Slightly longer review: I liked this movie. I think it tied the 3 trilogies together nicely, with stunning imagery and great action. “The Force Awakens” was held back by having to finish a storyline that should have finished in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “The Last Jedi” had a political side-quest that was pointless i relation to the plot. Here, in “The Rise of Skywalker“, we have none of that and the movie is much better for it.
It does struggle a bit having to cram far too much action and far too many characters into 2 hours and 22 minutes, as everyone knows this is the last chance to do so. It does a lot of fan service, so as a fan you are treated to a wealth of, sometimes very short, nice clips but some of the quieter, character moments feel a bit rushed.
The protagonists – there are two – gets their time to shine and I like the chemistry between them. This has been building since “The Force Awakens” and the transformation between them is believable and drives the characters arcs. Ren finally gets his Vader moment…
Also, J.J. Abrams, the director, obviously knows about “Chekhov’s Gun“, as part of the climax did excellent use of that device. No-one beats George Miller in “Mad Max: Fury Road”, though.
Among the many actors appearing in this movie I liked that Richard E. Grant got to play a First Order general, and that he chose to give it his all. There are few that are able to act with that much menace and he basically chewed up the scenery on screen. Ian McDiarmid didn’t disappoint either.
Of the cameos, I am enough of a fan to appreciate Anthony Daniels appearing in the flesh as well as being the only actor to be in all 9 movies, and Denis Lawson appearing as Wedge Antilles, making that character the true veteran of the Resistance. And did I hear Hayden Christensen’s voice, there?
Star Wars has always played fast and loose with science and I am fine with that, but I have struggled with the Sith motivation for some time. This movie finally cleared that up, making the entire Sith master/apprentice setup work.
Edit: See also this review/analysis.