1) Rian Johnson is clearly a better director than JJ Abrams and as a result the movie's flow and pace were much closer to what a Star Wars film should be.
2) A few genuinely good dramatic moments in the third act.
3) Of the OT stars, Mark Hamill aged the best and puts in a solid performance.
4) Not all of the humor is cringey. The movie did get a few chuckles out of me.
5) The light saber battle in the throne room was the first competent light saber action in Disney's Star Wars.
6) The Porgs were fun and cute. Surprisingly, I didn't hate them.
1) Although Star Wars continues to improve on a technical level, the genesis of its plot and themes continues to be an abysmal mess.
2) Rey goes to get trained by Luke and, unsurprisingly, there's barely any training. What's the point? We already know she can do anything and anything she can't do now, she'll figure out in the moment she needs it.
3) Ham-fisted political themes are ham-fisted. (Funny how Revenge of the Sith took flack for this but The Last Jedi isn't.)
4) Most of the jokes in the movie are eye rollers. They were the kind of jokes I'd expect in comic book movies or a CW show, but certainly not in Star Wars. The audience seemed to eat it up, but it won't age well. Even if you liked the jokes, they don't match the tone of the movie at all. The Resistance is on death's door and Luke has been reinvented as a cynical, defeated hermit who no longer believes in the Jedi, but the movie can't go five minutes without someone cracking a joke!
5) What happened to Leia in a certain dramatic scene in space was more cringey than every misstep in the prequels combined.
6) The Snoke storyline was a joke. We know nothing about him, he becomes a Bond villain for 5 minutes, then he dies like a punk.
7) In the absolute worst use of Yoda ever, he shows up in ghost form, burns the old Jedi temple and tells Luke "Don't worry about Rey, she's got this." This is not at all a hypocritical departure from his insistence to Luke in The Empire Strikes Back of the dire importance of completing one's training before facing a Sith master.
8) Rose goes from "you're a traitor Finn" to "I love you" in 90 minutes, without even being on screen together that much. Talk about rushed, cliche romances.
9) Finn is now the dumbest character in Star Wars history. Jar Jar Binks has more character integrity than Finn. In TFA he went from "Not going back to Jakku!" to being trusted to complete Poe's mission because... ???, to wanting to leave the Resistance (again) that he never really joined, to sticking it out and fighting because he likes Rey and Poe, two people that he's only just met. That Rey, Poe, Han or anyone else trusts him when he keeps showing he can't be trusted is completely ludicrous. Similarly, in The Last Jedi he attempts to bug out on the Resistance at the first opportunity, then moments later concocts a plan to help save the Resistance (which fails) and that's the limit of his relevance. It basically amounts to the fact that you could cut Finn and Rose out of the entire movie and it would not make a single bit of difference to the plot.
10) Hoth 2.0 only with salt instead of ice (more copy catting.)
11) The force is evidently no longer a spiritual discipline that people train long and hard in order to master certain useful skills. It's now just magic that works because (reasons) and allows lazy writers to do whatever they want even if it doesn't make a lick of sense. This is true of not only the aforementioned Leia incident, but how Snoke links Rey and Kylo and what Luke does in the finale.
12) The parade of dumb titles continues. "The Force Awakens" made no sense because by definition the force is an energy field that can't go to sleep and to the extent it did "awaken" in one character, it was done in such a vague way that the title isn't pointing to anything tangible. "The Last Jedi" also makes no sense because it's specifically pointed out in the finale of the movie that Luke Skywalker will NOT be the last Jedi and given Rey's stance on the need for Jedi, there's no reason for us to assume that she will be the last either. Maybe start giving your titles some thought? Make SOME attempt to give them meaning? Oh, who am I kidding... it's 2017 and Disney is making Star Wars movies by committee.
13) Luke never gave up on his father even though Darth Vader was more manifestly evil and way more intimidating than a dozen Kylo Rens, but we're supposed to believe he gave up on his nephew that easily? What they did to Luke's character in this movie is a travesty.
14) So by the end of the movie we have a bunch of dead major characters: Luke (who apparently died from using the force too hard? lol), Admiral Ackbar, Commander Purple Hair, Snoke and Captain Phasma. The one major character who probably should've been killed off (Leia) wasn't. But in terms of the plot, what has changed? The Resistance is a lot smaller, their fleet was decimated and they no longer have a base. The Empire is still the Empire, but as a faction they literally only have two major characters left: Kylo and Hux. When the call went out, the Resistance got no support, so what are they going to rebuild with? What is all of this nonsense supposed to set up for the next movie?!? I don't envy the writer of episode 9.
The thing is, I liked The Last Jedi marginally more than The Force Awakens, but I can't give it a higher score because it has so many problems. I felt I was being somewhat generous in giving The Force Awakens a 5/10, but it feels like the perfect score for this film. The Last Jedi gets many of the forms right, but the substance of Star Wars is nowhere to be found.