The leaked stills of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker posted yesterday may have spoiled quite a big plot point in the movie. Not only do they give us our first full look at the resurrected Emperor Palpatine, but they appear to show Kylo Ren and Rey standing side by side wielding blue lightsabers, which would strongly indicate that Ren has a redemptive arc in the movie.
Though they looked genuine, some people rightly suspected they were fake. However, Disney has now inadvertently all-but-confirmed that they’re real, as they’ve launched a copyright strike on a YouTuber who featured them in a video. World of Geekdom published the clip containing the stills, only to receive a copyright claim from Disney for using them without permission.
Here’s what the channel had to share:
“Here is Disney COPYRIGHT CLAIMING my new video that showed the LEAKED image from Rise of Skywalker, which are OBVIOUSLY REAL because they are claiming copyright. I understand companies getting mad at leaks (trust me I know better than anyone) but this is ridiculous.”
It is ridiculous, and in my opinion a serious misstep from Disney and Lucasfilm. By launching this strike and confirming their veracity they’ve incurred the Streisand effect in a big way, instantly making this a bigger news story than it previously was. Said images have also been removed from their original Reddit posts, but let’s face it, once they’re online they’re online for good.
While I wholeheartedly disagree with Disney’s attempt to squash this story through copyright claims, I also wish these stills hadn’t leaked in the first place. I feel like I now know one of the bigger plot developments of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and I would’ve liked to have gone into it with at least some surprises in store for me.