In an unusual move, Disney has issued a warning that its upcoming Star Wars film could pose a seizure risk for sensitive viewers.
The studio is partnering with Epilepsy Foundation asking theaters to alert moviegoers that visuals and flashing lights in The Rise of Skywalker could impact people with photosensitive epilepsy.
“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,” said Disney’s letter, as reported by THR.
The Epilepsy Foundation also issued a statement noting that for about 3 percent of people with epilepsy, exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities or certain visual patterns can trigger seizures. For those who are sensitive to lights, the foundation advised having a friend watch the movie first, who could then accompany and alert which scenes to avert one’s eyes during.
Last year, Disney was criticized on social media about light effects in Incredibles 2.
In the previous Skywalker Saga film, The Last Jedi, theaters posted warnings about a very different kind of effect — a moment when the sound drops out during a dramatic light-speed jump that left some confused viewers wondering if something was broken.
The Rise of Skywalker opens Dec. 20.