I think you make a very good point here, payn, especially with point #1: a good backstory can do a lot to give a story depth and a delightful blend of explanation and mystery. That is all to the good. But most backstory only really works if it stays backstory. Turning it into the foreground narrative rarely works well, IME.
I think so. I mean, it's not impossible, but I've not seen many work well.Prequels, meh. Amiright?