As it stood before today, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was expected to clock in at 2 hours and 35 minutes, making it the longest film in the franchise. Now, thanks to insight from co-writer and director J.J. Abrams himself, a new runtime is on the books, and it’s shorter than previously reported. Good news to those of you who were struggling to work the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga into your busy holiday schedules because you just gained 15 minutes of bonus time.
As EW reports, in an upcoming podcast episode of EWLive on SiriusXM 109 hosted by Dalton Ross, Abrams confirmed that the new official runtime is 2 hours and 21 minutes, give or take a minute on either side of that total. That’s about 15 minutes shorter than the previous tally. But there’s good reason for that. Abrams also just told Good Morning America that the ninth and closing chapter of the saga just got finalized this past weekend. The final post-production by the Skywalker team now firms up the running time, so expect to spend almost two-and-a-half hours in the theater this December 20th to see how it all comes to a close.
Here’s what Abrams had to say about the post-production process
“This happened last time as well. You see something and you think that could be a little clearer, a little better and if you have the ability to fix the piece, you take advantage of that.”
It’s unclear whether “last time” refers to Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, on which Abrams was an executive producer, or the “last time” Abrams headed up an installment in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Either way, the film is finished and headed to theaters to boost the box office his holiday season. Listen to more from Abrams on the EW podcast, posting the afternoon of Thursday, December 5th.