That's an interesting musing, DS615. With the prequels, Lucas has deliberately inverted the narrative and character structure of the original films, while concurrently infusing his story with a borderline convoluted political plot. That is not a criticism, necessarily, merely an observation. I wonder to what extent that "Episode 1" would actually be recieved more favorably without the "baggage" of the OT? People viewing the film without 'expectations', might see it differently. I guess that we have no way of knowing, but if "The Phantom Menace" were the first "Star Wars" movie, would more people be willing to overlook the film's flaws, and view it with a more "open" and positive frame of mind? Or would it be a colossal failure?