Just finished watching TROS, thus completing my slog through the Sequel Trilogy.
TROS was okay. The story was okay, and the ending was okay - I really liked the "galaxy concentrates enormous and overwhelming force against Imperial Redoubt because hyperdrive is awesome". The execution of the story was lackluster and confused, par for the course for the Sequel Trilogy.
I was the target demographic when the prequels came out, and back then, I really really loved Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith (TPM was boring as heck, I'm sorry Lucas). When watched together with the remastered ANH, TESB (the best of them all), and ROTJ, those movies clicked together pretty well. To my rose-tinted eyes, the technology, the setting, and the worldbuilding of I-VI meshed pretty seamlessly together, regardless of the flawed acting (which to my eyes got a lot better in II and III). The stories of I-III also generally seemed to make reasonable sense. Space battles were fought in a reasonable manner (even ROTS could be excused for the repulsorlifted melee over Coruscant, given that it was a pivotal battle over a capital planet with millions of ships filling the frickkin' sky. Ground warfare was insane (Geonosis was idiotic), but whatever, it looked cool.
The Sequel Trilogy, viewed through (hopefully) less idiotic but more judgmental and eyes, did not feel organic to the Star Wars universe. It did not jive with the prequels, which established a vibrant, wealthy and heavily industrialized set of core systems with trillions of people per world on-screen (that element I loved so much). It did not jive with the sequels, which established a reasonably well-resourced Rebel military arm with carriers and capital ships (Hoth had a frickkin' planetary defense shield and ion cannon, and that base on Yavin 4 was on a monumental stone building a kilometer tall), and a galaxy-spanning rebel movement fighting against a galaxy-sized Imperial war machine. You couldn't really feel the sinews of industry in the sequel trilogy, but together with the prequels and EU stuff, yeah sure the Empire can crank out 900-kilometer wide Death Stars.
I believe that the Sequel Trilogy failed when it failed to capitalize on the Prequels. It should have used the Prequels as heavily as it tried to ape the OT. I wanted more Coruscant, more Galactic Senate. More Kamino, more KDY, more Clone Wars references. This is a Galaxy. Not all of it has to be the damned Outer Rim and Unknown Regions.
I'm weird, because I didn't really find fault with the story they wanted to tell. Make Rey nameless, make her a Skywalker, make her a Palpatine, I never gave a crap. Storytellers gotta story. I can tolerate all the Skywalkers dying, the Emperor dying, even the silly little power couple thing Rey had going on with Ben (Kylo Ren).
But Star Wars... Star Wars is heavily setting-dependent. And they screwed with the setting and the toolbox - unnecessarily. They had one job: write stories in a frickkin' setting. And they screwed that up. They changed what the Force could do (all those mirror battles were just weird, and Force ghosts interacting with material objects was uncalled for). They changed what space wars looked like (that damned hyperspace ramming thing). They had people drop on Star Destroyers without shields and made it look like a ground battle and not a boarding action (forgivable I guess, but oh dear god it was stupid). They stuck with boring superweapons instead of trying to come up with interesting ones, or even use nicer ones from the EU. A galaxy gun (hyperspace gun if you want copyright), a world devastator (world eater for copyright), a holocron - any of those things they could have grabbed. Maybe renamed for licensing, I dunno? They changed names unnecessarily. Imperial Remnant or Imperial Provisional Government sounds way better than First Order to my ears.
All the stories they wanted to tell: Luke screwed up, Uncaring New Republic, Cash-Strapped Resistance, resurgence of the Imperial Remnant, Deep Core Byss/Unknown Regions Imperial Redoubt with an Emperor Reborn / Rey's story... it could easily have been told without changing the setting in such a contrived manner for no good reason. A few scenes of Leia on Holonet running out of the Senate building in a huff would have made so much sense. (And Imperial Redoubt and Imperial Remnant should have been the names, IMO). And everything just keeps looking like it came out of left field. I mean, oh look there was an Imperial Redoubt all along! No obvious hints? No sign of a gargantuan industrial base (at least we got to see a droid factory and a clone factory in ATOC)? The story needed discipline.
And ARC-170s and V-wings look cooler (and look more sensible) than T-wings. I just hate that split-D intake so much. Come on, the EU had E-wings! Use them! That's a matter of opinion, though. You can even be lazy and keep the Xylon SDs - just show pictures of refits programs or something. You can be lazy with the assets and use the same tech over and over while changing the story. It's a common setting! A big fleet is as scary as a superweapon!
Marvel took inspiration from the comics. Inspiration. Not a straight copy. The Sequel Trilogy could have done likewise. And they could have used the Prequels. It's only been what, seventy years since the Clone Wars?