Just one year after Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke a multitude of box office records, moviegoers will get to return to the galaxy far, far away in this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first live-action spinoff film in what will most likely be a long line of many, Rogue One is set prior to the events of the seminal A New Hope, detailing the Rebel Alliance’s dangerous mission to steal the original Death Star plans. It introduces fans to a bevy of new characters, such as Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and the intimidating Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn).
Lucasfilm has put together a nice marketing campaign for the film, with the most recent trailer earning raves across the board. Despite lingering concerns about the highly-publicized reshoots, anticipation for Rogue One remains high, in large part thanks to director Gareth Edwards’ vision of a gritty war drama in space. Several moviegoers already know that they’re going to make the trip to the theater when it opens in a couple of months, but how much time are they going to have to set aside? The answer to that query may have just been revealed.
Event Cinemas‘ listing of Rogue One on their website says that the movie runs for 133 minutes, which is 2 hours, 13 minutes. That is slightly shorter than The Force Awakens, which came in at 138 minutes. Though this isn’t official confirmation from Disney or Lucasfilm, it’s reasonable to assume that this report is accurate. Most Star Wars films fall into this range, and it’s unlikely the studio would want to mix up that formula too much for a project that’s already a bit of an experiment.
Viewers have become accustomed to Hollywood tentpoles that run in excess of 2.5 hours, but this should be plenty of time for Rogue One to accomplish all it needs to. Arguably, The Force Awakens had much more on its plate and was only five minutes longer. Based on the trailers, the crux of the narrative seems to be Jyn’s relationship with her father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen), but with more than two hours with which to work, the film will most likely be able to flesh out its supporting characters so each one is memorable. Maz Kanata had a brief role in Episode VII and still made a sizable impression. As long as Edwards made efficient use of his time, there won’t be many problems. Hopefully poor pacing will not be an issue, since Star Wars movies are known for their great editing.
The one question that looms over Rogue One is how many of those 133 minutes will feature Darth Vader. The iconic Sith Lord is returning to the big screen in the spinoff, a fact that has excited many. However, viewers shouldn’t expect to see too much of the villain. While Vader has been featured in marketing, it’s been the tiniest of glimpses just to let people know he’s in the film. Chances are, his Rogue One role is similar to his appearances in season two of Star Wars Rebels, where he had impactful moments in a few episodes, yet didn’t have a huge presence overall. The good news is that most of the new material in Rogue One is what’s sucked audiences in, so minimal Vader may be for the best.