Fancy painted miniatures are a great way to spice up a game. They add colour and life and visual reference points to a game otherwise mostly played in the imagination. They crystallise in-game locations, objects, and characters, making it easier to visualise the action and to plan your actions.
They also make it really easy to know what parts of the adventure to ignore completely while you concentrate on investigating trivial throw-away stuff that the GM only mentioned in passing for added detail.
C-3PO: That's funny, the damage doesn't look as bad from out here.
R2-D2: We don't want to smash up this fancy miniature.
GM: It took me four weeks to finish painting this and you're abandoning it already!
R2-D2: I can't wait to see what you've prepared for my dreadnought.
GM: Oh, I'm sure you'll be surprised.