As a child of the 70's (and a young boy in the early 80's), Star Wars changed my life. No other movies have impacted my life more than Episodes IV-VI. I can vividly remember being Star Wars characters 3 times for Halloween (C3PO, Han, Boba), had EVERY Star Wars figure, Star Wars lunchbox, Empire sleeping bag. I even still have Empire themed wrapping paper (circa 1983) framed on my wall!
With all that said, I gotta say I'm on the bandwagon to crucify George Lucas for ruining those memories. Where I disagree with everyone is WHEN he ruined the memories. Many fans claim the release of cheesy, over-produced Episodes I-III was the downfall. For me it was when Lucas "remastered" the first released movies by adding new scenes. Why mess with movies that made gazillions of dollars and made millions of fans happy? To insert scenes that had no impact other than to draw attention to the fact that they weren't a part of the originally released films. Great job.
I guess I'm a bit of a chump falling for all of the marketing around Star Wars when I was a kid. For some reason, it felt less forced and more like a pop culture phenomenon. If you've seen any blatant marketing for the Clone Wars cartoons in recent months, you'll note the difference.