Rise of Skywalker was just kind of...bad on most levels, I think. Even on just a spectacle level this is easily the least visually imaginative Star Wars has ever been. This is to say nothing of basic story issues that plague the entire movie. I've never been impressed with Abrams as a storyteller but this might be a new low for him.
I'm sure some of the issues of the film come from having to write around Carrie Fisher's passing, but that can't explain everything going on here, mainly everything around reintroducing Palpatine into the story out of nowhere.
The cast is still fun and charismatic here at least, and they deserved a better movie to end on.
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris