Disney has offered up a few gifts for those trying to isolate themselves in response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The studio has announced that it released Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker early on digital home video, according to Deadline.
The film was originally set to be released on digital home video on Tuesday, March 17, but Disney dropped the film late on Friday on most digital platforms, including FandangoNow, Vudu, Apple TV, Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. The film is available to purchase in standard definition or HD for $19.99, and in 4K Ultra HD for $24.99.
The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters in December 2019 and received a mixed response from critics following its debut. In spite of that mixed reception, the film still managed to earn $1.07 billion at the global box office. That places it third among the films in this new trilogy, behind both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, per Box Office Mojo.
The film stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega, and is the conclusion to the three-film trilogy started with 2015’s The Force Awakens. In the film, the rebels are forced to scramble after discovering that Emperor Palpatine is still alive, as Ridley’s Rey prepares for her inevitable confrontation with Driver’s Kylo Ren.
The Rise of Skywalker was just one of the movies that Disney decided to give home consumers a chance to view early. The studio also released Frozen 2 on Disney+ Sunday morning, months ahead of its scheduled release.
“The themes of perseverance and the importance of family are messages that are incredibly relevant during this time, and we are pleased to be able to share this heartwarming story early with our Disney+ subscribers to enjoy at home on any device,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said when it was announced the film would hit the service ahead of schedule, according to Deadline.
In addition to releasing films early for home viewers, Disney has also taken other steps to more directly stem the spread of the virus. The studio announced that they would be halting production on a number of their upcoming live-action properties, including Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, The Little Mermaid, Shrunk, Home Alone, The Last Duel, Nightmare Alley, and Peter Pan & Wendy. The studio has also delayed the release of a number of their upcoming films, including Mulan, which was originally set to hit theaters on March 27. Disney has yet to announce a new release date for the film.