I used to be a huge Star Wars fan, and 60-70% of the reason was the EU. It's not necessarily that I thought the EU was better, per se, but I don't know any other Expanded Universe that is (or rather was) as tightly interconnected as Star Wars' was. Every movie, every novel, every comic and every game told a piece of a larger story. The story and history of a world, a galaxy, that is not our own. I consider myself a history nerd, and when it came to Star Wars, there was so much detail and coherence that it was like researching a completely different history. Was it always perfect? No, but when continuity is maintained by just one single man, the fact that the EU was even as coherent as it was is a testament to how good he was at that job.
No other set of licensed works allowed that. I remember reading a novel that made a slight nod to a mission from the Rogue Squadron games (I don't remember which book or mission anymore). I loved the Rogue Squadron games, and merely having that single acknowledgement felt like...I dunno, a reward of some kind. It felt like playing the games was worth my time, because those missions mattered. Admittedly they might not have mattered a lot, but as far galactic history was concerned, they still happened. They were still canon.
Compare most other licensed works that sort of do their own thing, rarely cross-reference each other and openly contradict each other. Sure, authors may have more "Freedom" but when you read one of those, you know that it's just a licensed work. Contrarily, when you read or played a Star Wars game, you were stepping into a whole other world that was in some ways like the movies and other times very, very different.
The nukage of the EU is a loss I still feel today, as 20 years of continuity had just been erased, along with several of my favorite characters and stories. Wedge Antilles (even if not an EU-exclusive character, pretty much everything that made Wedge Wedge came from the EU), Grand Admiral Thrawn (who is, believe it or not, only my second-favorite character from the Thrawn trilogy), Gilad Pellaeon...
All that expansive history. All those characters. All those stories. Just...gone. Erased, in the blink of an eye.
As far as the movies themselves go, I'm used to having the minority opinion. Like Red, I also don't hate Episode I (though it's not my favorite, either). In fact, it was my introduction to the franchise. But even today it's probably my least favorite of the series (though again, I don't hate it. I do actually like it. I just like the others more). Shortly after I saw Episodes IV-VI. Episode VI was my favorite.
I remember seeing Episode II in theaters and being happy with it. Later on I saw Episode III. And I can say, Revenge of the Sith is my favorite film of the series. I love the visual design, the soundtrack, the finality of it, and how it shows the birth of the Empire. It was a beautifully executed dark ending.
Episode VI however remains my second-favorite for similar reasons above. Also both movies had a massive serving of Palpatine, who is just so delicious every time he's on screen.
I don't think I'm being blinded by nostalgia, either. I saw all six movies roughly around the same time, and I still feel I can acknowledge the flaws of each. But I also accept that no movie is perfect, so as long as I think the flaws don't detract from the experience, and I don't, then I can enjoy even the movies everyone else hates.
(That being said, that's why I still accept Force Awakens as just okay, and another reason why I'm not the biggest fan of it. The original six movies all felt cohesive to me. That they all told one big story. And yes, all six, which includes the prequel trilogy. In a lot of ways, Force Awakens felt like it was catering only to fans of the Original Trilogy and sort of giving the middle finger to fans of the Prequel Trilogy. It also kind of lacked the whimsy and sense of wonder the other movies had. Like, I'm fine with the Original Trilogy having some basic settings (desert, snow field, forest), but that's excused by the limited technology of the time. But as soon as that restriction was removed, we got planets that were nothing but a giant city, a world covered in boiling lava, a world covered in a vast, tumultuous ocean... Then Force Awakens just sort of hits us with basic settings once again, It wasn't bad but it felt kind of disappointing. Something I always felt Star Wars was way better at compared to most other SciFi stuff (like, say, Star Trek) was the design of its aliens and alien planets. A planet-wide city? Who cares if it's unrealistic, throw it in! A planet of deep holes and craters? Sure!)