‘Star Wars’ Going Digital

Several OTT Players, Verizon FiOS To Sell Six-Film Bundle
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Priming the pump for the December 18 theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox announced Monday that the six original films in the space saga will be available in digital HD on April 10 on a wide range of platforms.

The digital collection is already available for pre-order from partners that include iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, PlayStation Video, the Nook store, M-GO, Amazon Instant Video, CineplexStore (Canada), Xbox Video, and the Disney Movies Anywhere service (except for episode IV).  Verizon FiOS will also sell the new Star Wars digital collection. Comcast operates an electronic-sell through offering for set-tops and mobile devices, will be on the sidelines early on since it currently does not have an EST deal with Disney.

Depending on the service, the six-film digital collection (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi) can be had for $89.99, or $20 for each film. According to Disney, the collection will include some never-before-seen features and a curated collection of extras from each film, including deleted scenes.

Among the group of launch partners, Xbox Video is tossing in some exclusives for consumers who preorder the bundle, including an R2-D2 “avatar companion” for the Xbox Live service, a Star Wars Pinball Pack for Xbox One and Xbox 360, and a Star Wars featurette.

“Since the debut of the first film nearly 40 years ago, Star Wars has become a worldwide phenomenon with legions of fans from every generation,” said Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios, in a statement. “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.”

“We’re thrilled that fans will be able to enjoy the Star Wars saga on their digital devices wherever they go,” added Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “These films broke new ground in technology, design, sound, and visual effects, and 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.”