Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to go down in history as the worst movie in the Skywalker saga and a huge missed opportunity. Say what you like about the prequel trilogy, but at least they have memorable moments and some great individual scenes. As it stands, the finale of Disney’s sequel trilogy felt designed by committee and a severe over-reaction to the online backlash against The Last Jedi.
The movie has been available to view on Disney+ for a year now, but recently eagle-eyed viewers have noticed a number of subtle changes. First is that the color-grading is altered, with the blue/green slightly desaturated filter seen in the theatrical/Blu-ray and home streaming releases now absent. There’s no official explanation for this change, though the increased contrast and deeper blacks may make the movie look better on HDR televisions.
Here’s a comparison from Twitter user @PalpyYT:
Did you know? The D+ version of The Rise of Skywalker has been updated, and was re colour balanced… it looks absolutely gorgeous.
(left = updated) (right = before) pic.twitter.com/uZodzgXi18
— Palpamemes (@PalpyYT) May 23, 2021
Interestingly the streaming version now matches the look of the final trailer released in October 2019, indicating that someone decided that the blue/green filter should be applied to the whole movie late in the production process.
In addition, it’s been noted that the subtitles during the ‘Jedi chorus’ scene have been updated to reveal the names of the person speaking. All of these characters were identified soon after the 2019 release, though the three women were merely billed as Female Jedi 1, 2, and 3. This has now been corrected and the subtitles now show the dialogue as being delivered by Luminara Unduli, Aayla Secura, and Ahsoka Tano respectively.
These are all welcome changes, but sadly no amount of tweaking and color balancing is going to make Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker into a good movie. I wish they’d gone with the original plan for Colin Trevorrow’s ‘Duel of the Fates’, which has been fully adapted into an interesting unofficial comic. Let’s just hope future Star Wars movies learn from the sequel trilogy’s mistakes and settle on a story before beginning a trilogy.