Re: An even better question
"Unfortunately, the usual Hollywood drones got loose on the sequels and degraded them into the usual hohum product."
It's just that the usual Hollywood drones had the most influence on the first, 1977 movie. Over time and further movies, George Lucas steadily expanded his influence from 'being allowed to do it by the studio' to 'total control over the franchise'.
And we all know the results of this.