With filming on Star Wars: Episode IX now underway, we’re receiving more and more details about the movie that will close off the modern trilogy of the saga. Recently, we learned that a heap of legacy characters will be returning, including Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker and even General Leia, thanks to the use of pre-recorded deleted footage in place of the late Carrie Fisher.
What’s more, there are also lots of newcomers on board, too, like Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant, who could be bringing a fan favorite villain from the Expanded Universe to life. And let’s not forget leads like Rey, Finn and Poe, all of whom are expected to undergo some major developments. Not least Finn, who will be sporting a new hairstyle.
All in all, then, it looks like Episode IX will be packed to the rafters. So, it’s not really a surprise that rumors point to it being the longest entry in the Star Wars franchise to date. A specific runtime isn’t being tossed around as yet, but – according to MovieWeb – it’s apparently sizable enough for Lucasfilm to be considering splitting the installment in two.
This practice has gone out of favor in the past few years, after it was all the rage for a while following the Harry Potter franchise. That said, the studio might be looking at Marvel and how they produced Infinity War as the first part of a grand finale and are set to follow it up with Avengers 4. Both will no doubt make them an eye-watering amount of cash, too.
The difference is, though, is that the two Avengers movies were intended to tell two distinct, if strongly linked, stories. It could be somewhat unsatisfying if Episode IX is simply cut down the middle and released in two halves a year apart. However, maybe it would be the right move, instead of cutting down a single film to an unsatisfactory length for the story.
Regardless, there’s very little doubt that Star Wars: Episode IX will be the longest movie in the series to date, whether it’s split in two or not, so at the very least, we can look forward to one heck of a rollercoaster ride when it hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.