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GLT Culture Maven: 'The Last Jedi' Feels Like A Setup

LucasFilm via AP
Daisy Ridley as Rey in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

Shari Zeck, GLT's Culture Maven and Illinois State University's interim dean of Milner Library, came away from seeing the new "Star Wars" film with a strong impression. No worries, no spoilers.

"It's a little over two-and-a-half hours, and about two hours of that feels like a setup for the next movie," she said.

But is that a bad thing?

"It depends on what's going on in the next movie, I suppose," Zeck said with a grin.

"The Last Jedi" is loaded with great actors, and Zeck's take is that the script was crafted to give them a chance to shine.

"There was an interest in giving all these great actors and these great characters serious scenes to be actor-y," Zeck said.

"Star Wars was always marked by a philosophical underpinning," Zeck observed. "I remember being a teenager and yes, we thought lightsabers were cool. But what we really loved was the notion of the Force. That fit into our teenage m.o. of, 'Is there something bigger?' So that philosophical underpinning, which is what this film takes on in particular, has always been there. And I think it's more the desire to get at that essential philosophic basis of the 'Star Wars' world that motivates all this time spent building."

"And it's always been a character-driven series. And now there's a host of new folks. Now they need to give us some time to like them a little bit more, to be interested in their trajectory as characters."

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.