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Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) from HISTORY’s “Vikings.” The mid-season five return will premiere on Wed. November 28 at 9PM ET/PT.

WIRE Buzz: Vikings reveals final season opening; Abrams corrects Star Wars runtime; more

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Nov 25, 2019, 3:22 PM EST

As Vikings heads into its final season, fans of Michael Hirst’s History Channel epic are ready for visions to be fulfilled and for heroes to rise as war rages on in its tumultuous world. The sixth season will be divided in two: 10 episodes starting on Dec. 4, then 10 episodes sometime next year. For those wanting a sneak peek at the two-hour, extra-packed premiere coming their way in a week, Vikings released the opening two minutes of the final season’s first episode.

Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh) traverses many seasons and many locales along the Silk Road during the opening montage of the premiere.

Take a look:

We’re not in Kattegat anymore. The series’ final season will also see star Katheryn Winnick head behind the camera for her first director gig on the show, while Danila Kozlovsky will join the cast as Varangian ruler Oleg.

The war continues when Vikings returns on Dec. 4, and continues even further down the line with the newly announced Netflix sequel Vikings: Valhalla, which takes place 100 years after the first series.

Next, a piece of Star Wars minutiae that might help those planning to see the film multiple times in theaters. The end of the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, has had its runtime clarified by someone who would know best: J.J. Abrams.

Speaking on SiriusXM, the writer/director clarified that the film would be a few minutes shorter than previously reported.

Listen here:

So 2h 21m, down from the initial number of 2h 35m. That makes the film shorter than the 2h 31m Star Wars: The Last Jedi (the longest film in the franchise) and places it exactly between the lengths of the prequels Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Speaking of the prequels, Abrams also explained that one of the things that disappointed him about the first three films (especially the first, The Phantom Menace) was the death of a new character that, he felt, was a bit premature:

Abrams loves Darth Maul. And, extended universe and a few recent cameos aside, he wanted more Maul on the big screen. Sadly, it seems unlikely that the character will return alongside the Emperor in The Rise of Skywalker.

Fans will get a chance to see what all Abrams packed into the film when it hits theaters on Dec. 20.

Finally, the showrunner of What We Do in the Shadows has a new, non-vampiric comedy coming to FX — and it’s starting to cast its sci-fi show.

Variety reports that TV veteran Paul Simms has a new comedy pilot about “a widespread technological crisis” coming to FX, and that it’s cast Ari Graynor (The Disaster Artist) and Chris Messina (Birds of Prey). The pair will play Rachel and Hunt, the respective mother and father of a surviving family.

Jonathan Krisel (Ghosted) will direct the pilot from Simms’ script.

No word on when the untitled pilot will head to production.