At the end of 2012, streaming giant Netflix hooked a particularly sweet deal with Disney, a company that is preternaturally gifted at making lots and lots of money. The agreement stated that Netflix would get the exclusive streaming rights to all of Disney’s films, including a particularly well-sought-after series that you might have heard of called Star Wars. This was just a few months after Disney agreed to buy Lucasfilm, the company that created Star Wars, for a cool $4 billion, and seemed to indicate that fans would just simply be able to sit back and stream the entirety of the beloved saga as many times as their nerdy hearts desired after The Force Awakens hit theaters in 2015. But thats unfortunately not the case.
The U.S. rights in the Netflix deal were for Disney movies starting with 2016 theatrical releases only, which meant that fans who gave up physical media long ago for a single streaming service wouldn’t be able to see J.J. Abrams’s new trilogy-starter.
Streaming rights are a fickle problem, especially when they’re matched by an even more fickle audience willing to fork over untold amounts of money to watch a movie like The Force Awakens. With the first standalone movie in the saga, Rogue One about to hit theaters, Star Wars fans dont have to get their Jedi robes in a bunch. Here’s where to spend that money to stream The Force Awakens if youve given up buying physical media a long time ago.
If you’re into buying access to a full streaming platform that also includes The Force Awakens, look no further than the Starz app. If you’re still one of those non-cord-cutters still beholden to the premium movie channel cable gods you don’t have to fret. Just download the app on your phone or tablet via your cable account and you’re good to go.
Starz has its own standalone streaming service called Starz Play that will set you back a reasonably-priced $8.99 per month. For that you get The Force Awakens and nearly unlimited downloads of available content, which means you can watch it offline. You can also watch Outlander, so that’s a plus.
iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube
The two bastions of movie streaming remain iTunes and Amazon, despite what Google Play and YouTube might think. But for what it’s worth, you can only buy The Force Awakens on all four services for $14.99. Since this is Star Wars it’s definitely a good investment, so your cash is going to a worthy cause. You also get a few perks depending on what platform you choose.
But there’s a logistical bonus for streaming The Force Awakens via Amazon. Members of Amazon’s Prime service can add cable subscriptions to their accounts for additional fees, including Starz Play, which means if you already subscribe to Starz via Amazon Prime, you can stream it for free with your subscription instead of buying it for an additional $14.99.
Move to Canada
Remember that stuff about Netflix and The Force Awakens not making the streaming cut? If you’re a subscriber in the great white north, then forget all of it. The Netflix deal for the U.S. was different than the one made for international distribution, so all you need to do is head across the border, get a Netflix subscription, and stream away.