There has never really been something as ambituous and far-reaching as this ever done in the fan community, which takes all the x-factors and disconnected little bits of knowledge and finally puts them all together in a cohesive "answer." In a way, that is what i hope this is--a sort of answer, a way for people to finally understand "ah, so that is how that happened." It explains the how, when and why of the Star Wars story itself.
It would be impossible to post this in the thread as some people do with their essays--it clocks in at over 400 pages--but i built a website for it. The book is available for download in PDF format and is just under 4 MB in size. A hefty read? I suppose so. But i guarantee that it will be worth it.
Also, to put an OT.com spin on it, although the book deals with the overall saga, and most people here will definitly enjoy the first six chapters on the origninal trilogy, the remaining four on the creation of the PT may be of interest--it may shed some light on "where the films went wrong." You can see how, where and why Lucas slowly began changing elements in the universe, and how the first draft of TPM was more along the lines of what we wanted to see--and see why and how he changed it into the TPM that we ended up with and how this affected the following two films. Its also very interesting to see how drastically ROTS was changed--the most major changes occuring after the film was even shot!
I don't have a "fan preservation" video to add to the community so in a way this is my fan preservation--it collects all the information and quotes that are seldom heard and are in danger of being swallowed up by time (ie Lucas original quotes on planning twelve films, Marcia Lucas' thoughts on the divorce, etc.).
The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!
"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."
--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010