You know what, folks: I wasn't even this excited for the impending release of The Phantom Menace back in 1999, and I ended up liking that damn movie, even if the rest of the Universe hated it (my reasons why, here). Part of it is that this is the end; even with a TV series potentially in the offing, Star Wars has always been to me an almost exclusively cinematic thing. Yes, I read a few of the "Extended Universe" novels, but with the exception of Timothy Zahn's efforts, none of the ones I read were all that great (a space slug was jumped on a motorcycle, I think, when The Courtship of Princess Leia came out). And part of it is that this isn't just the end of Star Wars, but almost of a kind of geeky golden age. Since 1999 I've had the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings films. Some folks have had the Matrix movies as well. Yes, I dig Spiderman and The X-Men, but neither of those quite hit me in the emotional center where my inner six-year-old still lives. A new Superman might be fun, and I'll see a new Batman, although without a whole hell of a lot of enthusiasm.
I'm also encouraged by the fact that the film's critical reception that I've seen so far seems pretty unanimous that this film gets either most of it right, or gets enough things right that it's worth seeing. That makes me happy. So is it the nineteenth yet? Lord, this is a tough wait!