urinalsarejustok’s review published on Letterboxd:
Doesn't quite hit the bar of representational perfection & subversion of The Force Awakens, but also soars well above the misguided Rogue One.( during Rogue One the audience burst into applause as Darth Vader slaughtered dozens on the side we're supposed to sympathize with, which quite clearly displayed the lack of restraint of the filmmaker.)
I've been slightly obsessive about Hegel's dialectic theory recently, and some of the core tenants for this philosophy are the thematic building blocks for this film. It was a nice diversion from the more common themes of star wars (family, teamwork) and opened up the universe of the films a bit in the process. Every action in the film really ties back to necessity of equal opposition to extreme thought and action.
Structurally it heavily diverts from what's common in the franchise, and plays out like three very long scenes that are cross cut together. The editing decisions here implicate certain things, and in that sense heavily break from the Star Wars formula. But the nature of the editing throughout, although usually innovative to the franchise, caused a few pacing issues through its impatience.
From the perspective of representation, it's not as clear of an achievement as TFA, but it comes close. It becomes obvious how muddled the truth is, which certainly deepens the characters, but it doesn't seem as thought out as the previous. I'll hesitate to say more to avoid drifting into spoilers, but a relationship here really makes me hope Episode IX isn't going in a certain direction. Also, there's a helluva lot of gay subtext that I really hope doesn't go unaddressed. But I really trust JJ Abrams with these films after TFA, so I'm very excited for what's to come. I'm just so relieved that he replaced Colin Trevorrow.