No Right Answer: This Generation's "Star Wars" Part 2

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Harry Potter has only stuck around so long because it has taken so long to finish so it is hard to tell whether or not it will be remembered but it already seems to be fading out quickly.
I think that the prequels are this generations Star Wars. They may not be good but they have had a lasting impact and will be remembered far into the future.

2) Star Trek: The Next Generation. That show has got to be the only sci-fi show that's been watched by so many people since the original Star Trek! It was popular, and was able to turn episodes into huge events! Think of "The Best of Both Worlds" -- we had to wait months for the conclusion after seeing this cliffhanger!

TNG is not the right generation and is that generations Star Trek not Star Wars. The impact of Star Trek has always been a much different one than the impact of Star Wars.


Kyle at the end of that video: "I've made a huge mistake."

Out of the choices, I'd have to say Harry Potter. Star Wars (at its launch) was considered a kids movie. It took science fiction to a broader audience, and was an amazing cultural phenomenon.
Harry Potter is, at bare minimum, that.

Posting last sentence here as a TL;DR.
Even if the rest is ignored, the fact that Harry Potter was so set in our culture that people would be saddened that it wasn't there, as opposed to cheering for a break, cements it as this generation's Star Wars.

That mini essay having been written, I could argue that comic book movies, particular Marvel, are this generations Star Wars (but I guess we have to wait until the Avengers to firmly decide that). Hell, Marvel's been putting out multiple movies a year, and I rarely hear any complaints.

Scoreboard had 4, 3, 2
or 4, 2, 2, whatever.
either way, Harry Potter won. I don't agree, but even though they jumbled the end, the winner in this debate was clear.

Well done all. I enjoyed the three way debate. The gargleclosings were fun. Now go back to your two-perspective format. This was too chaotic on a topic that I thought was already nicely covered last episode.

This is what I would love to see. Do an episode moving from the format:

    A. "This is my cool fact." vs. "This is my cool fact." which tends to slowly accumulate points but isn't a great debate. Points have to be arbitrarily awarded. Dan does a nice job, but I often wonder "Why is THAT a point?" when one clicks over.
To a format:
    B. A back and forth bullet pointed debate:
      1) Debater 1 gets one sentence to make a statement about the topic he is championing.
      2) Debater 2 may respond with:
        a) Agree (point awarded to Debater 1)
        b) Disagree -- Debater 2 says one sentence to refute claim of Debater 1.
          1. Sentence lacks merit to refute claim--point awarded to Debater 1
          2. Sentence refutes claim--Point awarded to Debater 2
      3) Switch lead statement to Debater 2 and repeat.
      Speaking out of turn or more than one sentence = point awarded to opponent.

This will likely require more editing to cut out some pregnant pauses while folks consider their single sentences. But I'd bank on some hillarity of folks trying to stretch their sentence into a paragraph and struggling to encapsulate a concept into a single statement. Maybe it needs a bit of tweaking. Maybe you get two sentences. Experiment a little.

This generation's Star Wars?

The Twilight Saga.

God help us all.

Wouldn't this generations Star Wars be defined by cultural impact rather than financial or critical success or failure of expectations?

Yes. And as such, it's pretty clearly Harry Potter.

While I hate to say Harry Potter, as I think that it is a badly written, steaming pool of frog piss (thats the books as I have not bothered to see any of the movies past 3 so I cannot judge), it has had the biggest cultural impact.

But I do wonder how may people read the later Harry Potter books just to find out what happened. I was tired of the series by the third but had to keep reading to find out because I am like that. And before abyone tells me it is because they are for kids I was 9 when this book came out.

Ha ha ha, excellent episode, I literally laughed out loud... Poor Dan, he only gets a tiny chair and has to wear only a thin t-shirt when his friends are in cozy jackets! He's too good for you!

I totally buy Kyle's argument. If something defines this generation it's empty cash-grabs that attempt and fail to recapture the wonder of something past due to fundamentally misunderstanding its core value and replicating only its surface, and that's what the new Star Wars is.


This Generation's "Star Wars" Part 2

A three-way debate? A two-part episode? What is this, sweeps week? It doesn't matter, because it's debate time! Kyle pulls out a wild card with his opinions, while Chris and Dan try to gather their forces. The arguments being made must grow, go on long journeys of discovery, and then end up where they began, but changed. Wow, maybe this generation's Star Wars is this description?

And don't forget, if you don't understand our decisions or want to have more of our material to complete your shrines to us, Mondays feature a new written companion piece titled No Right Explanation. We dare you to make less sense!

