"The issue was, ultimately, they looked at the stories and they said, 'We want to make something for the fans,'" says Lucas.
A lesson you would do well to learn Mr Lucas. Making your fans happy is how you became a success in the first place...
I agreed with you right up until this point. The story writer's first loyalty is to the story, not the fans. You can never satisfy fan expectations, because for every fan who likes one story point, you'll find another fan who passionately hates that very same story point.
As an example, look at all the Harry Potter fan fiction out there. Suppose JK Rawlings decided to write The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows according to fan wishes. Do you think that would have honestly been a better story? Or in Babylon 5, suppose Straczynski went for the "fan friendly" end to the Shadow War with an all-out CGI battle? Would the long term story goals have been served by this?
George Lucas can't write decent dialog, that much is true. His "CGI for the sake of CGI" sequences in I-III really detracted from the story. Directing seems also problematic. But he created an interesting universe with an interesting story. To read that JJ Abrams is making a fan-aimed Star Wars saddens me, as that means the story of Star Wars (eg. does the actions of our parents dictate our own fate?) is likely to be ignored. Sure, we've seen the beautiful vistas of crashed Star Destroyers, the Nazi-esq First Order rallies etc. But at what cost?
Be faithful to the story, not the fans. Fans of the story will follow you anyway. But pander to the fans... well, enjoy Draco Malfoy teaching Hermione Granger a few muggle things