‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Could Lead to Audience Health Concerns, According to Disney

The highly anticipated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker movie is finally coming out on Dec. 20, 2020. Fans have been waiting two long years—since the previous film, The Last Jedi,—for the conclusion to the sequel trilogy

'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' cast
Producer Kathleen Kennedy, Director J.J. Abrams, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, and Anthony Daniels | Jun Sato/WireImage

Where does ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ fit into the ‘Star Wars’ Saga Timeline?

Although the original three Star Wars moviesA New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi—came out first, they are in the middle of the nine films. The next trilogy released—The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith—was a prequel to the original triology.

The last trilogy to come out belongs after the original trilogy. This group of three films, referred to as the sequel trilogy, contains The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi right now. Our new movie, The Rise of Skywalker, will complete the sequel trilogy.

‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Viewer Warning

Although many viewers are ready to run out to the theater, Disney cautions that some may want to think twice before buying their tickets. 

“The film contains several sequences with imagery and sustained flashing lights that may affect those with photosensitive epilepsy,” according to the statement made by Disney with the Epilepsy Foundation on Dec. 6, 2019.

Disney did not report which scenes or special effects should worry viewers.

“For about 3% of people with epilepsy, exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities or certain visual patterns can trigger seizures,” the statement continued. 

Those individuals who have epilepsy need to take precautions before going to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Notices will be posted at the movie theaters to warn movie-goers of the risk.

Could Viewers with epilepsy still see ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ in theaters?

Fans with epilepsy do not have to miss the opportunity to see their favorite characters. The warning did give suggestions for ways in which Star Wars fans with epilepsy could still see the film.

Disney made the right call on releasing this pertinent information to viewers early. With advance notice, fans can make arrangements to have a friend watch the movie first. Viewers should then take along that same friend to see the film. 

While you are watching the movie, have your friend alert you to scenes that have flashing lights so you can cover your eyes. 

The Epilepsy Foundation also suggests teaching your friend the steps of seizure first aid—Stay, Safe, Side. That person should know to stay by your side and begin timing the seizure. He or she should also keep you safe by removing any sharp objects. Lastly, they should turn you on your side if you are not awake or aware. 

Your friend should also know when to call 9-1-1, for instance, if the seizure lasts more than five minutes or if you have difficulty breathing. 

Once these preparations are made, viewers with epilepsy can still see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when it is released on Dec. 20, 2019.