I think some of the criticism that’s been directed at TLJ should be directed at TFA instead. TFA set up its sequels with having to answer so many questions that should’ve been answered by TFA itself. It worked as a first part in a two parter, and it should’ve been a standalone film to set things up, like Star Wars and even The Phantom Menace were.
One example is Snoke and the First Order. Why not just tell us how he rose to power and how the First Order came to be in TFA? Why leave it to the other movies? But no, screw it. TFA shouldn’t have left a mystery box for the other movies to fill.
I think the biggest problem is the lack of an overarching set of themes for the ST. It’s obvious these films were created by two different artists with very different agendas. Additionally TLJ 's story is a mishmash of OT story threads and elements, driven by the desire to defy all expectations, rather than to tell it’s own story independent of expectations.
Yes, seems like TLJ was done the way it was done by Rian to just throw away the questions/answers to TFA just to frustrate all the fan theories past 2 years.
Problem is in 5-10 years, these movies will have to stand on their own. No one will care if TLJ was done in a way to frustrate all the TFA/ST theories out there.
I do hope JJ retcons a lot of what Rian threw away. i.e. who Rey’s parents are. Looks like Rian has only confirmed that Kylo believes what he saw. But that Rian wouldn’t confirm that what Kylo saw was what/who Rey’s parents really are/were. So looks like that will be left up to JJ to deal with, or just ignore and let what Rian answered stand.