For Star Wars fans, The Rise of Skywalker – the ninth and final film in the Skywalker saga – is undoubtedly a film they’ll want to enjoy on the biggest screen possible.
So when Yahoo was invited by IMAX for a second viewing of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on the UK’s biggest cinema screen, at the Odeon BFI IMAX in Waterloo, we jumped at the chance.
With its sloping auditorium, a screen almost as high as five double-decker buses, and its perfect ear-busting audio, it’s a real cathedral of cinema. And in case you were in any doubt about its credentials, there’s even a The Dark Knight poster hanging in the bar, signed by Christopher Nolan, which is dedicated to the cinema and its staff.
The IMAX release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been digitally re-mastered to – as IMAX says – “create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie”, and there is a unique thrill seeing the Millennium Falcon on screen, seemingly lifesize.
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Before the main event though, and after seeing a great new trailer for 1917, a staff member came out to announce that a prologue for Nolan’s ultra-secretive Tenet was going to play ahead of the film.
The seven-minute clip, like Nolan’s prologues for The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, showed a self-contained heist scene, none of which is shown in the recently released trailer.
IMAX was unwilling to share details with Yahoo about which cinemas would be showing the prologue with The Rise of Skywalker, preferring to keep it a surprise for cinemagoers.
However, if you want to know what to expect, scroll down past the picture below.
The prologue opens outside a concert hall in Eastern Europe (we think Estonia, where the film shot there earlier this year), and we see terrorists storming the auditorium taking the entire building hostage.
The action is being watched outside by a group of people in a black van, and a man with a thick Eastern European accent says “wake the Americans”. The “Americans” are a team of black-clad special forces types sleeping in the back of the van, led by John David Washington’s character.
As SWAT teams arrive on the scene to storm the building, Washington’s special forces crew stick local police force badges to their arms, and leap out of the van blending in with the official armed response to enter the building.
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Sleeping gas is piped into the hall by the police sending the audience to sleep, while the terrorist don gas masks to protect themselves. Watching from a sealed box, a VIP observes the action, seemingly unfazed, as his bodyguards ready their weapons.
As the official SWAT teams start storming the auditorium, kicking off a gun fight, Washington and his crew peel off to extract the VIP. They exchange a series of code words when they enter his private box, but the VIP doesn’t seem too trusting. Washington gives him an ultimatum of freedom or death and he chooses the former.
He takes the VIP into the auditorium, exchanging gunfire with the terrorists. The VIP pretends to be asleep in one of the seats, as terrorists start planting devices next to the seats. Washington fights back, and then things start to get a bit weird.
Time rewinds, undoing one of the bullet holes on the steps, one of Washington’s crew strips out of his military attire into a suit, and he’s extracted from the building by the crew seemingly pretending he’s the VIP they’ve come to extract, while the real VIP gets left behind.
As the team escape, and the building explodes, one of the drivers clocks the man in the suit and says they’ve got “the wrong guy”. Then a montage of action scenes – some seen in the trailer, some not – end the prologue.
The IMAX release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX's customised theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.
Tickets are available now at http://po.st/RiseofSkywalkerIMAX.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in cinemas now. Tenet comes to cinemas in July 2020.