Star Wars has always been more about the visuals and the story with a lot less focus on the acting (I'm looking at you Hayden and Natalie).
Not to stir up another hornet's nest, but I'm convinced that what performances we got out of Hayden and Natalie were a product of 20% their own doing, and 80% bad directing. Lucas got LUCKY with ANH and like you pointed out things like "But I wanted to pick up some power converters whine whine whine" is pretty bad - we just forgive it because most of us look back at ANH through a VERY thick pair of rose colored glasses.
I have seen both Hayden (Life as a House) and Natalie (Black Swan) turn in performances that were great. In fact, if I were to pick their WORST performances EVER, it would be their performances in the Star Wars prequels.