you cant argue with initial success and all the breakthroughs(artistic, technological, problematic) made to get it to the screen. And structuraly, A New Hope is a solid stand-alone film without having to remind us of its place in a larger, multifilm story arch. (Remember those days? when Hollywood didnt automatically sell things as a trilogies? A sarcastic 'thank you' to the Star Wars business model.)
Im only saying this in trying to dissect the film critic from the fan in me. I mean, Temple of Doom is my favorite Indy film, but I wont and cant argue that its a better film than Raiders.
Exactly, when you look at all the setbacks and struggles George went through to get the original star wars made it's hard not to think of it as the standard, heck it even makes me appreciate Geoge Lucas as a filmmaker and that's not an easy task considering the star wars saga as a whole. You also bring a valid point in the better film/favorite film argument, for example my favorite SW movie will always be ROTJ, ever since I was a kid are ANH and ESB better films? yes but it's still my personal favorite even though the Emperor's "best troops" got beaten by a bunch of killer teddy bears.