Uh-uh. Not here. Director and / or cast commentary? Afraid not.

So what exactly does the film have to offer in terms of bonus features? Though there are some exceptions, pretty much every release offers the following;

The Stories
  • A Rogue Idea
  • Jyn: The Rebel
  • Cassian: The Spy
  • K-2SO: The Droid
  • Baze & Chirrut: Guardian of The Whills
  • Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary
  • The Empire
  • Visions of Hope: The Look of Rogue One
  • The Princess & The Governor
  • Epilogue: The Story Continues
Designing Rogue One: Galleries
  • U-Wing
  • K-2SO 
Rogue Connections

As a Star Wars fanatic I'm obligated to purchase this movie in all its iterations to add to my ever growing home video release of Star Wars collection. I'll reiterate what I've said in the past about Star Wars on home video - It's a passion of mine, and I've collected every release since 1977's Ken Films. So for me, it's a definite buy of every single version on this list.

However, most people aren't like me. They're all about the one and done buying, but with so many versions out there, which one is the one for you? This guide to the home video releases of Rogue One may help you to answer that question.

DIGITAL

For those looking to own the movie digitally, there are multiple platforms you can get it on - Amazon, iTunes, etc. Not only that, but it was available on April 24th - A whopping eleven days prior to the physical media!

With your purchase, you get all of the bonus features noted above.

If you're looking to purchase this film on Blu-Ray, then don't worry about purchasing a digital copy (unless you absolutely had to have it the day of its release in digital format...Like I did). The reason for this is because you will also get a digital copy with the physical media version of the Blu-Ray.

DVD

It doesn't get any more basic than this. No bonus features, no HD bonus copy, just the standard DVD version of the film. Most stores have this on sale for the first day (or week) of the release, but the regular price is $19.99.

The film is presented in widescreen, and features your typical DVD black plastic cover. One of the draws to this particular version is the cover. It's actually the only version available that features Darth Vader on it - Though I'm unsure why the beach scene was chosen for the background. Yes, I know that the film's final battle takes place on a beach like planet (sorry for the spoiler there), but it seems like all the promotional material for the film got a little obsessed with this premise. Regardless, this is still a pretty snazzy cover.

Target, Best Buy and Walmart currently have the DVD version on sale for $17.99. This of course won't last long - Maybe a week or so. Avoid Toys R' Us. The DVD is retailing at $19.99 with no new release sale price.

In my old age, I can definitely say that I see a difference in quality from DVD to Blu-Ray. It's honestly somewhat blurry. If you can afford the extra few bucks, and have a Blu-Ray player then I highly recommend spending the extra money to get a far superior version. Not only that, but for the extra dollars you're getting so much more for your purchase (see below).

BLU-RAY / DVD / DIGITAL HD

Now we come to the Blu-Ray version. For the retail price of $24.99, you get quite a bit of stuff here.

You not only get the Blu-Ray edition of the film, but you also get the DVD version. If that weren't enough, this particular release also comes packed with a Digital HD download code. So you can also get the film on your favorite portable platform - IPOD, IPAD, or download it to your favorite PC medium - Such as Amazon.

The Blu-Ray features all of the bonus features as noted above - All of which come on their own individual disc.

Target, Best Buy and Walmart all have the combo pack on sale. Target's price is $22.99, and Best Buy's is $19.99. Walmart wins the low price award for having it on sale for $19.96. Every penny counts when you're buying in bulk.

Avoid, avoid, avoid Toys R' Us. They have the combo on sale for $24.99, with a full retail price of $29.99. Apparently they didn't get the memo.

For variant hunters, there can be some joy (or pain depending on how you look at it). I've spotted the movie with various stickers adhered to the slipcase. Take a look below for the versions I've picked up so far. I only recommend this kind of commitment from OCD fanatics.

Two different stickers, one slipcase without the sticker, and one without the slipcase!

