Many Star Wars fans have demanded change, and now, they've got it...sort of.
It's no mystery that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker left a sour taste in the mouths of many when it released in December 2019, and the overall outlook on the film hasn't improved since. Beyond the many criticisms of the story decisions made, people took issue with the technical aspects of the film as well.
Among many well-documented issues, the theatrical release of the film was very...blue. J.J. Abrams is known to use a lens filter for his camera and even did so for 2015's The Force Awakens, but it was far more noticeable in Episode IX. While it was a stylistic choice that had no impact on the story itself, the blue filter seemed to take away from many shots that were visually rich.
The decision drew many complaints, and while it was never publicly addressed by Abrams or Lucasfilm, it appears that a sneaky change to the final cut of the film has been made on Disney+...
THE RISE OF SKYWALKER: BLUE NO MORE
Twitter user PalpyYT astutely noticed that the heavy blue/green camera filter for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been removed on Disney+. Below are comparisons of shots from the film before and after the alteration:
The updated color balancing removed much of the green hue from scenes throughout the movie.
Additionally, Twitter user Jbandos noted that the captions during Rey's star-gazing sequence have been changed, correctly providing the names for each of the Jedi voices that she hears. Some of those captions also accompanied by the new filter can be seen below:
They also fixed the subtitles that the original theatrical and home release got wrong (note coloring off on the right in this case bc my laptop had night mode on) pic.twitter.com/7JRkfwYbar
WHEN WAS THE STAR WARS CHANGE MADE?
As aforementioned, Lucasfilm never made a public announcement regarding the change to Episode IX.
For those unhappy with that technical element of the movie, this will certainly come as a welcome change. The interesting thing about the situation is that the updated shot of Rey actually matches the one of her in the last shot from the film's final trailer - which dropped the October prior to the film's release. With just two months until the movie was unveiled, it's peculiar that the choice was made to apply a deep blue filter during the late stages of editing.
Evidently, someone high up the chain of command wasn't satisfied with the way things looked, and the change that reverted things back to their original state was made.
Whether the alteration will get more people to watch the film is a different discussion entirely. The adjustment to the way the movie looks is an indicator that Lucasfilm may be listening to the reception of the film by the fans, but things like the pacing, retcons, and overall storyline don't appear to be going anywhere. Deleted scenes from the movie remain unreleased, and people shouldn't expect to see them any time soon, if ever.
At the end of the day, The Rise of Skywalker is what it is. For some, it's a triumphant conclusion to the Skywalker Saga and a monumental disappointment to others. The changes made to the film on Disney+ likely don't serve as an indicator of future adjustments to the film, but it will at the very least be easier on the eyes.