I don't hear much anymore about the original Star Wars roleplaying game, released in 1987 by West End Games. It's a shame, because it was a great game.
The rules, though a little uneven at the outset (there were several published revisions) were profoundly different than D&D, and not just for the sake of being different. The creators of West End's game developed, in many respects, a new roleplaying mechanic--one that was more elegant than D&D's variety of dice, rules, mechanics and tables.
Also of importance were the miniature figures that accompanied the game. They were gorgeously done, although weirdly small (about 22 mm instead of the standard 25). Despite their size, they were a joy to paint and use. I blogged about them in September 2011.
I haven't found much of interest online about WEG Star Wars. But here's a video on YouTube by someone who admires the game for many of the reasons I did as a teenager. I haven't played the game since I was 17 or so (ie since 1990) and I doubt I'll ever play it again, but I remember it fondly.