So, after another sabbatical from this forum I'm back and have formed my opinion of TLJ...well, at least 95% formed. Could be a long read, so if you're still reading at the end, thanks!
So JJ Abrams left us with many unanswered questions (as any good intro to a trilogy should do) and what did Rian Johnson do with most of them? He handled them exactly as Luke handled his old light saber when Rey handed it to him. Chucked over the shoulder without so much as a second thought.
Now, to expound on this...
So what we have here is basically a 2.5 hour car chase scene in space....at 15 mph. Much akin to the steamroller scene in Austin Powers IMOM. And mixed in with that painfully dull setting was Rey learning absolutely nothing about the force she didn't already figure out, and 30 minutes of wasted time on Canto Bight that, if removed, would have zero impact on the outcome.
Sooooo many plot holes...
1. Adm. Holdo withholding the Resistance's escape plan from Poe Dameron. WHY? In what farcical world would a leader keep that information secret when their very lives depended on everyone working together to escape the FO? I've been in the military for 22+ years...many of those working in small operational units. There's one thing we all know...you don't play "I've got a secret" because "I've got a secret" gets people killed.
2. DJ, how in the Same Hades did he know the resistance was using cloaking technology? Rose and Finn didn't know...so how did he find out...and why did he need anything from Rose and Finn if he already had the means to escape Canto Bight, the knowledge of Resistance Plans, and the ability to sell that knowledge for financial gain?
3. Adm. Holdo take 2. If she knew that flying a starship into another starship at lightspeed would disable it...why didn't they do that with the first two ships that ran out of fuel?
4. First Order, so for 2.5 hours not one flipping Admiral or even a deckhand thought of "why don't we have a couple Star Destroyers lightspeed jump in front of the resistance and cut them off?
5. Luke...why didn't he just pull his X-wing out of the water, put the panel back on and fly to Crait? Secondly, if he was an astral projection, with no physical presence...how was Leia and subsequently Kylo able to hold the MF dice?
6. Why is Finn even a character? He's completely useless to the story...should've let him commit suicide on Crait...along with Rose who is also a wasted character. Neither of them did anything remotely significant to the story in TLJ.
7. Leia...if she's so strong in the force to Mary Poppins her almost dead body back into the ship...why the xxx couldn't she lift the rocks on Crait herself to allow an escape?
8. Snoke...if he's so powerful in the dark side and already knew Kylo was weak...how could he not sense Kylo's impending betrayal?
Phasma....wasted character. She went out like Boba Fett. Complete waste of such good potential for a storyline.
Finn/Rose love story...this is so on the nose it's not even funny. We're supposed to believe they fall for each other because she's a social justice warrior and he's finally picked a side?
Kylo Ren....I still have no feeling that his motivation is apparent or if he even knows what he's doing.
Luke...Mark Hammil said it himself...I fundamentally disagree with everything Rian did to that character.
Chewbacca...where's his mean streak...they castrated him when he felt guilty for almost eating a Porg. Bring back the big furry oaf that rips people's arms off.
Armitage Hux...seriously? How did this guy become a General? He's a pathetic man-child who was competing against Kylo Ren for Snoke's love.
Ok, enough of the complaint-fest. Here's where the movie shines.
Rey is having to decide for herself where she fits in the galaxy, and she's taking ownership of that. The obvious SJW nonsense aside, the underlying theme of "anyone can be someone" is consistent with the SW universe (Anakin was a nobody, Luke was a nobody until we found out who daddy was) Kylo Ren has removed his only obstacle to being what he thinks he's meant to be (except for Rey). It's up to him now as well to decide where his goes.
Yep, my Cons list is longer than my Pro list. As far as SW is concerned, it was a colossal mess. As a movie, it was good/great....4 of 5. The visual spectacle, the use silent moments when the Raddus smashed through Snoke's ship, the grand scale of open scenes...all beautifully made.
And at the end...what I'm left with is...What is there to bring me back to see Ep IX? I honestly feel like I have no imputus to see the final act. And that's the worst part. All I can see is when Disney bought the SWU it became about money, and not story-telling...and those of us who grew up loving this franchise are being snuffed out...as Kylo Ren said.