I couldnt tell you any of the details fleshed out in Episode II and III and I don't consider myself a moron.
Of COURSE you're not a moron. I would be willing to bet even GL couldn't follow whatever it was that passed for plot in ANY of the PT. Hence, the back pedaling and B.S. we get every time he makes some announcement or other to fans. I think the greatest mystery here might just be:WHAT THE FUCK WAS GL SMOKING WHEN HE CAME UP WITH THIS PREQUEL CRAP?
I just bought the original theatrical release of ANH and it is just such a relief!
Not once in ANH:
1. Did I check my watch, wondering when so and so was going to get off the screen because I wanted to launch a brick at my TV to shut them up.
2. Ultra Cutesy action figure fodder (Ewoks)
3. Offensive racial stereotype run amok (JarJar, Trade Federation aliens)
4. Did the solitary woman in the story change her clothes every other second.
5. The solitary female character is not swooning over a whiny psychopath.
6. Sickening dialogue or vomit-inducing romantic scenes.
7. Overblown special effects that took me out of the movie, instead of taking me deeper into the world onscreen.
8. Overly technical explanations for things that did not need it - Obi Wan's description of the Force trumps those fucking Midi-Chlorians ANY time. By the way, was GL doing his laundry with chlorine bleach while listening to a MIDI of the Star Wars theme? I think his being overcome by bleach fumes would explain a LOT.
In addition ANH had:
1. A straightforward story of Good VS. Evil that had me cheering!
2. Eye candy for female fans that did not make me want to take out a shotgun.
3. A character whose motivations were not clear. A touch of mystery that did not need to be over explained into tedium.
4. A strong female leader who did not come off as a short man with tits.
5. A palpable sense of menace from the villains - Governor Tarkin and Darth Vader did not have to resort to stupid movie cliches (maniacal laughter, weird tics, etc.) to give them an air of danger.
6. A sense of desperation from the heroes - the Death Star battle was actually a challenge.
7. Against all odds, the good guys triumph, thanks to determination, courage and sacrifice.
8. Humor that fit the situation and/or character, without feeling like someone was forcing the situation to fit the humor.
9. A subtle flirtation between two characters that never once felt forced. Or induced nausea.
10. The definitive description of The Force. This gave an air of mysticism and wonder that carried powerfully throughout the movie. Even Han Solo's rather jarring "simple tricks and nonsense" bit gave contrast between the mystical Jedi and the "real world" of the rest of the galaxy.
11. Characters with genuine quirks that endeared rather than grated:
A. Leia inspired, rather than irritated, even at her most bossy.
B. Luke was meant to be the hero, but he was wet behind the ears without being sickening.
C. Han's motivations changed, marking genuine growth and character development.
D. Chewie was along for the ride, but he did provide a moral compass for Han.
E. Governor Tarkin casually ordered the destruction of an entire planet. A real threat.
F. Darth Vader was palpably menacing, and did not need to act like a psycho to pull it off.
G. R2D2 was true to his programming, going above and beyond the call of duty for a droid.
H. Obi Wan was the wise, mysterious mentor. Though old, he could STILL kick ass!