No Right Answer: This Generation's "Star Wars"

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Toy Story should be this generations Star Wars.

I was thinking that too. Surprised it didn't come up earlier.

Though The Matrix has a pretty strong claim as well. I still say Toy Story though.

Because the quantity and quality of produced art crossed a critical point, nothing can get as massive as SW. Generation Z's SW is GTA. Gen I's is MLP FIM. Welcome to the third millenium.

Oh come on, everyone knows the Star Wars of Gen Y is Batman.
Edit: Apparently I should point out that Gen Y starts with 1980, which means I am pointing from the '89 film to The Dark Knight Rises.

My film studies teacher told me it was Toy Story. I have to agree to an extent, it did bring on a whole new technology and inspired a genre.

I think Star Wars is not this gens Star Wars. The main people that talk about Star Wars are the people that watched Star Wars as a kid when it first came out. What ever Star Wars fans it has in this gen is overshadowed by the ones in last Gen and most fans of this Gen likes the prequels because they never were as attached to the original series

I like to think it is Harry Potter books. This Gen is being more and more cynical towards Hollywood and tends to move on to other mediums whereas the Star Wars generation was still in the "new Hollywood" era so "this Gen's Star Wars" doesn't have to be a movie like in the past (it could even be Zelda)

also it's called the Millennial Generation

Harry Potter is hands down the winner of this one. LotR has been around for decades, and though the movies were very popular, they simply weren't the massive phenomenon that Harry Potter was.

If I had to pick something to argue against it, I probably would have gone with Pokemon, which was pretty fuckin big, around the same time as Harry Potter.


are they allowed to post footage of a '3-way' on the escapist /badjoke

but, hmm i'd say ether LotR or SW. why? cause, i've seen (most) the SW prequels, and i've seen all 3 LotR movies, where as i've only seen like 2 HP movies

I have to agree with the Harry Potter bit and not just because it represents my childhood.
Or maybe because it represents my childhood.

And I'm sorry, but I had to watch that video twice, because the first time I was too busying comparing Dan to Dan Vs. I swear they look alike... >.>

Harry Potter wins. If kids are willing to read to get their storyline fix, then it is the clear victor. Colleges are challenging one another to Quiddich competitions. There's now a Harry Potter section in Univerasl Studios. More people know about the Time Turner than Tina Turner. I can't name more than four people in Lord of the Rings, but I could rattle off a couple dozen HP folks.

(1) Knowing more characters from HP than LotR makes you an incredibly odd duck on the internet.

(2) Harry Potter the books preceded the movies by a good bit of time and a huge tsunami of cash, so the movies are not really of much relative significance comparatively and honestly I rather doubt they'll be remembered anywhere near as long. There were literally HP-themed conventions with cosplay three years before the first movie came out.

Which, frankly, I have no problem with. If the best-remembered piece of literature in the 90's is a book rather than a film, fucking GOOD.

(For films, probably the Matrix has the most staying power from that period. It's the only movie from the '90s that I can see on someone's shelf that I don't immediately assume was a gift from a well-meaning but misguided friend or relative.)

First off, long live Lord of the Rings. I prefer it to HP OR Star Wars. So yes, LotR was the Star Wars of a generation. But that generation was the Greatest Generation. Frodo Lives anyone? Maybe a bit of the Baby Boomers. It brought to life huge worlds for kids. Later it became a great movie, but it was more an adult movie. It didn't shape as many kids lives, because it was aimed a bit older, especially at people who had already read the books. It was a homage to a classic. HP shaped the childhoods of countless, brought books to the forefront, and had a full life as both book and movie independently.

New Star Wars may be lucrative and iconic, but a lot of that is nostalgic, oftentimes dissapointed older people, not the newer generation. Hardly the cultural, defining force of HP, not by a long shot.

Of course were really talking about late gen Y'ers. Someone born during the Reagan years didn't grow up with Harry Potter. If I had to choose something for them, probably Star Wars, original. Besides that, the field was kind of barren.

