‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Running Time Revealed

     November 13, 2015

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There is literally no such thing as too much Star Wars coverage, apparently. And because you asked for it, we’re bringing it to you. However, this most recent tidbit has nothing to do with the film’s story or characters, so the spoiler-averse can breathe easy. It’s actually a pretty fascinating bit of information, and one that folks have been wondering ever since cameras began rolling on Star Wars: The Force Awakens: How long is the movie?

Director/co-writer J.J. Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan have stressed in the past that one of their main goals when crafting The Force Awakens was brevity, and while the movie doesn’t run under two hours (this is still Star Wars after all), it’s thankfully not bloating up towards three hours.


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Image via Lucasfilm

According to the latest issue of EW (via /Film), Star Wars: The Force Awakens has a running time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. Abrams locked picture on the movie at midnight on November 3, 2015, meaning the editing process is complete. However, Abrams and Co. are spending the next few weeks finalizing the visual effects, sound effects, and have one last scoring session with composer John Williams before the film is finally and completely done.

2 hours and 15 minutes seems like the sweet spot to me. Since this is Star Wars, fans no doubt want as much story as possible, but the film is also meant to entertain, and at this brisk runtime (well, brisk for a modern day blockbuster that is), audiences will hopefully be left hungry for more without feeling like this meal was draining.

And while we’re on the subject, this week’s issue of EW also has a fascinating quote from Kasdan about the evolution of the script. You may remember that when Disney bought Lucasfilm, Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Ardnt had already drawn up an outline with George Lucas and worked for a year on the Episode VII script under Abrams’ direction. However, after that year, Abrams took over writing duties with Kasdan at his side, moving Arndt off the project. At the time they cited the “accelerated timeline” as the reason for replacing Arndt as screenwriter, but according to Kasdan, they essentially started all over with the script once Arndt left:

“We started from scratch, it was getting a little critical. We had so little time that you can’t allow yourself to get stuck, you just keep moving forward all the time.”

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Image via Lucasfilm

Arndt is still a full credited screenwriter on the film so I’m dubious of this “started from scratch” claim, but reports that surfaced after his exit claimed that he wanted to move the story into the direction of the new generation, while Abrams was fond of making the Original Trilogy cast members a central piece of Episode VII’s story. Judging by how folks have responded to the marketing at least, bringing Harrison Ford back as Han Solo in a lead role certainly seems to have gotten people excited.


For more on Star Wars, peruse our recent links below:

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Image via Lucasfilm

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