If length is any measure of quality in the Star Wars universe, then The Force Awakens is right on par with fan-favorite The Empire Strikes Back.
At the D23 Expo in Anaheim on Saturday, director J.J. Abrams announced to the crowd that his current cut of Episode VII is 124 minutes long, and although editing will be ongoing for a while yet, he doesn't expect the runtime to change very much from that number.
It appears to be an unspoken rule-of-thumb that the shorter a Star Wars movie is, the better. Case in point: the three films from the beloved original trilogy clock in at shorter than all three of the prequels. A New Hope is the shortest of the six, at 121 minutes. It's followed by Empire Strikes Back at 124 minutes, and Return of the Jedi at 131 minutes.
Lucas began stretching his movies a little longer with the prequels. The Phantom Menace is 133 minutes long. Attack of the Clones is the longest Star Wars film ever, at 142 minutes, with Revenge of the Sith coming in just two minutes under, aka 140 minutes.
The plot of The Force Awakens is being kept under tight wraps, but it's known to involve the discovery of Luke Skywalker's first lightsaber (the one he lost at Cloud City when his hand got chopped off by dear old dad). There's also the defection of a Stormtrooper named Finn (John Boyega) from the First Order (the Empire remnant) to the Resistance (what the Rebels call themselves now). And don't forget the mysterious young woman named Rey (Daisy Ridley) living on a desert planet who may or may not be the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia (she totally is). Plus, we get a Sith-y bad guy, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who's obsessed with Darth Vader for personal reasons. And Han, Leia, and Luke are all in it, too, along with a slew of others.
When you're sitting in your seat on the evening of December 18, 2015, the lights go down and the trailers end, know that these characters and their stories will unfold over about two hours and four minutes.