Johnny’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's immediately evident that Rian Johnson is a far better director than JJ Abrams, but this comes down to more than Rian's memorable images (of which there are many). I don't like how JJ lets TFA rest on the laurels of Star Wars nostalgia, creating a world with no explanation for how we got from Return of the Jedi to where we are now, but Johnson uses this to his advantage to tell the story of characters who've inherited a galaxy fighting a war they don't understand, children of a conflict born out of the failures of their predecessors. Leia's pragmatism vs Poe's impulsiveness, Luke's disillusionment vs Rey's optimism; our new characters know the lore of the Star Wars of old just as we do, but lack the experience of our original heroes. Kylo's insistence on his belonging to a dark side he doesn't understand comes off as emo/sadboi to people for this same reason, but Adam Driver of course makes it endlessly compelling.
Hux's over the top, SNL impression of a villain rubbed me wrong on previous viewings but it works in the same way as a confused manchild with too much power talking the way he thinks a bad guy should.
I don't care much for the Finn/Rose storyline but even Rose's optimistic moxie against all reason ("saving what we love") tracks here too. Even the whole Benicio thing points to this same idea that both sides of the old guard are complicit in this conflict.
The humor doesn't always land, but the way Luke yells "tHe sAcReD jEDi tExtS!!" when Yoda burns them is absolutely hilarious, as is the visual gag with the landing ship that turns out to be a clothes iron. Also when Poe pets BB-8 like a puppy? I felt that.
Love how this plays into the hypocrisy of the Jedi, taking a pretty radical step towards doing away with the fear of the dark/light dichotomy that defines their failures in favor of seeing past it into the hearts of our enemies. Kylo is fully committed to letting the past die, on both sides, and yet Rey is unable to make this leap, setting up an exciting conclusion that Abrams seems uninterested in! Anyway in Ep 9 Rey is gonna be related to Kylo or Palpatine or some shit and I'm gonna be fuckin pissed.