This annoying kid named Eric Ostrander was my next-door neighbor in the early 80's. One day, I was playing with my GI Joes in the backyard and he leaned up against the wood fence that separated our homes and peaked through a little hole and awkwardly squawked, "Hi, my name is Eric Ostrander! I'm your new neighbor! My mom said you could come over and play. Do you want to come over and play?"
I could only see his weird little eye through the hole in the fence. I found both his presumption and presentation appalling. I told him I had to ask my mom. I went inside, stood by the door and counted to ten, then came back out and said, "Sorry, my mom said no". This went on daily for what seemed like months but was probably only a week or so, and then suddenly one day, Eric Ostrander let it be known that he had "almost every Star Wars action figure known to man", Suddenly, my mom became quite amenable to my visiting the Ostrander home. I hadn't even seen the movies, but I knew I loved the characters, and since I only personally collected GI Joes, this was an excellent way to (temporarily) double my toy collection. And Eric himself was worth tolerating. Although I still joined in the taunting at the bus stop when he loudly insisted to everyone that the Easter Bunny was real. But I didn't feel great about it.
Then in 1983, my mother took my sister and I to see Return of the Jedi. I was very excited to see it, even though my knowledge of the characters and the story was limited to whatever I could gleam from what passed for pop culture at the time. Mainly: coloring books, lunch boxes, back packs, appearances on The Muppet Show, what Eric told me, etc. I don't think I even really grasped that there were movies before Return of the Jedi at all. Though after just a few minutes of Jedi, I very quickly realized I was watching something that was more than half over. Han was being rescued from carbonite, everyone knew each other and had little in-jokes that I didn't get and the audience was laughing along and responding to all of it. I hated that feeling of not knowing what the hell was going on. I think that was the start of my very firm, very strict fidelity to continuity and the whole-hearted belief that art should be consumed in order dammit, as the creators intended. Back before the days of DVRs and Netflix streaming and the like, that led to me missing out on a lot of TV shows that I had to catch up on years later in syndication.
Anyway, I eventually caught A New Hope a couple years after that and then finally Empire Strikes Back. But I think the fact that I watched Jedi before the other two implanted that one in my brain as being what represents "Star Wars" to me, and it's my favorite, despite the fact that I know I'm supposed to say my favorite is Empire.
So anyway, let's kick this into hyperdrive.