SXSW First Impression Review: Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey (USA, 2016)

With a surprise appearance from J.J. Abrams helping get the crowd in the mood, the premiere of Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – an insightful, feature length documentary about the 7th Star Wars film, The Force Awakens – attracted a massive crowd at SXSW earlier this month, keen to learn the secrets behind one of the biggest films in history.

By now, much of what you see in the documentary – which will be made available on the film’s Blu Ray release next month – has been revealed in articles and select footage that snuck out around the time of its release. But now that a self imposed “spoiler embargo” has passed, it’s the first time you’ll see Harrison Ford talk at length about a certain major plot point for his character, and the first time you’ll see the rather historic moment when the entire cast sat in a room together, while Mark Hamill read through the script. It’s incredible footage to say the least.

Separated into episodes of its own, the documentary gives us the first screen tests of the leads, the path to their discovery and their first moments on set. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega reflect on getting the call that got them the role, and J.J. looks back on how the production got started in the first place. The creatives talk about rebuilding the Falcon, getting the crew from all six episodes back together and provide insight into some of the reasons the story went the way it did. It’s hard to say more without spoiling the film or ruining the fun of watching the documentary itself, so all we’ll say is that Secrets of The Force Awakens is a superb treat for Star Wars fans everywhere.

Definitely take the time to watch it when it is released in Australia as part of the Digital & Blu-Ray sets on April 13th.


Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey releases in Australia on April 13th with the Blu-Ray edition of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We’ll deliver our full review of the Blu-Ray set closer to its release!


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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