By James Rainey
The entire Star Wars saga will be available for digital download beginning Friday — a development sure to excite fans of the films and allow filmmakers to rev up anticipation in advance of the Christmas Day release of the seventh installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
All six films in the series and bonus features will be accessible in Digital HD for viewing on a variety of devices, according to an announcement by Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox.
Fans will be able to buy the films — beginning with The Phantom Menace and continuing through Return of the Jedi — either individually or as a set. They will be available through multiple retailers, including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox Video, PlayStation Store and Verizon Fios.
After purchase, all of the films, except A New Hope (aka the original Star Wars released in 1977), will be available in customers’ accounts at Disney Movies Anywhere. Rights to A New Hope are controlled by 20th Century Fox.
The original trilogy will be presented in their remastered “Special Edition” formats.
Among the added features that come with the Star Wars package are interviews with the creative team, including creator-director George Lucas, design director Doug Chiang and sound designer Ben Burtt and at least five deleted scenes from each of the six episodes.
“It’s only fitting that audiences enjoy this legendary saga and its many fascinating behind-the-scenes stories on a wide variety of platforms, and we’re very excited to finally bring all six films to Digital HD for the first time,” said Alan Bergman, president of the Walt Disney Studios.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said the added features would highlight the groundbreaking technology employed in the films. “We’ve created some very special bonus material which delves into the Saga’s rich history, including new and never-before-released conversations between legendary Star Wars artists – the masters who helped George bring his iconic universe to life,” Kennedy said.
The digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer. Those outlets will set pricing for the individual episodes and the entire package.
Watch a Yahoo Finance report on the news: