I Tweeted this a couple of hours ago, after leaving the theater:
… and, yeah. I was wrong. Completely, utterly, transcendentally wrong, and I couldn’t be more pleased about it. While Episode IX isn’t a perfect movie by a long shot– it’s not as good as Last Jedi or Rogue One, but it’s eons beyond The Force Awakens and a good bit better than Solo— it is so much better than TFA that I can scarcely believe it was directed by the same person. Other than the unfortunate presence of Greg Grunberg and his stupid Greg Grunberg face, there is very little of Abrams’ usual bullshit in this movie, and despite a lot of internet wankery to the contrary this film is much more of a sequel to The Last Jedi than it is to TFA. In a few important ways it actually makes TFA better, believe it or not. I had a number of major concerns heading into the movie, all of which I’ll get into more detail in in my spoiler review (later this week, but probably not tomorrow) and it somehow managed to thread half-a-dozen needles, resolving every single story concern in a way that left me satisfied if not genuinely surprised, and there are a couple of big surprises in this movie. I had not really adopted an avoid-spoilers posture before seeing this movie, and I’m glad I didn’t see anything major.
So, yeah: I went in expecting to hate it, resigned to hating it, and while I’m not nearly as ebullient as I was after seeing Last Jedi, this is definitely a worthy ending to this particular set of stories. I’m happy to have been wrong, over and over and over again.
More– probably lots more, as I tend to be long-winded about Star Wars— in a couple of days, once the giddy has worn off.