DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
You guys have 'leftover day' where you're from?
You know, when you, especially after Christmas, eat all the delicious food that was left after a copious meal the day before? And how all the individual bits taste good, but not as good as yesterday? And how it never becomes a proper meal?
This is the closest approximation I can give to what watching this pandering, safe and horrendously written mess felt like.
You go from a fresh voice in the series, a director who has the guts to make his own film, to walk his own path; to Mr. Fan Servicing himself. Sure, he shoots a pretty picture and creates a couple of amazing action sequences, but this film is devoid of heart and soul. And it is an excruciating, incomprehensible mess with a ham-fisted attempt to reach 'I am your Father' heights that was just as unnecessary as it was obvious. Like, from the very first scene.
There are so many missed opportunities here. Rey’s storyline is treated with the misconception that we can only care if there is a link to the Saga. In fact, the whole film is treated like that. There have to be winks, nudges and even awfully placed cameos. This was fine for the first film in this particular trilogy, but not in the closing chapter, especially after the tone set in the previous film.
It’s easy to ascribe all this to Disney bowing to the ridiculous response of a large group of fans (I only use this word because it’s short for fanatic) and there’s probably some truth in that, especially concerning Rose’s storyline and I know it’s cool to hate on the Evil-Disney-They’re-forcing-me-to-spend-all-my-money-company. But I just blame piss poor writing. Because the cast own the characters by now, the special effects are all there, the thrills are all there, it’s clearly set in the Star Wars universe, it clearly steps to the beats all Star Wars films step to.
But with bad writing like this, it will never become a whole. Which is really, really disappointing.