Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker hasn’t satisfied every moviegoer who’s paid to see it, but demanding changes to a Star Wars film is old hat by now. Still, a few fans who’ve reportedly suffered seizures during the finale in the Skywalker Saga say they have good reason to ask J.J. Abrams and Disney to change the film.
According to a story in the New York Post, some Star Wars fans have reported having seizures while watching Rise of Skywalker in theaters. The paper spoke to a few fans who had episodes, while others simply tweeted about the experience online. This comes after Disney warned theatergoers and venues well before the movie’s release, saying some scenes could trigger seizures in those sensitive to light.
For some spoken to for the piece, they were well aware of the risks beforehand but wanted to see the movie anyway.
Emily Suzanne Jones, a 19-year-old retail employee in New Orleans who suffers from epilepsy said strobing from the film was so bad it forced her to leave the movie in the first 30 minutes and she suffered a seizure in the hallway just outside the showing at AMC Elmwood Palace 20.
She called a friend who worked at the theater who arrived to assist just as the seizure began.
“It lasted from 30 seconds to a minute,” Jones told The Post, adding that EMS were called but she didn’t end up requiring any additional treatment. Jones said she likely averted something much worse by taking a quick dose of her anti-seizure medication Keppra right as she felt it coming on.
Jones said the original movies didn’t bother her, but the most recent film was particularly triggering for her. She wondered if something could be done to prevent that kind of effect on those prone to seizures.
“I recently watched the original trilogy and it didn’t remotely bother me, but this last one is particularly flashy,” she said. “I wish they had been a little smarter about it. There is so much special-effects technology to have that effect you wanted but being a little more conscious and safe about it.”
Others online have complained about similar issues and wondered if the strobing effects could be changed in future releases to combat epilepsy for some moviegoers. As the Post notes, there’s really no way to know for sure who has been impacted by the film’s strobing effects, but they noticed a handful of people report having seizures or witnessing others have them in theaters.
Loved the new Star Wars!! But my son couldn’t watch the parts he was most excited for because of the effects. He closed his eyes and I whispered what was happening. Any chance the DVD could be edited in a way people susceptible to seizures can watch?@jjabrams 🙏🏻thank you! @Disney
— darcy mahaffey (@darcymahaffey5) December 23, 2019
Changing a movie while it’s in theaters isn’t completely unheard of, after all. Cats got an updated version after some wonky CGI helped make it a box office bomb. But Rise of Skywalker is a very different case, and there’s no word on whether Disney will consider making changes to the movie to prevent further reported incidents.