The events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi are a mixture of Rey’s training with Luke on Ahch-To and the First Order’s pursuit of the Resistance’s fleet, with a short jaunt to Canto Bight added in for good measure (or bad measure, opinions on the subplot do vary). And while the merits of these plots have certainly received their fair share of criticism, it’s the timeline of events which often comes under the most scrutiny.
The Last Jedi’s timeline seemingly suggests that the film’s story takes place over a couple days, but when considering just how much happens in the film, this seems like too little time for such a massive story. The confusion stems from the fact that the film provides a clearly defined timeline for some plots while keeping others more vague. For example, the fleeing Resistance ships are said to have only 18 hours of fuel remaining by the time Finn and Rose leave for Canto Bight, and when they return, only six hours remain; this clocks the Canto Bight adventure in at 12 hours. Meanwhile, these scenes are inter-cut with Luke’s training of Rey, creating an assumption that the two plots are happening over roughly the same amount of time – a ludicrous suggestion given just how much happens on Ahch-To.
The Last Jedi is certainly not the first film (or even the first Star Wars film) to fudge with its timeline for the sake of building tension or combining characters’ arcs for a bigger climax, but with the film already coming under fire from fans, picking apart the improbability of The Last Jedi‘s timeline becomes an easy target. However, though the film may have done a poor job at communicating the actual length of time for each of its plots, The Last Jedi novelization clears up this confusion by providing more detail about the story’s sequence of events.
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