Because I am addicted to the extras you get when you buy a movie on disc I got myself a copy of The Force Awakens as soon as it came out. I have the Blu Ray edition, which is two discs. The DVD may not contain the same material.
Disc 1 is the movie. There is no Director’s Commentary, which is a shame but is increasingly common these days.
Disc 2 has a fair amount of extras. It is nowhere near as in-depth as you would get from WETA on a Peter Jackson movie. Nor is it anywhere near as open and honest as what Jackson gives us (the final Hobbit film in particular is very raw). This is polished Hollywood corporate product, all intended to promote the brand. Nevertheless, it does tell us things.
I was unaware until I saw the extras that the currently President of Lucasfilm, and the Producer of The Force Awakes, is a woman: Kathleen Kennedy. I suspect that she has a lot to do with how the film turned out.
More generally, the thing that comes across most strongly from the material is the reverence that the crew had for the original three movies. Many people who worked on those original movies also worked on this one. It’s not just Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew and Anthony Daniels. In fact one of the most important pieces of continuity is the fact that John Williams is still doing the scores. But there are also people whose parents worked on the original films, and people who grew up as Star Wars fans and dreamed of being able to work on the movies. Listening to all of these people talk, it is obvious why the film turned out the way it did.
One of the highlights for me was seeing Lupita Nyong’o talking about her first experience of motion capture. And of course Andry Serkis was there to help out.
Gwendoline Christie is quite interesting on the role of Captain Phasma and how she tried to make it clear that Phasma was a woman without in any way feminizing her.
There are a few deleted scenes. They are quite short, and mostly fun but unimportant. I would have liked the movie to have included the one in which we see Leia being General Organa, rather than being Mrs. Solo which is what she does for much of the film.
Skellig Michael is still the star of the film, closely followed by Lupita and BB8.