The rumored runtime for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has the film clocking in at 150 minutes, which would make it the longest installment in the franchise yet. Picking up right from where predecessor The Force Awakens left off, Episode VIII has plenty to unpack when it continues the famed saga this December. In addition to Rey continuing her journey by learning about the Force from Luke Skywalker, writer/director Rian Johnson is also doing a deep dive into the escalating conflict between the Resistance and First Order, and villain Kylo Ren could be completing his own training alongside Supreme Leader Snoke. Star Wars films are never scant for storylines, but The Last Jedi has a full plate as it deals with returning characters and introduces at least three new ones.
Because of all that's going on, some fans are probably wondering just how long The Last Jedi will be. In order for it to sufficiently cover its various plot points, it's reasonable to assume it would lean towards the longer end of the spectrum, and now we know that it could be the most epic Star Wars - in terms of runtime - released thus far.
A posting on ticket booking site CineWorld for Episode VIII mentions the film is 150 minutes, which is exactly 2.5 hours. This has not been confirmed by Lucasfilm, but if true, it means The Last Jedi will sport the longest running time of the nine live-action films. Attack of the Clones is currently the longest officially at 142 minutes. Both The Force Awakens and Rogue One were a little over two hours, coming in at 135 minutes and 133 minutes, respectively.
Again, this could change between now and December, but it would make a great deal of sense if The Last Jedi was a little longer than its predecessors. The narrative certainly warrants it - especially since this marks audiences' first (real) opportunity to see Luke in action since Return of the Jedi. While all of his backstory may not be revealed in the film, there's a lot of catching up to do in regards to the exiled Jedi Master. Additionally, Finn and Rose Tico are embarking on a secret mission for the Resistance, while the group tries to regroup on Crait under the leadership of General Leia. Very little has been revealed about the antagonists at this point in time in the marketing campaign, but considering Johnson had the most fun writing for Kylo Ren, chances are the First Order have some meaty developments of their own. It's nice to see Lucasfilm was willing to give Johnson the leeway to make a lengthy film, as it would be a shame if any of the story beats were underdeveloped. Hopefully, each element of the movie is given its due and the runtime (if true) doesn't come across as excessive and bloated.
As The Last Jedi prepares for its holiday box office run, it will be interesting to see how/if the protracted runtime impacts it from a commercial perspective. Obviously, a Star Wars movie is going to do fine at the box office, but a longer movie usually means fewer screenings each day. Theoretically, The Last Jedi could have trouble topping the jaw-dropping numbers posted by The Force Awakens in 2015, but odds are those figures are going to be out of reach for quite some time - even for films set in a galaxy far, far away. What matters most to Lucasfilm and the fans is that The Last Jedi is a worthwhile and exciting chapter in the saga that celebrates the property's 40th anniversary on a high note. All signs are pointing to a memorable experience.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019