The early digital release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (on March 17, 2020) will be available in 4k UHD from all major retailers except Apple iTunes.
This includes popular digital movie services like FandangoNow, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV, and even Amazon where it’s not always easy to find the latest blockbusters in Digital 4k.
But the fact ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ is not available in Ultra HD on Apple TV is no surprise. Disney-produced movies are typically not sold in 4k from Apple. That means you have to go elsewhere to stream hits like Marvel’s Black Panther, Pixar’s Toy Story, and Star Wars: A New Hope in 4k.
In fact, none of the Marvel Studios, Disney, or Star Wars titles can be viewed in 4k on Apple TV, even though the movies are in Digital 4k on Disney Plus and other platforms. This isn’t breaking news though. Back in 2017, when Apple announced its big studio deals to distribute films in 4k, Disney was notably not among the list.
It’s worth noting, however, that titles from 20th Century Fox (purchased by Disney and now rebranded as 20th Century Studios) are available in 4k/HDR on Apple TV 4k such as Deadpool and the X-Men franchise movies.
How long will this rift between Disney and Apple last? Who knows. Maybe it isn’t even a rift. But you can be sure Apple would love to get Disney titles upgraded to 4k on their platform. It’s got to be a stick in the craw for Apple to boast support for high-quality video formats such Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos but not with some of the biggest grossing films in history.
The digital purchase of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker includes bonus content with several retailers. For now, we see Amazon, Microsoft, and Vudu offering the 3-minute featurette titled “Legacy” as well as movie trailers. The number of extras, including any offered with iTunes, will hopefully grow as we near the release date of ‘The Rise of Skywalker.’ If not, diehard SW fans may hold out for the physical release of the film which has already been available to pre-order in exclusives from Best Buy and Target.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is priced $19.99 (SD/HD) and $24.99 (UHD) from most digital movie retailers.