For me these Sequels I don’t like and think they take away from the OT. i.e. won’t be able to get them out of my head when I watch the OT. But I’m hoping at least a few years after Episode 9 is done that I’ll be able to put 7-9 in a “box” and be able to ignore them when watching the OT. As that’s what I have to do with the prequels when watching the OT.
The only good thing about Lucas’ complete rejection of the unaltered trilogy is that, as a fan, I see that trilogy as being in a completely separate canon. I think this hit me when Sebastian Shaw got edited out of the Force Ghost scene. I realised that the prequels simply weren’t telling the story of the elderly Anakin that I grew up with (who Lucas himself had described as ‘being in his 60s’ back in ‘83) but a ‘revised’ version of the OT where Anakin was much younger. The more Lucas tweaked the originals to fit his prequels, the more I realised that this was a separate story - a kind of alternate SW universe. Lucas’ (and Kathleen Kennedy’s) complete refusal to acknowledge the original movies as canon only solidifies this.
With TFA my ‘head canon’ was on the fence a) because I wasn’t sure about this new series yet and b) because Abrams famously said that ‘Han shot first’ (which means that, irrespective of the party line at Disney, he was seeing his film as exisiting in that original universe). So at that point I had to acknowledge that we can all take our SW canon a la carte. Even though TFA referenced ‘balance to the Force’ and ‘Clone troopers’, I felt that those references were vague enough to not necessarily be direct PT references as such.
I have to admit Luke’s referring to ‘Sidious’ in TLJ changed this for me. We’re in PT canon now as far as I’m concerned, which is okay because I don’t really like TLJ anyway. So as furious as I am that George Lucas has loudly declared the original movies to invalid, this only serves to preserve those movies in their own little canon bubble. Which is fine by me because when I watch them, I don’t feel remotely inclined to imagine a universe full of midichlorians, Jar Jar Binks, an idiotic Jedi council, or Mary Poppins Leia.