Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
I think the impact of Star Wars is diminished if you weren't a kid in the summer of 1977. Living through the cultural tsunami that film was, the build-up to Empire and the shock of how good that was really informs the affection a lot of us have for the OT. And now that I've finally gotten over the need to include and defend the PT, I find Star Wars works for me just fine.
Yeah, it's not hard for me to remember the impact they had on me in 1977, but coming into the franchise at any other point in your life has to dull the effect a little bit.
I was 8 years old when I saw Star Wars in the theater for the first time, and was one of the legions of kids who saw it numerous times that summer. I wallowed around in Star Wars, and it steep in my brain over the next decades. Then the prequels hit when I was just starting to settle down to have my own kids, so the familiar fire came back to me. I drove 60 miles to watch The Waterboy to see the trailer. I trekked to the first Star Wars Celebration in Denver (attended, it seemed, almost entirely by men in their very early thirties), and was incredibly fired up for Phantom Menace.
When the prequels disappointed, and the the merchandising hit a saturation point with me I was pretty much done. The original movies still bang around in my head, but I don't think I've seen the PT movies more than once each...mostly out of loyalty. My nostalgia remains firmly in place for the original versions of the films, but I don't really consider myself a Star Wars fan anymore.
I'm hoping that the original trilogy will hold some magic for me when I re-visit them with my own kids (who are still a little young for it). But for the reasons that Patric describes, I'm holding off until then. There are bootleg DVDs made from the original Laserdisc release sitting unwatched on my shelf all set for the occasion.