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Lord of the Rings, people learned to speak, read and write elvish...elfish...elven? Either way what did Harry Potter inspire? People learning Latin? Naming their locations with terrible puns? (Diagon Ally=Diagonally)

As for the cast of Star Wars being type casted; Harrison Ford was obviously the biggest break out star from that, but Mark Hamill became the Joker, and Kerry Fisher became the chick that tried to kill Jake and Elwood Blues.

Oh and Arthur Weasley and Dr. Gregory House worked together to kidnap slightly less than one hundred dalmatian puppies so the grandmother from Hoodwinked could make a coat out of their skin.

Harry Potter inspired Quidditch tournaments. No really. They did have to rework the rules for the land and, y'know, make it not completely and totally broken.

While I'm not a mega fan, I have to go with Harry P on this one. All the choices have had tremendous influence, but only one of those has had the entirety of that influence rooted in Generation Y. Harry Potter definitely is one of the defining characteristics of my generation. Hell, I was cool in 3rd grade because I was the first person to finish the Prisoner of Azkaban in my class. I was cool...because I could read fast...does not compute.

That's the power of Potter.

That ending was stupid funny

Again, you guys miss the boat.


Like Star Wars, like Citizen Kane, a clear demarcation line between the movies that came before it and the movies that came (or will come) after it.

Again, you guys miss the boat.


Like Star Wars, like Citizen Kane, a clear demarcation line between the movies that came before it and the movies that came (or will come) after it.

Yeah, when I finished watching that movie, my impression was that it would become this generation's Star Wars. The story felt like it was aimed at younger kids, much like younger kids, with the special effects spectacle to hook adults.

But we won't know about it's success until after the next few movies. And I'm going to enjoy watching how Mr. Cameron will save a bunch of technologically underdeveloped tribes people from orbital bombardment.

At the moment, all we can say about Avatar is that it's this generations Titanic... a big one hit wonder, that everyone remembers and has divided opinions about.

As someone from this generation?

I still have to go with Harry Potter. The other series just didn't affect my life as much as Harry Potter did.

This thing needs a poll.

I'd say Harry Potter has the wide-reaching impact, but LotR has the epic hardcore fans. I mean, there are colleges that list Elvish as a major. There are LARPers doing things based on LotR. Overall, I'd go with Harry Potter.

Star Wars is still this generations "Star Wars" for many reason.

1. I don't see commercials, TV Shows or movies making references to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or even Twilight, not nearly as heavy as they do for Star Wars

2. How many authors can write a book for the Harry Potter universe? Lord of the Rings? Just one.
Anyone can write something in the Star Wars universe, and it isn't even limited to the main characters, so long as it exists within the huge mythology that is Star Wars it can be published.

3.Jedi religion anyone?

This generations "Star Wars" is still Star Wars because no other franchise has been able to surpass it as a cultural influence, and until something big enough does come out Star Wars will continue to be this generations "Star Wars" so long as media entertainment continue to make it a prevalent part of our lives.

Good episode over all, looking forward to more!

I'd have to go with Star Wars. As much as i hate the prequels they have really had a large impact on our generation. No other movie will be more anticipated as much as the Star Wars prequels. Not to mention the countless books and comics that were created and as far as i know are still being created. Star Wars is a franchise that will never go away and will simply draw in more and more fans

A shorter version of exactly what I said in the last thread, Harry Potter is probably the Star Wars of this generation. Because just like Star Wars, it's another big trend on its way out.

If anything, it's not the Star Wars of this generation, because for the generation Star Wars was popular in, it was a big thing. Harry Potter is now fading out of relevance and back into the same niche crowd Star Wars is currently a part of. The Star Wars generation is over, and the Harry Potter generation is coming to an end. You're being behind the times. What you should be looking for, is this generation's Harry Potter. Not drudging up the Star Wars generation or the Star Trek generation or the Lord of the Rings generation.

Think about it? You didn't even make a criteria, but the criteria should have been obvious. What do these things have in common? Pop-culture megatrends that also overlap cult fandoms and geek culture. Lord of the Rings is not a hot young newcomer. It is a long and lasting, influential piece. Not a trend. That Lord of the Rings was even brought into the equation is silly. Star Wars is also irrelevant because it is not a pop culture trend.

When people say "is x the new y?", that's usually what they mean.

Also, while I hate to say it, this generation's Harry Potter is partially Twilight. I know, I know, sad, isn't it?

I can't beleive none of the guys mentioned the Matrix. It became a fully fledged franchise which everyone became gaga over. I remember how nuts everyone was over the Matrix, quoting lines, pulling the moves, talking about the insane plot and (most annoyingly) how overused bullet time became in EVERYTHING.

