The Force Awakens runtime

Yesterday there were plenty of huge Star Wars updates from Disney’s D23 Expo 2015 in Anaheim. Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow was confirmed to direct Star Wars: Episode IX; the first look at Star Wars: Rogue One was revealed along with the official primary cast; and a whole Star Wars section was confirmed to be on the way for Disney theme parks.

But one little tidbit that went somewhat under the radar in all that craziness was for Disney’s first big screen venture into a galaxy far, far away. The big reveal for Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday was a D23 exclusive poster illustrated by renowned artist Drew Struzan, but director J.J. Abrams also announced something else: The Force Awakens runtime.

According to Abrams, the current cut of the movie clocks in at around 124 minutes. That likely won’t be the final cut length since they’re still working on the edit, but it certainly won’t be drastically shorter or longer.

Coming in around two hours is a solid length for the movie, especially at a time when some blockbusters begin to overstay their welcome a bit as they get closer to two and a half hours in runtime. And when we look at the length of all six of the previous Star Wars movies, it’s about the same time as the first two movies in the original trilogy. Here’s the runtimes for all six movies in the Star Wars saga:

  • A New Hope – 121 minutes
  • The Empire Strikes Back – 124 minutes
  • Return of the Jedi – 131 minutes
  • The Phantom Menace – 133 minutes
  • Attack of the Clones – 142 minutes
  • Revenge of the Sith – 140 minutes

As you can see, the prequels were longer than two hours, and you can feel their length a bit in the middle of both the latter prequels, and there’s plenty of boring stuff in the shorter The Phantom Menace too. But the original Star Wars was almost exactly two hours, and The Empire Strikes Back is actually the exact length as the current cut of The Force Awakens.

Of course, a runtime isn’t an indication of quality, but it’s good to see this won’t be an overlong sequel. We just hope those two hours are packed with enough good story, action and everything about the Star Wars movies we love to make it time well spent.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18th.

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