UPDATE: It’s been reported that the review embargo on Star Wars: The Last Jedi lifts on December 12 at 12pm EST/9am PST. There is no social media embargo, so expect the first reactions to hit online after the world premiere on Saturday.
The review embargo for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is December 12 at 12:00pm EST.
— The Film Stage 📽 (@TheFilmStage) November 29, 2017
As the release date for Star Wars: The Last Jedi draws near, we’re taking a look at when the first reviews will be making their way online. And based on the information available, fans should expect to see the film’s review embargo lifted on or around Tuesday, December 12th.
After a seemingly eternal wait, Episode 8 is now less than two weeks away from making its theatrical debut. The next chapter in the Star Wars saga is as highly anticipated as ever, and it’s set to bring in a massive $200+ million at the box office in its opening weekend. Disney and Lucasfilm are clearly very confident in what director Rian Johnson has brought to the table, as they recently gave him the green light to create a Star Wars trilogy of his own. By all indications, The Last Jedi will be awesome, but fans are still itching to learn just how awesome it will be. Disney has not yet given official word on when they plan to lift the review embargo on the film, but if recent history is any indication, fans won’t have to wait much longer.
The most reliable indicator of The Last Jedi’s embargo lift date are those of the most recent Star Wars films to hit the big screen, of course, and each of the last two releases held out pretty late by industry standards. The embargo for The Force Awakens lifted on Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 at 3am EST, less than two days before the movie hit theaters that Thursday evening. The embargo for Rogue One wasn’t quite as last minute, lifting 10 hours earlier at 5pm EST on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 — or just over two days before those Thursday shows. (Keep in mind that these late embargo lifts have more to do with Disney worrying about spoilers getting out than any concern over the quality of the movie.) Based on those two films, fans should expect to see the first official reviews for The Last Jedi break somewhere between Tuesday, December 12th at 5pm EST and Wednesday, December 13th, at 3:01am EST.
Again, this is an educated guess, since Disney isn’t exactly consistent with their embargo lift dates when it comes to their non-Star Wars releases. Earlier this year, they allowed the critics to roll out their reviews for Beauty and the Beast nearly two weeks before its March 16th premiere, and the first reviews for Thor: Ragnarok were actually allowed to drop over two weeks before its debut. Embargo dates for Cars 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, meanwhile, were each held until 3 days before their respective premieres. Still, it makes sense for Disney and Lucasfilm to stick to the script that earned them $2 billion worldwide in 2015 (a number they won’t likely match this time around) and another $1 billion in 2016. Fans aren’t usually too thrilled with late review embargoes, but they’ll deal with it if it means they can dodge spoilers more easily.
It’s important to note that fan reviews will surely drop much sooner than our speculated critic embargo date. TLJ makes its big Los Angeles premiere on December 8th, and there will likely be a special fan screening or two before that — meaning that we’ll see a wave of posts on social media several days before the (probable) December 12th or 13th embargo. We wouldn’t advice putting too much stock in those, though. Remember, the initial fan reviews for Justice League were glowing.
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