I must say the movie inspired in me a heartfelt “meh.” I wanted to jot down some thoughts before the film vanishes from memory, which it largely will.
Without offering any spoilers for aliens who may one day see it, I thought the acting was uneven to say the least. One cast member apparently mailed in a performance too late for it to arrive by the time filming began.
With Disney money and Lucasfilm know-how, the visual effects were of course energetic and seamless, but not thrilling. Perhaps that’s because—let’s face it—we’ve seen this all before. There were a couple of effects that were, shall we say, conceptually different from anything we’ve seen in the franchise, and they were neat. But that only accounts for 2 minutes or so out of what felt to me like a seriously overly-long movie (my wife actually fell asleep for a while…I, otoh, was only resting my eyes).
IMHO, the best incarnation of Star Wars was The Clone Wars…yes, the cartoon series. There were some episodes that had me literally on the edge of my seat, even though I knew exactly what was going to happen (eventually) to these characters. That’s gotta be the sign of some pretty good writing.
This cements for me something I’ve suspected for a long time: I’m a Trek man. Star Wars and I are just friends.