Roger Ebert Fellows Ponder ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Three students in a radio studio

The 2017-2018 Roger Ebert Fellows of the U of I College of Media recorded a “Star Wars” podcast after the first Chicago screening of “The Last Jedi.” Left to right: Madeline Galassi, Niani Scott and Tyler Panlilio.

Michael Phillips

The Force isn’t going away anytime soon. Since its Wednesday opening overseas, and Thursday evening North American premiere, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has sold more than $450 million in ticket sales. Its opening weekend North American box office take came in at an estimated $220 million, second only to “The Force Awakens” two years ago.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, “The Last Jedi” is the middle installment of the latest “Star Wars” trilogy. Following the first Chicago showing, the 2017-18 Roger Ebert Fellows, all from the University of Illinois College of Media, convened for an audio roundtable review (no spoilers!) at the studios of WBEZ-FM.

Working with Ebert fellowship director Michael Phillips, the film critic of the Chicago Tribune, the students—Madeline Galassi, Tyler Panlilio and Niani Scott—recorded the roundtable with “Filmspotting” podcast co-host and co-founder Adam Kempenaar. Here’s the skinny on the film.

Special thanks to Chicago Public Radio and to Adam Kempenaar of “Filmspotting,” the long-running film podcast heard midnight Fridays and Saturdays on WBEZ, 91.5 FM, as well as on

Story source: WILL