Happy Birthday, Dan!

Honestly, between those two, I'd say Harry Potter better fits the description of Generation Y's "Star Wars". I love Lord of the Rings and don't really care about Harry Potter, but Harry probably has more cultural significance than Frodo.

You guys read the comments don't you? We asked for a 3 way debate back when Dan first appeared and now you're giving us one. Not to mention, just putting Dan in more of these videos seems to suggest that you read the comments, since we also asked for that, too. In that case, I'll just point out that I always look forward to these videos. They make the rough work day on Thursday worth while.

Avatar: The Last Airbender anyone?

Yeah, that was a great show. Doesn't quite fit the description, though.

Yes, we do read the comments. Glad to hear that we put a little sunshine in your Thursdays. hopefully you enjoy the three-way debate.

80's and forward? That's me, I guess.

Star Wars is my Star Wars. The originals, the games, the comics, and even the prequels.

I haven't even touched Harry Potter, and don't care that much for Lord of the Rings. For fantasy, I'm going with Discworld.


-That one is a catch for HP, it doesn't have it's Yoda or it's "I am your father" moment. As far as I know anyway. There's not one seriously memorable moment that I can think of, that sounds bad but what I mean is there isn't one unifying moment in Harry Potter. It's got plenty of moments but not one that makes every single fan tingle.

Don't know about other people, but I'd put the death of Sirius as HP's "I am your father" moment. I remember reading it and just feeling like I'd been hit with a sledgehammer

I was born 1991, and I have to say that my 'Star Wars'... was Star Wars. The ORIGINAL star wars.

Guys, it really hasn't been as long as you seem to think since these movies were released on VHS for the last time. I remember watching Star Wars in my living room and going wide-eyed over and over every time Vader said "I am your father". I remember my mother pulling me out of school early to go see the first of the prequels. I was ecstatic to see more of the series that made me squeal like a happy puppy throughout my childhood, not because my parents were excited (my dad didn't care at all) And frankly the original star wars has stayed with me for far longer and much more strongly than Harry Potter.

Harry Potter: Hey, you think the movies are good? You should read the books!

Lord of the Rings: Hey, you think the movies are long? You... probably shouldn't read the books.

Star Wars Prequels: Hey, you think the movies are good? Really? What's wrong with you?

Personally, I don't think we have a Star Wars for the same reason we don't have a Carson. There's too much to choose from and that just dilutes all the choices.

it's a better show with all 3 of you. Although I think you're all right on this one in all the ways you guys said, there really is no right answer here.

in terms of movie quality, Lord of the Rings for sure. Star Wars was exceptional as was Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings and Star Wars (and maybe Titanic as well) are basically the great wonders of movie making. What ancient egyptians carved in stone, those are those 3 movies/series in terms of quality.

in terms of cultural phenomenon, Harry Potter for sure. It swept up the whole era, at least in terms of fantasy setting. There was a vehement counter culture and a lot of well deserved ribbing, but it really was a phenomenon, which managed to hold the attention of not just children for the better course of 10 years and counting. Philosopher's Stone was published in 1997, it's now 2011, and we're still talking about it. Lord of the Rings CERTAINLY did that, but as far as cultural phenomenon (aside from cementing Ian McKellen as Gandalf in our minds), that was it's work in the past. The Lord of the Rings movies were celebrations of the source material, which was written decades ago.

And the Prequel movies paint a much grimmer picture of the generation. But that was a hilariously accurate picture.