This Generation's Starwars is actually Triple Spit-Take Unilateral Disqualification.

Sooo... Kyle was essentially arguing cultural impact? Well in that case it still has to be given to Harry Potter.

to me its a tie between star wars prequels and harry potter, now think about it, the older viewers hated the prequels but the kids nowadays... 'this generation' love them just like the older viewers loved the originals, its simple as that

LOTR is this generation's star wars

Unfortunately, I think it might be Twilight. Star Wars kicked off a rage of space franchises using very similar themes (Yogi Bear even had a space-based spin-off), and Twilight kicked off a swarm of shows about sexy vampires and roving packs of werewolves (True Blood, Vampire Diaries, some third piece of shit I don't care about, etc etc).

When Cthulu eats our souls, I think at least our generation might deserve it...

This generation is defined by the sequel, the reboot, reusing established IP... from a movies that defined a time and reflect the values of the time the were made in turn - it has to be the Star Wars prequels. They fit their time perfectly for better or worse.

The original Star Wars was a rogue director's new vision for film making. The new Star Wars were all about cashing in on established IP. Both objectives reflect their periods beautifully.

I am not knocking Harry Porty or Lord of the Rings - but it seems to me I didn't see a super bowl ad featuring any of their characters THIS year, don't see a lot of their action figures collectibles still on the shelf, not seeing as many cos-players in their LOTR or HP costumes...

The Harry Potter books would have existed without the films - the LOTR books clearly existed without the films - they are books first with film adaptations.

It just seems that if you want to define the capitalist refried shit taco era of film making with one set of films - why not pick the one set of movies that has the most in common with a shit taco.

You guys are looking at this thing all crabbed...

This generation's starwars is easy.

What to do the kids want to be - what do they play as? There is your answer.

I used to want to be a Jedi - (or an Ewok when I was really young)

My friend's kid wants to be Jedi or Darth Vader. (depending on mood)

My brother's kid wants to be Bumblebee, The incredible hulk or a Jedi.

Another friends kid wants to be a Wizard.

So the votes are in: 3 to Original Starwars - 1 each to Transformers, The hulk and Harry Potter. (Odd that no-one wanted to be Jar Jar or any of the other characters from 1,2 & 3)

Star Wars Wins!

This one's really tough. I think that Star Wars is this generation's Star Wars. Sure, they weren't as good as the first 3, but they were still good movies. The first was alright, the second I make myself forget about that one, and the third set up the last 3 very nicely (granted Anakin was a little whiney bitch the entire movie).

The Lord of the Rings is kind of a fad. They were cool when they came out, but now it's like "Oh cool! Two Towers is on! Wait. Do I really want to watch 3 hours of film right now?" I love those movies to death, but they just will be remembered as those long movies about Middle Earth that crazy Dad Fisher (me) watches when he feels nostalgic in the future.

Harry Potter was great. They started out as books that were great and made into movies that were just as good or even better. As said before, everyone knows who Harry Potter is. But everyone knows who Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo are. As anyone on the street who Darth Vader is, and I bet they will have at least an idea of who that badass is.

Besides the prequals, the orginials are still huge to my generation. Either we had nerd parents who watched them or we got excited because of the prequals.

Anyway. Love the show guys. Keep doing what you're doing.

All Harry Potter characters are unable to ascend from their original roles?

Daniel Radcliffe?

Cedric Diggory?

Arthur Weaseley?
...which was nice.

I feel I must disagree.

Anyway, this generation's Star Wars is Transformers - Most popular, Highest Grossing, and goddam embarassed to have ever seen it. And you'll STILL get people telling you that Bayformers is greater than ORSON WELLS as Unicron.

Which they are wrong about.

Oh yeah, and Transformers 4 is coming out soon - let's see how many people enjoy the NEW prequels.


I'm sorry, but the fact that Daniel Radcliff is in another movie is no proof he has trancended his character. Most articles I've read about the Woman in Black have had "Harry Potter Star" written in the first paragraph. And even if some actors might trancend, I'll always see the lead characters as Harry, Ron and Hermione.
The actor playing Arthur was well established before the movies, but still, whenever I see him it's "oh yeah, he was Ron's dad"
And Cedric had a minor character in one movie before he was cast in another franchise, from whence he'll probably recover so all three are bad examples.

Cursed Frogurt:
I really dont see how you can argue that LotR is "this generation"'s star wars when it's been around for so long.

Wouldn't this generations Star Wars be defined by cultural impact rather than financial or critical success or failure of expectations?

^ Exactly, and that is clearly Harry Potter.

I'm surprised no one chose Halo. That has huge culteral significance. A lot of Halo fans grew up with the franchise and it's still going.

