So, my (hopefully) spoiler-free review of “The Last Jedi” – I mostly liked it. The plot basically splits between the three new main characters (Finn, Poe, Rey) and while I mostly enjoyed two of these plotlines, the third not only basically went nowhere but ultimately made everything worse off for the Resistance. There was also a bit of unnecessary (IMO) political preaching thrown in there (during the unnecessary plotline) that made me roll my eyes.
If TFA felt like a rehashed ANH, this one felt like they took the high points of ESB and ROTJ, mixed them together, and added a just enough new ideas to make it feel like something new entirely. I don’t think it is a spoiler to say that there is a lightsaber fight about midway to 3/4 through it involving Kylo & Rey which most definitely ranks up there as one of my favorites.
This movie was a lot funnier than I expected and the humor didn’t rely on dumb fart jokes (e.g. “The Phantom Menace” which … ugh.) and the jokes land fairly well.
In the end, I think I actually liked Rogue One a little better than this one probably because that final space battle in R1 utterly destroyed all previous Star Wars space battles. I’m certainly curious as to where they go with the story in the next episode but knowing that J.J. Abrams is back in the director’s chair for it makes me wince a little bit. I actually think I’d rather the guy who did Rogue One to direct it because, if nothing else, he actually has a solid comprehension of scale, something Abrams absolutely does not.