Haha I can only think of one movie I’ve seen as adult that excited me this much - Mad Max: Fury Road. That’s it. To find others I have to go back to being a teenager. Some came close in my early 20s, but didn’t reach it. This level of shaken/pumped is just not something I’ve seen since then except with Fury Road, which I adored. In both my attention didn’t lapse for a second, and when that happens I know I’m really digging a movie (There Will Be Blood had the same effect but obviously wasn’t as overexciting).
I dunno why it hit me and my wife so strongly but both of us were like completely blown away. I was glad I went with her (I’d been delaying going until she had time) because I felt a lot more sane to hae someone react the exact same way. She’s always been an SW fan (very much of the movies, not the EU), but she says this is in her top two movies ever. For me it’s in my top 5, which, given how many movies I’ve seen (a huge number) and how many I like a lot (a surprisingly large number, including some kinda-terrible ones), is a big deal.
My normal movie-critic brain, which in Fury Road was deafened by the roar of V8s and sandstorms, was here chatting away but I was barely able to hear it over the rest of my brain going “OH JESUS FUCK YEAH” at everything from charming characters and cute cat-horses to hyperspace-jump suicide runs (so many questions but I will accept it gladly for that scene, which by itself was one of the most Sci-Fi - in a good way - things that ever happened) to sexy darth vader to Jedi Master Luke.
Perhaps the only critical thing it managed to get out was “Wow this planet [Canto Bight] is really proving that as Final Fantasy can copy Star Wars, Star Wars can copy Final Fantasy!”, but again, that is 100% acceptable.
I agree with this 100%, but I am kind surprised and disappointed by the nerds (I know, I know…). I always considered myself a SW nerd (a Trek nerd first, but SW close second), with shit-tons of spurious knowledge, I’ve run SW RPGs (many times, and indeed one I played in was the best RPG campaign I’ve ever played in), I’ve studied SW chronology (prior to the EU reset, which was more of a relief than anything else!), I’ve played pretty much every major SW game (except Pod Racer, sorry!), I’ve even read and enjoyed SW EU novels (the early Han Solo ones are pretty cool). But oh no, invent a couple of new force powers - ALL OF WHICH have been prefigured in the EU at various times, even Luke’s projection (which is in a comic and multiple SW RPGs), and suddenly it’s the end of the motherfucking world! I read some bullshit from some columnist on Kotaku saying “Well it’s not for us 40ish fans, it’s for a younger generation”, and frankly FUCK OFF OLD MAN, I’m 39, be 40 real soon and this movie couldn’t have been more for me if it had tried. If it illustrates a generation divide, I guess that puts me with the younger generation (that said, I always knew I wasn’t a gen Xer).
Re: Rogue One I felt like the first two acts were so flawed, that it is amazing they landed the third act and finale so well. Also kudos for the giant brass balls involved in nuking your leads from orbit.
Also yes, your idea, that this movie justifies the new trilogy as something more than nostalgia and a money-making exercise? You’re completely correct.