Monday, The Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox announced bringing all six Star Wars movies in their high-definition digital form to Apple’s iTunes Store, Google’s Play Store and other services, including Amazon’s Instant Video and Microsoft’s Xbox Video.
Having been available for pre-order on iTunes at $19.99 each, all six movies became available for download across platforms today, April 10.
The six-movie saga is comprised of the “Star Wars,” “Return of the Jedi,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” films and includes new bonus extras and can be bought or all at once as part of the “Star Wars Digital Movie Collection”.
There’s a total of nine hours of bonus footage to explore across all six films. You can buy the complete bundle at a discount or grab the movies separately for $19.99 each:
- Star Wars movie bundle (all 6 movies) – $89.99
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
Or, check out the full collection on iTunes.
Either way — choose carefully, young Padawan!
In addition to a curated collection of classic Star Wars extras from each film, never-before-seen specials come in the form of the new “Discoveries From Inside” and “Conversations” between Star Wars artists who helped director George Lucas bring his iconic universe to life.
Rentals will not be offered for the time being and prices will vary depending on the retailer. Amazon fans can save $29.95 by pre-ordering “Star Wars: The Digital Movie Collection” for $89.99 via the Amazon Instant Video service.
Separately, Amazon prices them at the same $19.99 as on iTunes. For those wondering, Google’s Play Store matches Amazon’s asking price for the entire collection.
And if you buy the whole collection on Xbox Video, you’ll get an imaginary R2-D2 character to accompany your Xbox Live avatar, a pinball table for the freemium Pinball FX 2 and access to an Xbox-only featurette.
Regardless of your preferred store, owning the movies digitally comes with an added perk of being able to synchronize your purchases with Disney Movies Everywhere, which lets you synchronize and download your digital copies from other service like Amazon and Google’s Play Store, at no additional cost.
With one exception: due to distribution rights, “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” won’t be available on Disney Anywhere because 20th Century Fox, not Disney, owns the rights to that episode.
Star Wars die-hards, beware: these are Special Edition ‘Han shot second’ versions, not the originals. Unfortunately, there’s no word when, if ever, Lucasfilm might release the original theatrical 1970’s versions in digital, without the added CGI, special effects, scenes and non-sensical changes.
Apparently, Lucas destroyed the original negatives during the restoration process, or at least that was the official word from Lucasfilm when they handed over the franchise to Disney.
If you have pre-ordered any of the movies above, iTunes will ping you via email when they’re ready to download. If iTunes doesn’t start downloading them automatically, choose Check for Available Downloads under the Store menu in iTunes for Windows or PC.
The movies, along with bonus content in the form of iTunes Extras, can be consumed across Mac and Windows PCs in iTunes, on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad through the stock Videos app and on the $69 Apple TV set-top box.
Keep in mind that iTunes Extras requires a minimum of iOS 8, Apple TV 6.2 or iTunes 11.3 on OS X 10.9.3 or Windows 7.
Here’s what the movies include in terms of digital bonus offerings:
Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Conversations: Doug Chiang Looks Back
- Discoveries From Inside: Models & Miniatures
- Legacy content includes “The Beginning”; The Podrace: Theatrical Edit; plus eight deleted scenes.
Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Conversations: Sounds In Space
- Discoveries From Inside: Costumes Revealed
- Legacy content includes “From Puppets To Pixels: Digital Characters In Episode II”; State Of The Art: The Previsualization Of Episode II; and “Films Are Not Released, They Escape”; plus Episode II Visual Effects Breakdown Montage and six deleted scenes.
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Conversations: The Star Wars That Almost Was
- Discoveries From Inside: Hologram & Bloopers
- Legacy content includes documentaries “Within A Minute: The Making Of Episode III”; The Journey Part 1; and The Journey Part 2; plus six deleted scenes.
Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (20th Century Fox)
- Conversations: Creating A Universe
- Discoveries From Inside: Weapons & The First Lightsaber
- Legacy content includes “Anatomy Of A Dewback”; Star Wars Launch Trailer; plus eight deleted scenes.
Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Conversations: The Lost Interviews
- Discoveries From Inside: Matte Paintings Unveiled
- Legacy content includes “A Conversation With The Masters” (2010); “Dennis Muren: How Walkers Walk”; “George Lucas On Editing The Empire Strikes Back 1979”; and “George Lucas On The Force: 2010”; plus six deleted scenes.
Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Conversations: The Effects
- Discoveries From Inside: The Sounds Of Ben Burtt
- Legacy content includes “Classic Creatures: Return Of The Jedi”; “Revenge Of The Jedi Teaser Trailer”; Return Of The Jedi Launch Trailer; “It Began TV Spot”; “Climactic Chapter TV Spot”; plus five deleted scenes.
Disney-owned Lucasfilm will be kicking off a major Star Wars fan convention running from April 16 through April 19 in Anaheim, California.
Eight months from now, the first Disney-produced Star Wars movie, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”, will hit the silver screen on December 18, marking the first new Star Wars movie in a decade.