That’s what I try to communicate to folks who have seen partials and are all, “Yeah, it was pretty cool. . .” Partials are fun and cool, totals are like BEING in a big-budget sci-fi movie. I’ve seen partials before, and I was wholly unprepared for how different, how much more amazing and cool a total eclipse is.
I really hope I can hitch a ride to the next one. It’s only like an hour away and I’ve got years to make plans, but I don’t have a car anymore. After decades of backyard amateur astronomy, I’ve seen lunar eclipses, meteor showers, satellites with my naked eyes, comets, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (and some of their moons) with my telescope, partial solar eclipses, and even some low-key northern lights. I saw Skylab falling out of orbit, streaking across the sky with a false (ghost) reflection that looked just like it.
Nothing compared to 100% totality, not even close.