John Williams produced three memorable themes in the last one, but I can't think of anything that stood out this time, although I'm absolutely going to rewatch this, so we'll see. But if I re-watch it several times and find nothing new that's iconic, that will honestly be very sad. I'll be listening to the soundtrack on Spotify in-between now and my next viewing.
It's kind of like Empire Strikes Back in that the heroes are definitely up against a huge challenge and you can honestly believe at times that the bad guys are going to win. On the other hand, in some ways this is the most like Flash Gordon than any other episode (and I'm not saying that this is a bad thing).
Holy cow, they did some things that I wasn't expecting them to do in the middle film of a trilogy. And by the end, I'm going to be honest, I had absolutely no idea where they were going to go with the next movie. As in truly, I can't even speculate.
In a lot of ways, the directing and story felt a lot different from a Star Wars episode, perhaps even comparable to an anthology film like Rogue One. Rian Johnson does several things with his editing that simply have never been done in any episodes prior. It was really weird for me. I think that other people are going to notice it, too, and there's definitely going to be people with passionate opinions on this. Some will love it, some will hate it. I'll just point out that in the original saga, the middle films were where the directors usually got a bit more experimental. In any case, this actually makes me glad that J.J. Abrams is directing the next one. Interestingly, though, I will say that the closing shot of this film was far more classically STAR WARS than Episode VII's ending.
Final assessment: I had a really fun time, and I liked it. I was going to watch it ten times, but now I think that I'll only watch it eight times. It's not quite the quintessential big screen experience, but that's typical of the middle films, because they've always been my least favorite. However, we'll see. These movies have a special place in my sister's heart, since this is for her generation, and if she loves it, I'll probably watch it those extra two times just for her. At the end of the day, she's what's important.