So maybe I'm a sucker for nostalgia. So what? If I want to be intellectually challenged by a film, there are lots of other options.
It also helped that it was jam-packed with almost every uber-fan-satisfying moment you can squeeze into 2-1/2 hours while still retaining something resembling a plot (which was on the basic side, but it had to be, in order to hang all the nerd-pleasing bells and whistles on it). Here are just a few of my favorites (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT):
- The fact that Palpatine is still alive. Because, I mean, of course he is! The most powerful Sith Lord in the history of the galaxy wouldn't be done in just by being thrown down a shaft, now, would he?
- The fact that Palpatine created Snoke and even has a tank full of more Snokes in his secret lair.
- Leia being an awesome Jedi herself and training Rey. When Rey called Leia "Master," I was like, niiiiice
- Page-turners, they may not be, but the Jedi texts came in handy!
- The Knights of Ren actually do stuff in this movie
- Rey's Force lightning
- This wasn't a fanboy moment, but it was funny: C-3PO saying "wait, I have another idea" right before they wiped his memory
- Rey being the grandchild of Palpatine. I have to admit, despite previous fan theories to that effect that emerged after The Force Awakens came out back in 2015, I did not see that one coming (maybe because it sounded so preposterous at the time). Good job, J.J. Abrams. It explains why Rey has seemed so over-powerful despite limited training, and sends a good message that you don't have to be beholden to your bloodline.
- Villanelle from Killing Eve is Rey's mother! Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean.
- I like that Hux was the spy. Reminded me of Agent Kallus from the Rebels cartoon.
- The sunken X-Wing on Ahch-To came in handy!
- "What about the Holdo Maneuver?" "That was one in a million."
- ALL THE CAMEOS
- Chewbacca gets his medal
- Rey's yellow lightsaber
Look, I know some folks won't be pleased with what could be perceived as retconning the whole "Rey came from nowhere" idea, but, I mean, powerful Force-users who aren't descendants of a particular lineage are present everywhere throughout this franchise. There have been TV shows and books and all sorts of other media featuring characters like that, and I'm sure there will be much more. But this was the "Skywalker Saga," and as such, I think it was appropriate that it was kind of kept in the family, so to speak.
I think maybe the best way to put it is that I found this movie to be the cinematic equivalent of comfort food. It may have been simple, familiar, and even cheesy at points, but it was enjoyable and satisfying, and believe me, I'll be going back for seconds.