For me (born 1992) Star wars is definitely it. Star Wars was what I grew up surrounded with. I never really got into the movies, however, the first of the prequels was the first thing to really make me go googly-eyed (not for long though, I've never been much of a fanboy). As a little kid I found the light-saber battles, pod-racing and mystical, almost wiped out Jedi to be the epitome of awesome. The games also captured my attention. My brother and I got pod racer at a very young age, and that game probably incited my current fondness of the racing genre. then there were others like Jedi Academy and KOTOR. Now there is the bloody biggest budget game in history, the MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, with one of the fastest growing communities in MMO history, and over 1.5 million players already. That the prequel trilogy itself made only a moderate impact is irrelevant with what else the Star Wars universe has accomplished. The original Star Wars was also very big for me (see HalfTangible's post a few before this one).

Harry potter was a very small thing to me. by the time I had seen the first book I was already an avid reader. I heard very little about it after around 2004 (maybe it was the degradation in quality the series had seen). When It was new, I admit, I did find it entertaining, and lost interest quickly.

I would love to say that "The Wheel of Time" is this generations Star Wars, but can't. I haven't met anyone who hasn't heard of it. No one who doesn't have an opinion on it. It really made a difference to me too. It is one of the best... no, the best series I have ever read. Maybe the level it is written at keeps it from becoming truly renowned though. I want movies! The rich detail that was put into the world by Robert Jordan is almost unsurpassable.

In conclusion, out of LOTR, Harry Potter and Star Wars, Star Wars must be this generation's Star Wars. Harry Potter makes a good run of it, but it just can't match the bet Star Wars makes. The momentum of this Science-Fiction monolith is enormous, and is still to prevalent to be pushed to the wayside.

Also from what I read, it seemed that people were only considering movies. this is a mistake as such are only a small part of what these things are. there is more to any of these three than the movies that are based upon them. the worst of this being with the Star Wars prequels. There are games! Tons of them. And books too! we could also consider conventions and the like. It doesn't matter when something came out. what is being considered is it's impact on the 1980 to mid/late 1990's generation.


(1) Knowing more characters from HP than LotR makes you an incredibly odd duck on the internet.

I thought this over. While I have reconsidered my notion that I couldn't name more than four LotR characters, I would still argue that the larger number of internet surfers will be more familiar with HP characters. I say this based on recency effects, relatable characters and simply easier to promounce names. "Dobby" is easier to remember than "Gimli". They're both made up, but Ms. Rowling kept everything dumb(ledor)ed down and packed full of personified consonant sounds for her primary audience--young readers.

If the best-remembered piece of literature in the 90's is a book rather than a film, fucking GOOD.

Agreed. Expletive included. I'm old. I've ready all of the books. But, I read the HP books a lot more recently.

harry potter, the only movie that I went to see in the theater alone, ever.

In my opinion, Harry Potter is bigger than Star Wars.

I fucking learned to read on Harry Potter and I watched the last movie during my senior year of college. You can't get any more lasting than that.

Though to be honest, it's probably more of a generation X thing. For people who are now in their early twenties.

people that are in their early 20's are generation Y, not X, who are +30 now.

Harry Potter is more than a cultural phenomenon, just like Star Wars. The difference here between in at Lord of the Rings is that indeed, Lord of the Rings is an old classic of the fantasy genre. If anything, Lord of the Rings IS the Fantasy genre. Lord of the Rings CREATED the fantasy genre. It may not have been the sole inventor, but it brought the genre into mention. Harry Potter would not exist without Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings is an old fandom, much older than Star Wars, that has been revived a bit. If anything, Star Trek was the new Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars was the new Star Trek.

What Harry Potter is, is basically another successful "Shounen" anime, as it could be put. Just a live-action and not actually animated. Nonetheless, think about how many anime started as a light novel. Harry Potter basically fits all the "shounen" anime tropes. And is kind of a successful hit of an adventure of the young just like other successful hits that formed almost a subculture in the 90s, such as Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Pokemon, and the Matrix. And to a degree, that's true of Star Wars, in that it started with Luke Skywalker.

Star Wars was the generational "big nerd fandom" of the 80s. The 90s largely had things like Pokemon. As Pokemon started to die down, Harry Potter was hot on it's tail. And just like Pokemon and Star Wars before it, Harry Potter is still very alive but still heavily on the decline. As in, every news outlet isn't focusing on it like they once did Star Wars, Pokemon, and Harry Potter.

