Caleb’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Confronting fear is the destiny of a Jedi."
I have a lot of thoughts running in my head. For now, my thoughts here will be raw, and spoiler-free of course.
Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver are two talented folks. They were simply brilliant.
The first half... I wasn't sold. I think the first half should've been a little longer. Allow itself to breathe. I'm telling you, it doesn't stop. But there's a certain moment where it kicks into high gear. It's magical and absolutely glorious. It's Star Wars at the max, evoking wild imagery and overselling itself. You know what? I dug everything it threw at me in the second half, and especially in the climax. I do mean, it throws everything at you, believe me. It's go-for-broke climatic end to the Skywalker Saga. The first half was quite rocky and I definitely need to see it again to allow it to flow.
Was I concerned this might bow to the anti-TLJ fanbase? Yes, but.. it doesn't. Kind of. Not going into spoilers obviously, but there's a choice I disagree with, but everything else was fine. I was into it, but most of all, I loved how Abrams took a page out of Johnson's playbook and essentially plays with our expectations. He does that here for sure, and I really dug that aspect.
Time will tell how this holds up. But, for now, I know I liked it. I had fun. I cheered, I smiled, I laughed. I almost shed a tear. The climax really got to me, as did the end scene. It's very satisfying, even if it wasn't all perfect. I'll take it. A good time was had at the theater, and this is what I come to the movies for.