If I started typing out what I liked and disliked about the movie, my list would look almost identical to @Jango’s list. What I will reiterate though is this, the entire casino section was bad. Like prequel bad. Benicio’s character was trash and did NOT need a stutter to make him even more annoying. The CGI was out-of-place and I was just waiting for Finn and Rose to start talking about how they hate sand. But that scene can’t be removed because it ties directly into the final scene with the kid and the broom. Ugh.
But, to offset that garbage, this movie has probably my favorite scene in any Star Wars movie ever: When Kylo ignites the saber through Snoke and then force pulls it through his torso, and the slow motion of Kylo and Rey turning to face the Royal Guard is so stinking good. The opening battle—great! The final scene with Luke vs the entire First Order—also great. Yoda—awesome! Luke dying… I’ll have to get over that.
I think the problem people have with this movie is that it’s not a bad movie by any means, it’s just not the movie they built up in their own heads. The old books where Luke was a god, expectations about Rey’s family or Snoke’s history or other things that didn’t fully materialize here does not make this a bad Star Wars movie. It isn’t the movie I was expecting either, but it was somehow still a great Star Wars movie for me. And we have to imagine that many of these things will be addressed in the next movie. It is a trilogy after all.
To me, this movie needed to happen. The Force Awakens was the bridge from the original trilogy, so it needed to be similar. This movie needed to tear that down, so the new characters can take center stage and it needed a brand new look and feel to it. And the next movie will be what rises from the ashes after this movie burned everything old to the ground.
And if we are pointing out things we may have missed in either our first or second viewing or for me… both, here’s two more:
• Rey stole the old Jedi books, so they escaped the fire. They are shown in a scene at the end with Finn in the Falcon. I completely missed that.
My final score: A real disappointment it was not.