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The Rise Of Skywalker Is The Longest Star Wars Movie Yet

Star Wars is taking its longest journey to date with The Rise of Skywalker.

According to AMC Theaters and Fandango, the upcoming film will run for a whopping 2 hours and 35 minutes (or 155 minutes), marking the longest chapter in all three of the Star Wars trilogies.

The original three films — A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi — kicked off one of the biggest pop culture phenomena in cinematic history after the first movie premiered in 1977, with each film averaging a comfortable two-hour run time. A New Hope ran for 121 minutes, The Empire Strikes Back clocked in at 124 minutes, and Return of the Jedi was 131 minutes long.

Years later, when Star Wars returned in 1999 with the prequel trilogy (which most fans prefer to pretend never happened), the ensuing three films The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith also averaged two-hour run times — 136, 142, and 140 minutes, respectively. 

The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, the seventh and eighth episodes of the Star Wars franchise that have built to The Rise of Skywalker, pushed the envelope as far as run time is concerned. Directed by J.J. Abrams, The Force Awakens was just over two hours long (138 minutes), while writer-director Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi ran for an unprecedented 2 hours and 32 minutes (152 minutes), paving the way for The Rise of Skywalker's record-breaking run.

Star Wars' swan song

It actually makes perfect sense that the final Star Wars film in the Skywalker saga (the movies centered around the characters from the original trilogy) would earn the longest run time in the main series. After spending decades in this beloved universe, longtime fans and new converts alike will finally get some closure on Star Wars' central story.

The final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker dropped on October 21 (if you're curious about the significance of that date, it's the late Carrie Fisher's birthday) and revealed some tantalizing new details — including a first look at a climactic battle between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), as well as a brief glimpse of the remaining footage of Fisher, who will still appear as General Leia Organa even after her tragic and untimely passing in December of 2016.

Alongside Ridley, Driver, and Fisher, plenty of other characters will return in The Rise of Skywalker – like John Boyega's Finn, Oscar Isaac's Poe, and Kelly Marie Tran's Rose. These familiar faces will be flanked by new characters played by accomplished actors like Keri Russell (as the mysterious Zorri Bliss), as well as by veterans of the original trilogy such as Billy Dee Williams (as Lando Calrissian), Ian McDirmid (as Emperor Palpatine), and Anthony Williams (as C-3PO).

As anticipation builds and fans purchase their tickets in droves, it's likely helpful to know that The Rise of Skywalker will be Star Wars' longest story, as the film will probably need every second of its run time to provide satisfying conclusions to one of pop culture's most famous sagas. 

The Rise of Skywalker will soar into theaters on December 20, with early screenings on December 19.