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In just over a month, when you head out to finally see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you’re going to want to carve out a sizeable chunk of time. Unless you want to sit right up front, or worse, crammed into the furthest corners of the theaters, you’ll need to arrive reasonably — okay, probably unreasonably early — wait in a substantial line, and protect your seat with the viciousness of an angry mother badger. And beyond that, the movie is going to occupy a decent amount of your day as well, as we now know how long The Force Awakens will run.
A while back, reports started making the rounds that said the movie would clock in at 136 minutes. With the tsunami of information coming out over the last few days from EW, Slashfilm dug through it all and discovered that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will run two-hours-and-fifteen-minutes long. And between the opening crawl and the rumored post-credits scene teasing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you’ll probably wind up sticking around for every last second.
Those of you competent in the mathematical realm, or who at least have ready access to a calculator, know that two-hours-and-fifteen-minutes equals 135 minutes, which is pretty damn close to the rumored 136 minutes. While that’s very true, this is a more concrete number, as the filmmakers were still editing the movie before. According to the report, on November 3, at midnight, director, co-writer, and overall mastermind J.J. Abrams locked picture on The Force Awakens. This means that, while they’re still working to finalize visual effects, sound, music, and that sort of thing, the actual editing process is finished.
135 minutes places The Force Awakens roughly in the middle of the franchise as far as length goes. A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi are the shortest three, in ascending order, running 121 minutes, 124 minutes, and 131 minutes. Then the list goes The Phantom Menace at 133 minutes, and prequel finale Revenge of the Sith at 140, which leaves Episode 2: Attack of the Clones as the longest chapter in the saga at a whopping 142 minutes.
I actually anticipated we’d get a much longer movie. 30 years have elapsed since Jedi, and though some of that ground is being covered in books like Aftermath, comics like Shattered Empire, and videogames like Battlefront, a lot has happened. We have to catch up with returning characters like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Leia (we have to find out how she became "General" instead of "Princess"), among others. Then there are the new additions, like Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and many more, that we still have to meet. There’s also the question of how the Rebel Alliance became the New Republic and ultimately the Resistance, how the Empire morphed into the First Order, and what’s up with the Knights of Ren. And those are just a few questions we have.
A ton of stuff has happened in that far, far away galaxy, and when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, we’ll find out how they fit all of that into two-hours-and-fifteen-minutes.