It also shows that, for all people complain about young, fresh people who don't know what the heck they're doing being thrown into a world of adventure so that viewers can see it through their eyes, such as Luke Skywalker learning about the force, Harry Potter learning about the world of Wizards, Satoshi/Ash Ketchum learning about the vast world of semi-friendly monsters, that formula is beloved and successful.

Perhaps part of why Episode VI is much more successful than the original trilogy, is because we did not have a Luke Skywalker to identify with.

To put things into perspective, Lord of the Rings is not the Star Wars of this generation. It was the Lord of the Rings of it's own generation. It is a cultural phenomenon that continues to this day. But the Star Wars thing was defined by being "the next new thing" and nerdy adventure fad. Something that gave the Star Trek fandom a run for it's money for a while. Harry Potter wins this one out of proper context.

I can't believe I'm responding so seriously to a silly comedy video not meant to be taken seriously.

You know? I kinda think that this generation's Star Wars might not be a specific franchise. I think it might be anime.

... Actually, that sounds pretty stupid. Never mind, it's probably Harry Potter.

I'm going to specify the books, though, because the movies really suffer as adaptations. I definitely recommend the Potter books to anyone who hasn't read them, but I can't say that I would heartily recommend a newcomer to go out and watch the HP movies.

I mean, I guess that's not really the point, since it's not about being good. But I'm not even sure you can really say they're part of the cultural zeitgeist in anything even approaching the same way the books are. Hell, I'm a pretty big Potter fan and even I wasn't like "Man, I GOTTA see the next one!" by the time the film adaptations were wrapping up. I went to see Deathly Hallows parts 1 and 2 out of a feeling of fan obligation, not because I was actually all that psyched. I have a feeling the books are going to be far better remembered than the movies.

I was born in the mid-80s and I had no idea what Harry Potter was until my last year of high school. Meanwhile I must have watched each of the original Star Wars movies a dozen times before I reached even high school. And then I watched the remastered versions.

But for the people I know who were born in the 90s? HP is absolutely their equivalent to the Star Wars phenomenon.

Easiest No Right Answer question ever. Don't bother with the three-way.

Things the original Star Wars had:
3 Feature length movies (All three in the top 15 movies of all time after adjusting for inflation)
2 Ewok movies
2 Cartoon Shows
A Ride at Disney Land
Numerous books (Separate form Movie Novelizations) expanding on the universe.
Several Games (Separate from the Movies) expanding on the universe.

Neither Harry Potter, nor The Lord of the Rings matches that.

Movies - Lord of the Rings wins on Box office results, taking the 51, 60, and 75th position. (The top harry potter film only reached 67 )
Movies - No supplemental Movies exist for either.
TV - No supplemental TV shows exist for either.
Rides - Harry Potter does have amusement park rides, but Universal is also planningo n building Lord of the Rings ones so that's a toss up.
Books - Lord of the Rings has the closest thing to supplemental books with the Silmarillion.
Games - Lord of the rings wins this since Harry Potter ONLY has movie licensed games.

With The Hobbit coming out, I have to give this one to LOTR. HOWEVER, Harry Potter has more potential. If Rowling opens up her IP to let others write books in the universe, produce movies, tv shows, and games to expand on the mythos then I think Harry Potter could take it.

That said, the star Wars Prequels sweep this, earning more in the box office, having additional movies made of them, tv shows, books, games, and rides. Not to mention merchandise, cos play, ext. So ya, Star Wars continues to be Star Wars.

I'm sure this has been said, but I'm pretty sure any book/movie series that has a whole section of a theme park dedicated to it has probably had more of an effect on the culture.

As much as I love the Lord of the Rings, the books, the setting, the movies and everything... I have to say Harry Potter on this one. Definitely Harry Potter.

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