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We are just under a month away until Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released and even sooner if you are lucky to see it at an exclusive press screening or the premiere (not like I’m jealous of those people…). Clearly, speculation has been rife about various aspects of this film whether it is the mystery surrounding Supreme Leader Snoke, Rey’s parentage and, obviously, the role of the Porgs in bringing down the First Order.
Still, it seems like with any major film coming out nowadays, the running time is a major issue for film fans. Indeed, just look at the uproar that took place once people found out that Justice League was a mere two hours long (I know, shocking). Well, it was recently announced by Rian Johnson, writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, that this highly anticipated Star Wars film would be two hours and thirty minutes long. This makes Star Wars: The Last Jedi the longest Star Wars film ever released to the big screen.
How Does This Compare to Previous Star Wars Films?
To understand how interesting this is, we have to remember that, when the films in the Original Trilogy of Star Wars were theatrically released (before being ruined by the Special Editions), they were around the two-hour mark in length. Even films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story did not get above two hours and twenty minutes long. Only Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (an abomination) has that “achievement”.
My Thoughts on The Length of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I am more excited than nervous about this news. For me, the run-time of a film has never been a problem and I regard pacing as a bigger issue than length when it comes to how easily someone can become bored or disengaged with a film. Certainly, films such as Braveheart and The Wolf of Wall Street are close to three hours long but, because the pacing is brilliant in those films, the time flies by.
If Star Wars: The Last Jedi has great pacing and no unnecessary scenes, then the length will not be an issue. In fact, because of the multiple story-lines that will take place, it is probably a good sign that the film is this long as it will allow things to be fleshed out rather than rushed. Certainly, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) will be on their separate adventure, The Resistance led by Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and spearheaded by Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) will be fighting the First Order.
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) will have his own trials to undertake in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the film has to take time to focus on the recovery of Finn (John Boyega) and introduce new characters such as Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) and an unnamed character referred to by Rian Johnson as DJ (Benicio Del Toro).
Undoubtedly, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has a lot to continue from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and also a lot to establish in order to lay the foundations for Star Wars: Episode IX which is set for release in 2019. It makes sense that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is as long as it is and at it allows plenty of time for Rian Johnson to tell his story. We will see in December what the running time means for the story and its significance in hopefully making Star Wars: The Last Jedi a fantastic film and another hit for Lucasfilm.
You can also find my other articles here at Soapbox as well as my reviews which you can also find at theturnertalks.com.