I’ve wrapped myself up in spoilers because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see the film due to personal reasons. So, I’m here to give my observational two cents. Not gospel, not even really a review. Just kinda what I’ve seen coming from different people.
It seems to largely be a movie that many people are split on. General fans are often found loving it, but I see a lot of complaints from really hardcore Star Wars fans, though of course there are exceptions. I think there is a valid point in the aforementioned statement that some fans hate whatever deviates from the original but whatever follows the original is labeled a rehash; it’s hard to find a middle ground when fans don’t allow one to exist.
However, from my readings, I see complaints about 3 different characters consistently; Snoke, Luke and Rose. I personally am not happy that they killed off Luke because I grew up with him. It sounds like he didn’t do much either, which is unfortunate. Obvious bias is obvious, putting it out there now. I applaud the effort of trying to subvert the OT by killing off the “evil old asshole” early on, but after so much buildup to have him killed off as he was is, in the short term, anticlimactic, but, in the long term, an interesting move. It’s anticlimactic because we were told Snoke could be even more powerful than Sidious and Vader. He (apparently) easily handled anyone who confronted him. And then he just dies in a sudden twist. There was a lot of mystery surrounding this character and a lot of potential, and unless they choose to expand on it later, now it is just…gone. But here’s where it gets interesting. Snoke is dead. What is Kylo gonna do now? He’s not a leader. He’s not a full fledged Sith. He even calls out to Rey pleasing for her to be with him, because she’s the only other person who might understand, and Rey leaves him, alone in the dark. I am curious to see how this will continue.
Rose. She gets her own paragraph. Everything I’ve read barring what I’ve read here has been a complaint about her. I’ve seen her called a “proper Mary Sue.” I’ve seen her called a complete waste of time. She says “don’t be a hero” but then she is the one who stays behind for the awesome light-speed Kamikaze? Seems inconsistent. And she’s a love interest, too? Odd. From what I’ve read, I agree with @SledgePainter and @Katt that it seems like she’s just there and for no reason at all. Even a well acted character with no purpose still has no purpose. If they were killing Luke, they might as well have killed Leia in the process, too.
Lastly, there was apparently some 30 minute code breaking subplot that was a complete waste of time, but those are the words of others, so don’t quote me on that.
So, I’ve talked about a lot of negatives, I want to talk about the most consistent positive things I’ve read about.
Adam Driver apparently has made the Kylo Ren the most unique Sith Lord yet. As a thread on Reddit said, “he’s one of the first Sith Lord’s that isn’t sure about himself, and he’s afraid. And fear is a big component of the dark side.” I hated Kylo in TFA, but it sounds like his character might have really improved in this one from being a crybaby to someone who’s genuinely at a loss of what to do with himself. Truly something that should be appreciated.
Kylo and Rey apparently have this spirit bridge thing going on. It’s an interesting concept and I’d like to see more new and interesting Force powers and concepts used. A form of telepathy is awesome.
The light speed Kamikaze. As a physics major, I can’t even imagine how amazing it must have been on the big screen.
Again, astral projection by Luke. Pretty amazing. Why couldn’t they have kept him more?!
Overall, that’s what I’ve read and those are my thoughts based on very limited spoiler interaction. It seems like, as a film, TLJ is another big win for Disney, but as a Star Wars film, it seems it still doesn’t match up with fans. With Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox comes an acquisition of the Alien franchise. Seeing the divides Disney’s films have made for Star Wars, I’m wondering if Alien will face even more polarizing film’s than what Ridley is doing. I hope that the Alien franchise still has a future under Disney’s helm.