Additionally, if you pre-ordered this version from The Disney Store, you get an exclusive set of lithographs. There is no difference between this version and the standard release - Just the bonus photos which come in a separate "envelope".

Disney Exclusive Lithographs


TARGET EXCLUSIVE

You can't have a new Star Wars film released these days, and not have exclusive versions to help muddle up the challenge of what version to buy.

For the fan that wants it all, the Target exclusive is a no brainer choice. Of course this version will also set you back about $29.99 (currently on sale for $27.99) - Which is really reasonable considering what you get here.

This package features the Blu-Ray version of the film, a Blu-Ray 3D version of the film, the DVD version of the film, and also a Digital HD version of the film. Do you need four copies of the same movie in one box? Sure, why not?

This set also features all the bonus features as noted above, as well as two additional features;
  • Inside the Creature Shop
  • Digital Storytelling
Unlike the Target exclusive version of The Force Awakens which featured bonus content only available online, the exclusive features for Rogue One come on a separate disc - As they should if you're going to charge more for exclusive content.

One final facet that adds to the collectible aspect of it is five different "cards" which can be slipped inside the cover to change the picture on it.

What I do like about the multiple cover feature is that you slip each card in from the side, and the (somewhat) clear plastic slipcase holds them securely in place. In other words, you're not going to have to be picking up cards all day long that are slipping out from the bottom of the case.

Beautiful!
The question is, will you buy five copies in order to display one of each potential cover? There's no denying that the multiple covers look great when slipped inside. However, at a buy in price of $150.00 (plus tax) to proudly display all five covers, you're looking at only the most die hard obsessive fans to buy in on that game...See photo to the right. I actually bought six to keep one sealed.

For the fanatical collector like me, it would have been awesome to have multiple versions of the film on store shelve each displaying a different cover (with all the options inside of course to switch them around). That way they could be kept sealed.

On a sad note, it's always a shame when DVD's or Blu-Rays come with a folded over cardboard backer. The reason for this is that once it's taken out of the shrink wrap, the thing never stays secured. It flops up and down, or in some cases won't even stay in place. This is a major concern for damage to the overall packaging. This version does indeed feature a cardback such as described.

It would be great if you could slide the cardback through the back of the slipcase to hold it in place, but sadly it is a hairline too big. If you're in to cutting the cardback with a paper cutter (knife or scissors), you could definitely make it work - But do you really want to cut it?

Additionally, repeated removal of this cardboard "case" from the plastic sleeve may result in damage over time. The sides of the box need to be slid in precisely, or you will ding up the edges. Not only that, but because the multiple covers are slid in behind a cardboard cutout "matte", this too can potentially snag on the plastic case. If you buy this version, be gentle removing and inserting it in the sleeve.


ROGUE ONE HD MOVIE GIVE AWAY!!!

On the bright side - me buying and opening so many copies of this version means that I have numerous digital HD codes of the film to give away to my readers. How do you get one? Simple. Leave a comment with your e-mail address (this will not be published). As long as I have them available, people will get a code (while they last) e-mailed to them with instructions on how / where to redeem the code. My obsessive compulsion is your gain!

Unfortunately as is the case with life these days, a disclaimer is necessary - Please note that this is only for the code and instructions which will be sent to the e-mail address you provide (if chosen to receive one). You will not receive any physical merchandise or item. The Toy Box and its affiliate are not responsible for codes that do not work for whatever the reason may be, nor will we be obligated to provide a replacement. Limit one per household.

UPDATE - Wow, not one taker. Did people hate the movie that much, or is everyone opting for physical media? Hopefully it's the physical media answer.

WALMART EXCLUSIVE

Walmart is pro droid, and it shows with the all new exclusive featuring K-2SO on the cover. For those of you who remember last years release of The Force Awakens, Walmart sold an exclusive BB-8 cover. This all new K-2SO version is familiarly designed to match TFA version.

