Yarrr! Thar be spoilers here! Avast if ye have no seen the movie yet! Avast, aye! Arrr!
Not sure why I thought pirate speech was a good idea, but what the heck.
- It looks great. I saw is in magical 2D and was very happy.
- It sounds great. Unlike my recent trips to IMAX theaters to see "Blade Runner 2049" and "Dunkirk," I did not leave the theater with ringing ears.
- There are some riveting scenes, especially the one where the Dreadnought and a hefty chunk of the First Order fleet is destroyed by the suicide run of Admiral Laura Dern. That was friggin' awesome, but it raises a question that catapults this event into the Very Bad category (see below).
- I enjoyed Benicio del Toro's evil turn, even if his sudden replacement of the one guy in the whole galaxy who was supposedly capable of picking the locks on the Dreadnought was one coincidence too many.
- Rey. Still turned in a terrific (if excessively tearful) performance.
- BB-8. The little droid who kicked ass, even if it's not entirely clear how he managed to climb a ladder into a mini ATAT to mow down the storm troopers with blaster fire. (And this event, like the lightspeed suicide run, raises another question which makes it veer into the Very Bad category (see below)).
- Luke's disillusionment. I loved seeing him nonchalantly toss Rey's proffered light saber over his shoulder. He really screwed the pooch with Kylo-Ben.
- Luke's survival of Kylo-Ben's order to blast the smithereens out of him with every gun available. Also Hux's only funny comment in the movie: "Do you think you got him?" And Luke's expression when he emerges from the cloud of smoke and windborne salt. That's the Luke we came to see. And yet, this whole scene is massively undercut by yet another inconsistency that undermines everything we thought we knew about the undead Jedi like Yoda and Ben Kenobi (see below).
- I enjoyed seeing Snoke get snookered by Kylo-Ben. I also enjoyed the battle with the Red Guards, who in the other movies just seemed to stand around and look ominous. Now Kylo-Ben is the Big Bad. Fine. Some people have problems with this. Me, not so much. I thought it was a nice surprise.
- I laughed at Poe Dameron's phone-tag stalling tactics with General Hux. "Can he hear me?" It's too much of an allusion to 21st century Earthly technical problems, really, but it's amusing.
- It's very long. Way too long. Maybe an hour too long.
- The relationship between Rose and Finn is ridiculous.
- The side trip to the Las Vegas planet was thoroughly unnecessary and struck me as another sop to little kids in the audience. "See the space horsies go, mama! See them go!" Uck. Avoid this drivel and leave the rugrats at home if they don't like it.
- Dhomnail Gleeson's scene-chewing turn as bad guy General Hux. They might as well have glued Snidely Whiplash mustachios on him.
- Poe Dameron gets away with massive insubordination. I'd have slapped his ass in irons and thrown him into the brig forthwith.
- Have I mentioned how long it is? Hire an editor, Disney.
The Very Bad:
- As soon as you leave the theater and your mind kicks back in, the plot holes gape wide enough to drive a Death Star through. Or even a Starkiller Base.
- Who in God's name would build a bomber that's so lumbering and slow? And why have a bomber in space, anyway? There's no gravity in space! There's no force to cause the bombs to drop out onto an enemy ship! Missiles, idiots! USE MISSILES!
- The horsies on the Las Vegas planet. They're bad enough that I felt compelled to bring them up again.
- If they can wreck a Dreadnought with the lightspeed suicide run of a relatively tiny vessel, why don't they just build a fleet of suicide ships to take out the First Order instead of ineffectually firing blasters at them? The cost/benefit ratio is INSANE! Clearly shields are of no use.
- Following up on the above, if BB-8 can drive a mini-ATAT and shoot stormtroopers with blasters, why can't they just leave a droid (preferably C-3PO) on the rebel flagship instead of sacrificing Laura Dern, who was built up as this great strategic asset to the cause? This was super-super dumb.
- Luke's battle with Kylo-Ben was done through astral projection. I assume the effort to perform this task cost Luke his life, but who knows. It wasn't made clear. In any case, the drama of the confrontation is sabotaged by the fact that Luke was just an avatar of himself.
- Yoda sets fire to the Jedi Tree with a blast of lightning. And Yoda wasn't even alive. If dead Jedi can interact with the physical world, to such great effect, why don't they just kill themselves and beat the First Order from a position of invulnerability? They're already dead, right? Or moved on to whatever plane of existence they're on? Also, where the hell are Ben Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker these days? Why not helping out with the resistance?
- I could go on, but I think those criticisms are enough.
Thumbs marginally up.