I liked the prequels, they did show us how the empire was formed and made it clear that the Republic wasn't all roses and candies like the original trilogy give us the impression. For the political lore of Star Wars the prequels were fundamental. And really gave depth for that "evil empire", showing it actually came from somewhere and wasn't just there.
As for the new trilogy, I do think they made this terrible mistake of not defining an arc prior to filming.
The very boring political intrigue in the prequels didn't match the tone of the original trilogy, but I could look past that if the main purpose of the prequels had done its job. Jake Lloyd was an absolutely atrocious Anakin (Haley Joel Osment post-Sixth Sense would have made a much darker and better character...and it would have kept his career afloat), and Hayden Christensen is cringe at its finest. Even Natalie Portman is rendered a terrible stage actress having to vocalize the terrible dialogue that Lucas made her attempt to recite. Add to this the fact that the prequels look too shiny and clean and really divert from the "lived in" look of teh original trilogy, the reliance on CGI as a character, and the awful acting by just about everyone (Ewan and Liam are ok with what they have to work with) and there is absolutely nothing believable throughout the prequels. The especially painful "Noooooooo" that Vader unleashes is so laughable that it makes even the most redeeming prequel film a giant mistake as it completely fails to stick the landing and turns the iconic Vader into a comic relief character.
Many of the folks who hate the sequels grew up on the prequels and never had a problem with them. That disconnect is so great and it shows that the Star Wars universe will forever be divided, both in story and out. That's actually probably a good thing as both fanbases can be appealed to and appeased in the years to come and even the two halves will have casual viewers between both that will simply increase overall profits and ticket sales. The OP suggest that the Star Wars universe is dead...wow, that's about the most incredibly backwards thesis I could ever imagine. Sure, there isn't much hype in the universe right now, but that's also because we don't have anything to be hyped about yet. Just wait until we get another teaser trailer and watch the internet go crazy, in all manner of ways, of course.