Finally saw it, and i'm with riolio.
Pretty soulless. Even the crappy prequels you could tell were made by someone who really really cared, even if they were shit at movie-making. This was paint by the numbers, filmmaking-by-committee stuff. Star Wars has always been basically a soap opera with lasers, and though I could see what they were trying to do, trying to lever grim and gritty into the Galaxy Far Far away is a really awkward fit.
I got home from the movie 5 minutes ago and I've already forgotten the male lead's name. I was remembering even the frigging main characters as 'pilot guy' and 'blind stick guy' and 'big gun guy who is obviously coded as gay married to blind stick guy to make the fangirls happy, but the marketing guys and execs refused to let them actually make this unambiguously clear'. When the most I remember about a character is their weapon of choice, then the movie has done a sucky job of characterisation. File off the Star Wars touchstones and easter eggs (handing out a sequence of Vader kicking butt at the end of the movie like a reward for sitting through it all) and look at it as a movie on its own merits, and it would have been utterly forgettable. This is a parasitic movie - everything good about it, it sucked from the originals.
Not a patch on Force Awakens in my book (nobody forgot Finn's name, or Rey's, or Kylo Ren's). I was pretty wary of the upcoming Young Han Solo film already, and this is exactly the reason why. An utterly cynical cashgrab made for all the wrong reasons, right up there with the worst of the licenced novels and similar crap they churned out in the early 90s.
Yeah, there were dumb plot bits at times and architecturally needless bottomless pits and the like, but star Wars has always had that stuff and i can live with it. But a Star Wars film being un-fun and un-funny and drearily serious and stuffed full of people i don't give a damn about? That's more of a problem...
I thought cassian was one of the more interesting, morally ambiguous and conflicted characters we've seen in a star wars film. Certainly since Han in anh.
I'm a sucker for daddy/daughter day movies too.
Krennick was a different take on your standard imperial stooge, sociopath frustrated by internal politics. Probably slightly underdeveloped though.
The rest were window dressing but all the same force monk's death got me in along with his mates sense of loss.
The characters probably aren't helped by being given multi syllable, obtuse names.
if we are going to complain about franchise entertainment being a cynical cash grab then we may as well shut Hollywood down.
At least this film tried to be something different in the star wars universe even if it was damn bleak.
All the same there was plenty of squeeeee in it for me. I'll take some subtle (and not so subtle) fan service any day over brazen plot rehashing.