Since the debut of the Star Wars franchise back in 1977, the series has been known for pushing the bounds of what can be accomplished with special effects, though a new report claims that the effects of the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker create such an overwhelming impact on viewers that those who are sensitive to strobe effects will receive warnings at theaters ahead of screenings. The Hollywood Reporter notes that not only is Disney reaching out to theaters about such effects, but that they have reached out to the Epilepsy Foundation to help get the word out about the visuals.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that you provide at your venue box office and online, and at other appropriate places where your customers will see it, a notice containing the following information: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker contains several sequences with imagery and sustained flashing lights that may affect those who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or have other photosensitivities," Disney's letter to exhibitors reads.
The statement comes more than a year after the release of Incredibles 2, which utilized strobe effects as part of its narrative, resulting in audiences taking to social media to warn others about the possible impact of such sequences. As a response to the situation, the Epilepsy Foundation shared their own warning in hopes of preventing seizures, with Disney then following suit.
"We thank Disney for reaching out to us and proactively providing information to movie theaters and moviegoers in advance of the movie’s release," the Epilepsy Foundation shared in response to Disney's precautionary warnings.
The Foundation offers the following tips for viewers planning to see the film:
• Ask a friend to watch the movie first.
• Take your friend with you when you go see the film to alert you to which scenes contain the flashing lights so you block your eyes during those scenes.
• Teach your friend the three simple steps of seizure first aid — Stay, Safe, Side — so that they can assist if you have a seizure.
Disney didn't, however, reveal details about what sequences could potentially trigger photosensitive audiences. Earlier this year, IT CHAPTER TWO also landed in theaters with a seizure warning about strobing light effects.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
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