Confession: I wasn't a Star Wars girl. Sure, I saw all the movies, but when I was little, I never hearted Han Solo or wanted to be Princess Leia, or played with lightsabers (real or pretend).
In the late 90s, I ended up working a very short stint on the production side of the Ace imprint at Berkley Publishing Group. I was surprised there was a healthy list of books that continued the Star Wars saga, and ended up with a whole set of them. Which remained unread on my shelves for several years until I finally gave them away.
Cut to early November last year, when Harrison Ford was doing his Morning Glory press rounds and said that Han Solo should have died in Return of the Jedi. And early December, when the giant Millennium Falcon was like the coolest toy in the Salvation Army Toy Shop.
Both got me trying to remember Solo's storyline in the Original!Recipe!Star Wars. And of course, I couldn't rewatch O!R!Star Wars, without watching the prequels. And thus began my own saga...of going to sleep while watching every single one. Bad move to watch them late at night. Nevertheless, I made it through each one in chronological order, finishing Return of the Jedi this morning.
The original movies stand on their own - to this day, they're still pretty good. Simple stories, simple aliens, simple effects and all. And, though it may be an unpopular opinion, I do think the prequels, even with their overexposition, and zillion stories, civilizations and wannabe memorable characters thrown in, made a decent backstory for the original.
Second confession: Even if I spent New Year's with my hair in not-quite-Princess Leia braids, I'm still not a Star Wars girl. But, as someone once told me, you don't have to be a fan. But you have to respect the fans. And I do. You have to. They're the ones who have been keeping the saga alive for the last 34 years.
Oh! And hell no, Harrison! No way should Solo have died in Return of the Jedi! He and Princess Leia should live happily ever after!
Of course, now, I'm totally sad I gave away all those books I had, because now that I know who he is, I totally want to go back and read the Wedge Antilles series right now...
Yoda says I should.