Seth Worley’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hope the fans are happy now that we’ve successfully abandoned all new story and character arcs for all the trusty old exhausted ones.
Bummed that this really promising new generation of characters never got movies of their own. Instead they were just allowed to play in the old generation’s stories. And if that’s all we want from these movies, well— boooooooo.
Say what you will about TLJ, but it didn’t pander like this. It wasn’t a perfect movie, but it did such a great job of torch passing. This one promptly revokes the torch before it even starts, then spends two and a half hours swinging the torch around erratically like a kid with a lightsaber toy until it finally goes out.
My favorite take on this so far is A.O. Scott’s:
Abrams is too slick and shallow a filmmaker to endow the dramas of repression and insurgency, of family fate and individual destiny, of solidarity and the will to power, with their full moral and metaphysical weight. At the same time, his pseudo-visionary self-importance won’t allow him to surrender to whimsy or mischief. The struggle of good against evil feels less like a cosmic battle than a longstanding sports rivalry between teams whose glory days are receding. The head coaches come and go, the uniforms are redesigned, certain key players are the subjects of trade rumors, and the fans keep showing up.
Which is not entirely terrible. “The Rise of Skywalker” isn’t a great “Star Wars” movie, but that may be because there is no such thing. That seems to be the way we like it.