The Last Jedi’ will be the longest Star Wars movie ever
As Internet culture gets more and more focused on short-term entertainment — heck, we can barely sit through a three-minute YouTube short — its favorite movie franchise is paradoxically getting longer and longer.
The Last Jedi, episode 8 in the Star Wars Skywalker saga, clocks in at a weighty 151 minutes and 38 seconds. That’s according to an official release from the British Board of Film Classification, which has already seen the film and also warns us to expect “moderate violence.” (No word on whether that classification includes scenes of Wookiees eating porgs.)
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That’s right around the two-and-a-half-hour mark that director Rian Johnson warned us to expect earlier this month. It’s also significantly longer than any other Star Wars film.
Here’s how its predecessors’ run times stack up — starting with the previous longest Star War, 2002’s interminable Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
1. Attack of the Clones: 142 minutes
2. Revenge of the Sith: 140 minutes
3. The Force Awakens: 135 minutes
4 & 5. The Phantom Menace and Rogue One: both 133 minutes
6. Return of the Jedi: 132 minutes
7. The Empire Strikes Back: 124 minutes
8. Star Wars, a.k.a. A New Hope: 121 minutes
That’s right — Rian Johnson’s first take on the old Jedi story runs a full half hour longer than George Lucas’ original. It’s also Johnson’s longest movie by far; his previous blockbuster Looper was a relatively anemic 119 minutes.
The Last Jedi will also be longer than any movie in the Disney-Marvel universe. Its nearest competitor there is Captain America: Civil War, which runs a mere 146 minutes. (Avengers: Infinity War could yet live up to its name and top them all in runtime when it releases in May.)
There are other superhero movies that run longer than The Last Jedi, most of them in the troubled DC universe (Zack Snyder’s Watchmen clocked in at 162 minutes, while Christopher Nolan’s trilogy-capping The Dark Knight Rises still holds the all-time is-it-over-yet record at 164 minutes).
So is this a good or a bad sign for the latest entry in the Star Wars canon? Will The Last Jedi actually feel that long, or will we be looking at our watches with surprise when we file out of the theaters?
Well, Lucasfilm and Disney tend to provide a firmer hand on the tiller than Warner Bros. does with DC movies. We have no doubt that if Lucasfilm boss Kathy Kennedy felt 151 minutes was too much for the material at hand, she would have ordered cuts — just as Rogue One was drastically re-edited last year.
But there’s no indication that Kennedy is anything less than ecstatic about what Rian Johnson has done; indeed, having viewed his efforts, she promptly ordered up a whole new (and still mysterious) Star Wars trilogy from the director.
It’s also entirely possible that Carrie Fisher’s untimely death after wrapping her scenes last December affected the runtime. Given that this is absolutely, definitively Princess Leia Organa’s last appearance in a live-action movie, Carrie’s space brethren may have wanted to stretch out her scenes as long as possible.
One thing’s for sure: some of us are going to need to take Force-filled pee breaks at some point during The Last Jedi. But don’t worry — just as we did for the 164-minute Blade Runner 2049, we’ll have you covered on an appropriate mid-movie moment to exit the theater before The Last Jedi releases on December 15.