The cover is "latched" with an adhesive Velcro dot, and when folded open features the Rebels walking through water...Again with the water. Lucasfilm, you are obsessed with this concept of the film.

This version is exactly the same as the above noted Blu-Ray / DVD / Digital HD version. The only exception is the K-2SO cover, which is actually no more than just a slipcase. When removed, even the cover of the film matches that of the aforementioned version.

Galactic Connexions fans will also find a perk here. Each package contains two trading discs. Exclusive ones? Not sure. However, two nonetheless.

Walmart currently has this on sale for $22.96, but it will retail for $24.99 after said sale time.

Unfortunately this release has a flaw. Because of the Galactic Connexions being stuffed into the standard Blu-Ray case, it looks like it's about to burst. This results in a very unappealing bulge in it. Additionally, this causes stress marks on the packaging, which also "bleeds" through to the artwork insert of the case almost tearing it.

This slipcase is definitely a fragile one. Repeated opening and closing of the cover will most certainly result in a weak crease / fold of the "spine". Additionally, it has the potential to get snagged or dinged up when sliding it on your DVD / Blu-Ray shelf due to the thick cardboard cut out of K-2SO.

BEST BUY EXCLUSIVE

Best Buy once again comes to the table with a steelbook version. This is the retailers go to format for any exclusive film they sell these days. Mind you, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Steelbook cases are definitely sturdy (if nothing else).

The outside of the case features...You guessed it...Characters walking through water. Death Squad Troopers to be exact (on the front), and standard Stormtroopers (on the back). The inside of the case is actually far more nicer than the outside, and would have made a far superior cover (in my opinion). It features all six of the new Rebels from the film, each in their own poster style visage.

I may have missed the memo on this one, but apparently this is not just the same version as the retail Blu-Ray / DVD / Digital HD version. It also includes the 3D version of the Blu-Ray. At $24.99 (for now), that's a bargain. Add into this that you also get a very sturdy steel case, and it only gets better. However, unlike the Target version you will not get any bonus special features. Just the standard as noted at the top of this writing.

This version is definitely more geared towards collectors than casual buyers. If this is the one you want, grab it now while it's on sale as the retail price is $29.99.

Much like the downside to the Target version, this one too includes a cardboard backer destined to be damaged if you don't take extra care of your copy. However as there is no slipcase, you can't trim down the cardback to hold it securely with the opened package.

Regardless of the version you buy, Easter eggs galore are hidden in Rogue One. Though I've come to appreciate the film a lot since its digital release - Or rather as a result of multiple viewings of the digital release, one of the biggest draws for me personally is looking for all the hidden gems in the film.

Some are obvious - Such as this image of an old Luke Skywalker (or maybe it's Obi-Wan) with his lightsaber etched into the rocks of Jedah. I mean, come on. You'd have to be blind to miss that one. Others are a little more difficult to spot, but certainly make for grin worthy moments when you notice them - Such as Chopper skirting across the entrance of Yavin IV, or seeing the Ghost fly into battle alongside the Rebels at the end. Mind you, those noted aren't even the tip of the iceberg hidden in the film. Feel free to drop the ones you spotted into the comment section.

As for the film, personally, Jyn Orso is more interesting as a character as compared to what's her face...Um...Rey. While Rey is a one dimensional character who would rather slap the hand of someone trying to help her up because she can do anything and everything by herself, Jyn is a character that needs her team. Each member fulfills their roles, equally bringing something to the table. This makes for a well rounded Star Wars film with characters that albeit were unfortunately throw away ones at the end of the day.

"How many do we need?" - Baze Malbus

If you haven't seen Rogue One yet, I urge you to give it a viewing. See it now before it's sequel comes out, Rogue One 2! Rimshot, and out!

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2 comments:

  1. Or you can wait for the inevitable re-release next year that will include the Target online exclusives and other bonus stuff not released yet....Looking at you, TFA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Wait"???

      This word does not exist in the vocabulary of a Star Wars fan.

      Delete

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