By this point in the pandemic, we’re becoming more and more accustomed to the idea of content hitting the small screen much sooner than anticipated. We’ve seen this happen with movies like Trolls World Tour deciding to head straight to paid digital platforms instead of holding off on a theatrical release while others like Disney’s own Onward made the move to digital rental and even Disney+ streaming within a month arriving in theaters. Times are not even close to normal.
One movie I’ve been waiting patiently on to make its debut on Disney+ in a similarly-early fashion is Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. While my initial impressions of the film were a mix of confusion and aggravation at the break-neck pacing and odd storytelling choices, I did go back and watch it again in theaters and enjoyed it the second time a bit more. Knowing what I was walking into helped me better digest the quick-hit nature of the film and I’ve been hopeful ever since that when I could watch at home, maybe a third viewing would be even more enjoyable.
Not surprisingly, here on May the 4th (as in ‘May the Force be with you’ for the uninitiated), Disney has moved forward on putting the film out on Disney+ for your viewing pleasure. So, for anyone out there like me that wasn’t completely over the moon for Rise of Skywalker when it was in the theater, you can now watch at home as part of your Disney+ membership and decide for yourself if owning it is worth the added expense. For me, the theatrical viewing was so mediocre that I wasn’t really ready to plunk down the $19.99 for it in mid-March when it made its digital debut.
As a free movie I can watch as a part of my Disney+ membership, though, this is a film I’ll most definitely be watching at some point this week – likely this evening. Again, I’m hopeful that my reduced hype and thorough understanding of this film’s weaknesses will make the at-home viewing a bit more of a pleasure this time around. With Disney+, a Chromecast, and a TV, it is time to grab some popcorn, gather the kiddos, and give Rise of Skywalker another try.