It was.... weird. Yet I definitely got where they were coming from.
The movie wasn't bad. It was actually quite good as a sci-fi adventure. Lots of excitement, cute critters, and some really fannish send-ups both to the original trilogy and the previous movies. Less fun than in the last two, I think, but it's still there. My main problem is there was just so much packed in, probably 75% of it felt deeply underdeveloped. If ever there was a canon in need of fanfic, this is it; but not necessarily in a way that will actually inspire it, sadly. (Is it spoiling to mention Lando and Chewie are both in this film, that they are wonderful, and that I would pay dearly for a movie about their side-quest?
I also struggled with some philosophical... well, not contradictions but definitely tensions? Take the storm-troopers as one example. I don't think it's spoiling, again, to say the First Order conscripts/kidnaps and presumably brainwashes children to become their soldiers. That's Finn's background, and we see a bit more of that in the film. What we don't see is a reflection of the realitythat probably 99% of the people on those ships you're blowing up are people like Finn who couldn't get away. Ethically, it's horrendous. It's also just how war works and I can hardly fault SW for not figuring out how to thread that needle when so many more serious films and books haven't managed it. I can also buy that it's necessary to sacrifice some people, that when you're fighting space-Hitler you may not be able to save your enemies. But they actually tried to do some interesting thing with the whole liberated-stormtrooper thing, without realizing what that says about the not liberated stormtroopers, and I guess for me, starting down that road and just not dealing with the things screaming to be investigated was... I don't know. Frustratingly incomplete, I guess.
Other things fall into this same category, but I can't really even name them without dipping into some pretty heavy spoilers. I think if you're a less thinky person than me this wouldn't necessarily keep you from enjoying the movie (SW was never high literature, and that's fine!), but for someone who gets stuck in their head, this made the film feel emotionally muddled and kept me from connecting. Which is a shame.
Really, though, it made me wish there were two movies (trilogy be damned) built on this storyline and you had room to explore some of those themes. Which is probably an indication there's something I latched on to and liked, even if I couldn't quite access it in its current state. That's something!