This December, the final film of ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy will hit theaters… and it will be epic.

When it was first announced that Peter Jackson would be extending ‘The Hobbit’ from 2 to 3 films, many fans were dumb-founded as to what he could possibly do to lengthen a book that was only about 300 pages long. Jackson then divulged that some of the material used to expand ‘The Hobbit’ universe would come from the appendices of ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ Now we know that this extended portion of the third film, also known as ‘The Battle of the Five Armies,’ will include a massive and lengthy 45 minute battle.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jackson spoke a little about what it took to stage such a battle:

“There’s a lot of logistics that have to be thought through. We have dwarves and men and elves and orcs, all with different cultures, with different weapons, and different shields and patterns and tactics. Before we could loose the first arrow, we had to design the landscape itself and figure out, ‘Okay, if we have 10,000 orcs, how much room are they going to take up?’ ‘Are they going to fill up the valley or look like a speck?’ Then we could start drawing the arrows on the schematics.”

(Now this is where we’ll be getting into some spoiler territory so if you don’t want to know too much about the battle, then you may want to turn away now.)

To visually understand how immense this battle will be, here’s the schematics Jackson was talking about:

One thing that does stick out is that eagles will be involved in the fight. Unlike in ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ however, the eagles will not be the great saviors that fans have come to know (and lament about):

“Tolkien uses eagles in a way that can be kind of awkward because they tend to show up out of the blue and change things pretty quickly. So here, they’re just part of the plan, not the saviors. I mean, I do realize that if the eagles had just been able to bring Frodo to Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings and let him drop the ring in, those movies would have been much shorter.”

While the idea of a 45 minute on screen battle may seem daunting to sit through, Jackson does have a plan to combat “battle fatigue”:

“We have a rule that we’re not allowed to go more than two or three shots of anonymous people fighting without cutting back to our principal characters. “

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ is set for release on December 12th in the UK and December 17th in the US.