Background: This was the beginning of the end for me. I had some niggling doubts while watching the film in theatres, but I kept pushing them away.
1) I like Star Wars (I even enjoy critiquing what I don't like about Star Wars- see my Star Wars Reimagined
2) A bunch of my friends, whose opinions I respected, had seen it already and said it was good- it wasn't the rehash of Empire, which was really the only requirement I had after seeing Force Awakens.
I since have significant problems with scenes leading up to this moment, but at the time, I still Trusted the Storyteller, so any story problems that was trying to rise up in my brain, I dismissed. (But I was already actively trying to suppress these thoughts.)
But then this scene arrived and jolted me out of the story. This was the first bigger hammer blow, that made me go 'Wait. What?' I ended up finding bootleg version after just to make sure I hadn't misheard Hux and there was a better reason to pull off the attack. No. No there was not.
The second blow was Leia surviving deep space in a silly looking fashion after what looked like a really sober and tragic send off. And the third was Rose and Finn reading the script to figure out how the Supremacy's breaththrough technology worked AND how to counter, and then combined with their cockamamie plan. How do they know all this by just shooting to breeze? I was asking myself. That was a 1, 2, 3 punch that shattered my immersion. The Story Collapsed. Following that was the worst experience I've had in theatres to date- I don't see many films in theatre, so when paying, I haven't seen a lot of duds. I've seen some films that are so bad they're funny (Seventh Son and Eragon). But this was so bad it was just plain old bad.
I was actually physically agitated in the theatre because I really, really wanted to like this film and I found myself hating everything except the Rey-Luke plot... until they got to the unearned copy of the Return of the Jedi Throne Room scene and then I didn't like that plot either. They almost had me back with the Crait battle until that jumped into contrived and pants on head stupid plotting decisions (some of which I noted in the last blog.) I couldn't understand why my friends thought this wasn't copying Empire, when all I could see for a story was Frankenstein patchwork of Empire and Return with a poorly done version of the pilot episode 33 from Battlestar Galactica.
It wasn't that I decided that I hated the film, it's that I realized I was actively trying to hold back my dislike. I realized I already didn't like it and I was trying hard to like it. At some point, I just had to cave to the realization that it was a very poorly structured story.