The Rise of Skywalker and epilepsy
This article DOES NOT contain spoilers.
Summary Disney released a seizure warning for this movie. This article contains time stamps for sections that may cause problems. It is not exhaustive and does not constitute medical advice.
This is my account of watching Rise of Skywalker as someone with photosensitive epilepsy. I am not a neurologist, this is not medical advice, nor is it official information from Disney, but it is the information I was looking for when Disney issued a seizure warning for the movie.
A little about me
I have had epilepsy for 8 years. I experience both tonic-clinic (grand mal) and focal (absence) seizures, and I am part of the 3% of people with epilepsy who are photosensitive. I take medication but I still have a seizure most days. I am in the U.K., and saw it the morning of release, at a standard cinema in 2D.
If you have seen any of the first 8 Star Wars films then you already know whether you can tolerate the hyperspace effect and the lightsabres. Both bother me a little bit, but don’t cause seizures.
I did not have any problems with the film, but there are parts where other people may have difficulty. I did have to close my eyes during the big battle at the end.
There are several uses of force lightning, and these use strobing effects that I find unpleasant. There are also multiple bright flashes.
Here are some approximate time stamps. I hope this helps someone.
3:00 to 3:55 - flashes and lightning
4:22 - bright flash
4:46 to 4:51 - multiple bright flashes
5:22 - bright flashing
5:30 to 5:36 - multiple bright flashes
6:10 to 6:20 - multiple bright flashes
6:31 - black screen turns to bright white
Then I thought it was ok until:
1 hr 16 mins - bright lightsabre flashes
1 hr 27 mins - bright lightsabre flashes
1 hr 32 mins - bright lightsabre flashes
1 hr 38 mins - a lot of repeated flashing throughout the battle starting at this point
1 hr 39 to 1 hr 43 - repeated force lightning and flashing
1 hr 45 to 1 hr 52 - battle with lots of light sabre effects, explosions and force lightning. This was the only time when I had to close my eyes.
1 hr 56 to 1 hr 59 - flashing and light sabre effects