Remember The Force Awakens' immaculate marketing? The debut of a new lightsaber; the return of the Millennium Falcon with that piece of music underneath?
Going in, we had no idea just how much wasn't being planned beyond that opening salvo, but the possibilities for "a new age of Star Wars" felt endless.
Snap cut to post-Rise of Skywalker, and a fandom that struggles to agree on anything at the best of times is more fractured than ever.
On the other side of three main "Episodes" that should've used the budgetary might of Disney to elevate the franchise to new creative heights... ended up being a bizarrely improvised mess of potential and squandered execution.
Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to love. The casting of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac was beyond perfect, and The Force Awakens served its purpose in knitting back together a Prequel-scarred, cross-generational demographic looking for something to champion as one.
In retrospect though - and especially in light of seeing just where all those chess pieces fell - there are a lot of categorical, embarrassing misfires that will dog this "Sequel Trilogy" forever.