Colton’s review published on Letterboxd:
I've been a huge fan of Star Wars since I can remember. There isn't a time in my life that I don't recall watching the original trilogy. I have fond memories of going to the local video store to look for a movie, and always ending up by the 6 films seeing those enticing covers. For the third year now I've had the privilege of going to the theater and seeing the franchise I've loved for so long on the big screen with a new story.
The reason I open with this explanation is because it's been difficult to determine true feelings for these movies upon first watch. I go in with so many expectations and so much excitement that I get so nervous wanting it to be perfect. I've yet to have that experience, but this one may be the closest I've come to having that.
This movie definitely benefits from a second viewing in my mind. I'm still unsure exactly of what to rate this. It's hovering between 4 and 4.5 at the moment but for sake of not having to lower it in the future I'll keep it at 4 for now. I've had my share of speculation and I was happy that several of my wild predictions actually happened (Snoke dying, Ghost Yoda, Rey's parents being nobody's). The time this movie takes to build its story is grand even though it only takes place over the course of several days. I really enjoyed the pacing and payoffs.
My negatives seem to be with everyone else's. Rose and Finn felt as if they were in a strange Harry Potter-star wars crossover on Canto Bight, and DJ was a stuttering mess. I think tightening up the story a bit could have made this a near perfect film to me. The characters weren't all fleshed out as well as I would have maybe liked them to be and it felt as if Johnson was writing different movies at times. It also feels Disney-fied at times with some silliness and special effect, like an MCU film. I feel this is something I'll have to live with and learn to accept.
Everything dealing with the Force and choosing which side to play for is fascinating. This movie definitely takes us to places only Legends would go. I'm really hoping JJ can finish this off strong as I'm not sure where this will go from here. I hope to enjoy this even more the next time around.