I should probably start out by saying that I love the Star Wars movies. How could I not? I was born in 1975. The original 'Star Wars' practically rewrote the entirety of pop culture during the most formative period of my life. I'm always going to be a Star Wars fan, and there is nothing that George Lucas can do to wreck it. That said, I am not one of those people who believes that Lucas Can Do No Wrong. He made lots of mistakes in crafting the six films that make up the Star Wars saga--Jar Jar Binks, having Boba Fett get beaten by a blind guy with a stick, abruptly changing the inspiration for the Jedi fighting style from samurai movies to wuxia films, the whole "having the Trade Federation guys talk like Thai busboys", failing to explain who the Sith are and what they want revenge for, failing to explain what the prophecy about "bringing balance to the Force" was and whether the Jedi were for it or against it, the entire podrace sequence...
But he only made one big mistake. George Lucas made one key mistake in the Star Wars films, one that affected the entire perception of the story for generations of fans. Specifically, he made the Jedi too awesome. (Especially Yoda.)
Because the point of the whole Star Wars saga is that the Jedi are no better than the Sith. Sure, the Sith establish the Empire, crushing the Jedi and ruling the galaxy with an iron fist...but the Jedi establish the Republic, and it sure does seem like all the alien races immune to the Jedi mind-control powers wind up stuck on the arse end of the galaxy with a chip on their shoulder, doesn't it? The Jedi don't believe in love. They take away children and raise them to believe that it's bad to love their parents, it's bad to form attachments to other human beings, and the only thing that's important is "the greater good". (And notice that we never see any failed Jedi? Plenty in the Expanded Universe, sure, but we've seen lots of evidence that the Expanded Universe doesn't represent Lucas' vision. In the Lucas-helmed Star Wars films, we're left to wonder.) The Jedi philosophy is sterile, cold, repressed and joyless, and they're the enforcers of the peace in the Republic. Does that sound like a fun place to live? Everyone pointed to the line "Only a Sth thinks in absolutes" as an accidental irony, but there's no accident to it.
And Yoda, the exemplar of the Jedi philosophy, is wrong about everything. Literally everything. He tells Luke that there's no such thing as redemption--"once you start down the path of the Dark Side, forever will it dominate your destiny." He says that love always leads to fear and pain and loss, that if Luke tries to save Vader that he will die and his cause will be lost, and that Anakin's only path to redemption is to give up on his love of Padme and stand by and watch her die. His inflexible, blinkered philosophy is directly responsible for Anakin's fall as much as Palpatine's influence. When Luke says, "I am a Jedi, like my father before me," it's not just a repudiation of the Emperor, it's a repudiation of Yoda as well. The implication is clear. Anakin was a true Jedi; before he failed the order, the order first failed him.
But all that gets lost in the sheer awesomeness of the Jedi. The signal-to-noise ratio is too high--Yoda is a cool Wise Old Master with all the good bits in Episode Five, Qui-Gon Jinn is played by Liam Neeson and Mace Windu is Samuel Freaking Jackson, and the lightsaber is the coolest weapon in the history of film. Everyone takes Yoda's words at face value--even the authorized sequels, which show Luke trying to re-establish the Jedi in the image of the old order. Everyone assumes that Luke narrowly won his struggle with the Dark Side at the end, but in fact, he did exactly what people do every day. He got upset, he channeled his anger constructively, and then he calmed down. Only the Manichean nutbags who run the Jedi and the Sith think that this is some kind of near-impossible achievement. The Jedi aren't the heroes of the film, Luke is, for realizing that there's something more than the false duality that trapped and ultimately destroyed his father.
That's the message of the Star Wars films, and it's a shame that Lucas made it so hard for people to notice.