I love SW and I go into the film with as little expectations as possible. They are fun kid’s movies and were a huge impact on my childhood. Disney, EU, it’s all (mostly) good.
I was happy to enter this spoiler free which was good as I enjoyed the twists more. Unfortunately, personal circumstances ruined my mood going in. I will see it again and hopefully I will enjoy it more.
This is the first movie I don’t want to rush back into and see again. I don’t see myself watching it more than a couple of times and when I do it will be because I’m watching all 3 movies. I can watch TFA just for fun. I also didn’t see any environments where I’d want to make a diorama of. Perhaps a SD interior just so I have a place to display my FO Troopers.
It had some good moments and some really funny parts. It also had a lot of (to me) not SW moments and nearly everyone was underutilized.
When I saw the ESB scroll at the beginning, I was thrown out of the story. Fortunately, John Williams brought me back a few seconds later. This was a trend for me, I’d detach from the movie for a moment and then something brought me back. This happened to me more than any other SW movie (not including Ep II-III or the SWHS but including the Ewok movies).
I didn’t really feel like there was a story, more like a series of action sequences layered with motifs.
Poe was funny, but not SW funny. His humor was contemporary and will date the movie. He had one of the more useful story arcs and showed growth. He went from being a fighter to a leader. His exchange with Hux took me out of the movie, despite being funny.
I liked Rose. She was real to me. In a mostly cynical movie, she had the most heart. I didn’t care for her final speech though (but loved them moments leading up to it.)
Finn was good but didn’t really do much (different from TFA) until the end.
Carrie was heartbreaking. I need to come to terms with this being her last movie. They did her “death” really well. I believed they took her out that way. It would have been a good moment for Ren’s character development if she had died there. I’ve heard some people say she was “Mary Poppins” there, but that wasn’t what I saw. We’ve seen that moment in countless movies where a character is drowning in an ocean and then starts to swim towards the light. This was fantasy so the Science involved doesn’t really matter. It was still a cliché though.
Chewie and C-3P0 were useless. Anyone could have done their parts and it wouldn’t have been any less interesting.
BB8 was a total Mary Sue, and while the drunk putting coins in him was funny, the machine gun function later on was totally dumb and unrealistic. BBH8 seemed to exist only as a foil. Headless-Chicken walker pilot? Ruined the moment. BB8 says the line, "I've got a bad feeling about this", so the movie actually had it.
Captain Phasma? Could have been anyone really. She was just there to finish off Fin’s story arc, and they really made a continuity error with her “cool” second entrance of the room she was already in. This error of doing something “cinematic” despite the illogic of it happens a lot in this movie (and new movies in general). The bit about seeing her eye was also a cool moment that doesn’t improve the greater story.
The Porgs were adorable. I don’t see them as an extension of “the Vegan agenda” but rather the punchline of a joke. Since ESB, SW has been about merchandizing so I won’t begrudge them about that. I’d like to apologize to anyone who felt I spoiled the dinner scene with my Chewie diorama. I didn’t know he would actually eat a Porg and wouldn’t have posted it before the movie came out.
Hux was a cardboard prop.
Snoke wasn’t explained, but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It is a big galaxy.
I would have done Luke differently, but I didn’t hate how he was portrayed. Was it just me, or did it look like something (shadows) was moving towards him from the sun, just before it went binary?
Yoda was OK, but didn’t look like Yoda.
John Williams was good but uninspired. Nothing new and spectacular. It looked like he shared credit on it in the end titles. I hope he does the last chapter, but won’t be too disappointed if he doesn’t.
Laura Dern should have been replaced with Ackbar. We were invested his character. She was nobody. Also, how could Holdo lightspeed through every FO Ship? One I can believe, but all of them? This was the Star Killer ray breaking up to kill multiple planets all over again.
I don’t care for Adam Driver, although he did Kylo well. I like the conflictedness of his character. The shirtless joke also took me out of the movie (again, funny but not my SW).
Rey didn’t really do much. Her jump into the dark cave was a huge disappointment. Luke killed himself whereas she looked into a mirror.
I was looking forward to the Casino scene the most. Alien bars/hangouts are the things I love most about SW. Great things happen there. Pivotal things. Nothing happened this time except action.
I liked the force wielding stable boy in the end though.
R2 had one important task but was otherwise useless in the film. That was disappointing since R2 has the most heart from the remaining characters. Or rather, he should. He felt more like a astromech droid than R2 D2.
With regards to Grecian Formula for Men Luke and Phat Yoda. My take of psychic projections is they reveal your true self, not your physical self. The face I see in the mirror sometimes surprises me. It isn't like my minds-eye perception of myself.
Yoda was old and dying and Luke was broken so their physical bodies looked worse than their unfettered souls.
I also like that they planted the seed of the submerged Xwing but didn't use it!
I hope a second viewing changes my perspective but I suspect that this will always be (for me) a lesser SW movie.