Just got back from seeing it for the second time.
The good stuff is still good. Actually better. All the Luke/Rey/Kylo stuff I’m on board with. In places it’s a deep film with complex themes and I like it. I really like the re-democratisation of the Force and the ‘let the past go’ message.
Then there’s the bad stuff that’s still bad on second viewing. The whole subplot, from the moment Finn wakes up in that stupid water/Bacta suit, to his meeting with Rose (she still sucks) to the lame phone call with Maz (how does Poe know her?) to the Monte Carlo planet, to Benicio Del Toro in his worst role ever, to the slave kids (Kids in Star Wars never works out well it seems), to the CGI donkeys, to the failed (and pointless) plan to sneak onto Snoke’s ship, to the unnecessary retread of old ground with Phasma… all that is still just bad bad bad.
And I still say there’s no excuse for poor plots, sub-par expositionary dialogue and jokes that feel like they’d be more suited to a Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
HOWEVER! Some of the dodgy bits that I didn’t like on first viewing I’m now ok with. For example, Yoda was much better now I didn’t have the surprise of seeing him distracting me from what he was actually saying. I like what he tells Luke and I can even forgive the page-turner gag because although it still feels a bit out of place, it’s not out of character for Yoda to drop a little gag here and there, and it fits into the lesson he’s giving Luke (i.e it has a point and isn’t just a cheesy millennial gag for the sake of it).
The Laura Dern/Poe Dameron mutiny plot could still do with a rewrite (IMO) but I can live with it. At least there’s a point to it and Poe has an arc (unlike Finn’s story).
I’ve booked to see it again after Christmas so maybe third time’s a charm? (I can’t see myself ever liking Rose or Canto Bight though to be honest).