Well, the Wizard of Oz movie has been around for over 70 years and I think its just as fondly enjoyed now as it ever was. It certainly has had more and more merchandising over the years and is still a very lucrative franchise. I remember growing up in the 1970's we only had 3 network channels and the Wizard of Oz was shown once a year on television. That was it. It was something to look forward to yearly. Then came cable, vcr's, dvd players, blu-ray players, etc. It has managed to stand the test of time and also managed to be preserved in every format that its been available in. Who would've thought that 70+ years later you could own a digital copy (blu-ray) in such a gorgeous Hi-Def image of a film that old!!??
The biggest difference between that and Star Wars is the people that own the Wizard of Oz cares about that film... it is a piece of art, a piece of history. I have a great-niece now that is 3 years old and watches the dvd around the clock! She's as thrilled to be watching that movie now as her parents were before her (and their parents before them). It's timeless... classic! Star Wars unfortunately has been bastardized, re-done, and re-done again (which is fine, but not at the expense of losing the original film). After Lucas is finally done re-doing these films for the Xth time, the films may still carry on a legacy, but sadly those up-and-coming fans won't be able to enjoy them for what they were. I'm sure with the technology out there, the Wizard of Oz could become a true wonder to behold, with realistic CGI'd flying monkeys and a witch that makes you believe a broom can fly!! With all of that being done, would they really have to make the original film unavailable? No!! But as the Great and Powerful Lucas has proven.... there is no reasoning with that man. Sad really. There's nothing stopping him from releasing our beloved OOT, other than stubborness. Not money, not resources, not logic..... just stubborness.
Perhaps George would see the light of day if the monkeys got CGI'ed and all copies of the OZ that we know were destroyed. Or if Gone With The Wind had CGI'ed fires and Gable was replaced with George Clooney because he was closer to the look of what the writer/director had truly envisioned. And of course all current copies of the original film would need to be destroyed as there's no way someone could enjoy the old versions since we have these shiny new versions to watch. Would Mr. Lucas have the ability to acknowledge how wrong all of this would be? I'm sure other directors/writers/etc would definitely voice their opinions on the matter. Bottom line is.. He's a poor little rich kid with minimal (writing and directing) talent, but lots of resources (toys) at his disposal. He appears to be incapable of creating something new that will ever garner the 'greatness' and spectacle that was the original star wars franchise. So he chooses to keep tinkering with them and gives everyone a razzy that has the guts to state how wrong he is and shows no concern for the genuine fans that prove time and time again that we will buy the product if given the chance to!
Think I got a little sidetracked here..sorry. To answer the initial question... I think there will always be Star Wars fans, but in 50 years instead of it being remembered as the 'classic' story that it deserves to be, sitting next to other great films of time, it'll be remembered as that 'work in progress' film the George never could get right..... It's sad really.
I have all of the films in every format released... they sit on my shelf and have occassionally been played. But Star Wars for me stopped being fun a long time ago and is best seen when playing in my head as the great films I remembered and not the artificial toys that Mr Lucas keeps tinkering with. I just don't care anymore. I don't agree with the posters who say "he raped my childhood" though. He didn't take anything away from my memories.. they are still there. And I'll always remember them fondly. If he takes away my ability to watch them currently the way I want to see them, there's thousands of other shows and movies that I can watch and also spend my money on. I'll never lose any sleep over it. He just went from being 'that guy who created this wonderful world for us" to "that idiot that screwed up the films I loved dearly and could care less". And to the fanboys that will eat up any-and-everything George puts out, all I can say is enjoy it. I won't judge you, don't judge me. I think the Prequels are some of the worst films EVER made... mostly pretty eye candy with ZERO substance, horrible acting, HORRENDOUS dialog, and overall uninteresting storytelling. If you love it.. great! Enjoy. :)
Have I ranted enough? Sorry....