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Chewbacca, Poe, Finn and Rey in the Millennium Falcon

Back in mid-October, it was rumored that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would clock in at 155 minutes long, i.e. two hours and 35 minutes. If true, that would make Episode IX the longest Star Wars movie yet, and this runtime was later posted on the AMC Theatres website. However, The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams has debunked said runtime and revealed that the movie will be almost 15 minutes shorter than previously indicated.

According to J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be two hours and 21 minutes-long, adding an “I believe” after spouting off that information to Entertainment Weekly, thus allowing a minute or two of wiggle room. Now that we have an official runtime, The Rise of Skywalker can take its place as the third-longest Star Wars movie. The Last Jedi ranks at #1 with 152 minutes, and Attack of the Clones edges out at #2 with 142 minutes, just one minute longer than Episode IX.

Considering that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the conclusion to the Skywalker Saga, one wouldn’t be faulted for thinking that it could be the longest Star Wars movie. It’s a lot for one movie to wrap up not only a trilogy, but an entire film series that’s been running for over four decades. With so many plot threads needing to be resolved and ground needing to be covered, you could easily imagine The Rise of Skywalker stretching to three hours.

But no, rather than try to hit the runtime mark that Avengers: Endgame did for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will fall into a more traditional bracket, though it’ll still be longer than most Star Wars movies. The shortest cinematic entry in a galaxy far, far away remains the one that started it all, A New Hope, at 121 minutes.

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Even with less than a month to go about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s release, we’re still in the dark about specific plot details. Set a year after the events of The Last Jedi, this movie will see not only the war between The First Order and The Resistance ending, but also the ancient conflict between the Jedi and Sith finally reaching its conclusion.

The original plan was for Star Wars: Episode IX to be directed by Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow, but after he exited due to creative differences (he’s still getting a ‘Story By’ credit), J.J. Abrams, who’d already helmed The Force Awakens, was tapped to take his place. Abrams also worked with Chris Terrio on the Rise of Skywalker script.

Along with the majority of the main characters from the previous Sequel Trilogy entries returning, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will also feature the return of Billy Dee Williams and Ian McDiarmid as Lando Calrissian and Emperor Palpatine, respectively. Leia Organa will also appear thanks to J.J. Abrams and his team utilizing unused footage of Carrie Fisher from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The Rise of Skywalker’s new characters include Naomi Ackie’s Jannah, Richard E. Grant’s Allegiant General Pryde and Keri Russell’s Zorii Bliss.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20. If you want to start planning your theatrical visits for next year, head to our 2020 release schedule.

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