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Disney warns of seizure-risk with new Star Wars film

10 Dec 2019

International imagination icon Disney has advised that the latest Star Wars film could pose a seizure risk in people with photosensitive epilepsy.

The Rise of Skywalker will be released in the UK on Thursday 19 December and fans will be turning up in droves to see it.

Sci-fi fans will know Star Wars consistently features epic battle scenes, with lasers and lightsabers lighting up the big screen.

And it’s possible that flashing light and strobe effects during the film could cause seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy.

This has encouraged Disney to issue the following statement to cinemas across the world: “We recommend that you provide at your venue box office and online, 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.”

Risks of watching the film could also include headaches and migraines from the flashing and strobe effects found in the action scenes.

A statement from American charity Epilepsy Foundation says: “The Walt Disney Studios and the Epilepsy Foundation are working together to advise photosensitive viewers to use caution when watching Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The film contains several sequences with imagery and sustained flashing lights that may affect those with photosensitive epilepsy.”

People with photosensitivity who want to watch Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker are advised to:

  • Ask a friend to watch the movie first
  • Take your friend with you to alert you of the scenes that contain flashing lights, and cover one eye during these sequences. 
  • Make sure your friend knows what to do in the event of a seizure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4C-R52Ffy4

Do you have photosensitive epilepsy and are intending to see the latest in the Star Wars saga – please email us with your story: editor@epilepsy.org.uk

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