I would say that Lord of the Rings is out Star Wars because it has been around for several generations.

Simply version: The Harry Potter stories wouldn't have been so popular of had such an impact if the Lord of the Rings hadn't reintroduced the fantasy epic so perfectly, and let's be honest, Star Wars is just Lord of the Rings in space.

Complicated version: Culture does not rise out of the void, and it is not reinvented with every new generation, rather it is built on top of what previous generations have experienced, the Lord of the Rings has been critical to the development of American culture as a whole and I would say that our current culture is defined by it.

The current culture is one obsessed with escapism, both with the idea of escaping to a better world and trying to reinvent our present one into a better one. We evaluate our success as individuals not based on monetary gain, like our grandparents, or on person rebellion and experimentation, like our parents, but on leaving the world a better place than we found it.

The Lord of the Rings personifies this view of the world. Frodo leaves everything to improve the world around, he doesn't gain a cent in the process nor does he change his culture or that of his neighbors. He leaves the comfortable world he grew up and launches into a epic world of war and fantasy, and in the process he saves the world. Nothing is more appealing to us, both Star Wars and Harry Potter have to through their characters on similar quest because that is what we expect of them. We expect that because we grew up in culture built by Lord of the Rings.

Or at least that's my 2 cents on the subject.

There is never gonna be a Star Wars of a generation. Everything is now spread too thin for dominance, no answer will work, all we can do is fanboy-flame or accept the parallelisation the world has grown into. Historically, the defining factor must be unforgettability and unignorability. Conclusion: it cannot be judged subjectively.

Yeah, when I finished watching that movie, my impression was that it would become this generation's Star Wars. The story felt like it was aimed at younger kids, much like younger kids, with the special effects spectacle to hook adults.

But we won't know about it's success until after the next few movies.

At this point it's not even about that, really. It's about the fact that, even with effects-laden production, movies have always been about filming actors and then adding the fine details - green-screen backgrounds, CGI characters, laser blasts, whatever. Full-blown CGI efforts have been largely relegated to cartoonish efforts, even with the hyper-realistic (for the time) attempts of the Final Fantasy movie, or the motion-capture efforts of the recent Zemeckis films.

No, Avatar turns the model completely on its head: the entire setting of the movie is utterly virtual, and the ACTORS (the live ones) are the details dropped in. We've crossed a threshold that was only marginally imagined in the world of The Matrix (time dilation) and enhanced in Lord of the Rings (mass-CGI battles), where now Avatar has pushed the technology to the point where I honestly believe the capacity for computer-only locations is ready to be realized. It won't happen right away, just as Orson Welles' camera techniques and ILM's effects took time to bleed into the mainstream, but we're in transition. Scott Pilgrim and - God help us - Transformers are symptoms of this phenomenon.

The Matrix would have been my wish for Gen-Y's Star Wars, but the sequels kind of put a damper on the whole thing, and as good as the effects were, the only thing that really REALLY carried over is time dilation. The Matrix was something of a catalyst for this movement but Avatar is the realization.

You weren't old enough to remember the months wait that cliffhanger brought. I am, because TNG belongs to my generation (X).

Granted, I'm at the older end of Gen Y, but "The Best of Both Worlds" is the first cliffhanger that I remember seeing. From that point, I watched the show every week without fail (as well as the syndicated repeats) until the finale. It was a big part of my childhood.

Caramel Frappe:
Wait, hold up...

(Chris talking) "You're like that fancy guy, in the smoking jacket-" *Saying that while a picture of Fancy Pants from MLP: FiM is displayed on screen*

SO.. I am going to assume two things on how you guys found out about Fancy Pants:

1) You browsed Google and came across Fancy Pants, thus thought was the best reference to use while surprising people with it.

2) You guys have actually watched a lot of episodes to where you remembered Fancy Pants, thus used him for that particular line. I could be wrong ether way, but.. :} it's funny to think about really.


OT: This was very enjoyable to watch especially with you guys trying to debate at the same time while drinking your glasses. How does that work?! I have to agree with Chris that it was a bad idea but worth seeing overall haha XD. Oh, and I felt like Dan deserved at least a point or two after making good remarks while debating. Somehow, when he earned a point Chris got another so it made me sad that Dan only got 2 while Chris has 4.. mm. No matter, hopefully Dan will get the upper hand next time and blow us away. He sure did a fine job last time! No sarcasm

Awww, yeah, Smarty Pants. I think they chose his picture on purpose :D
OT: I'm with LOTR on this one. :P

I am going with Harry Potter, mostly because of how the question was phrased. It can't be the prequels because the question was not "what franchise best represents this generation?" and it isn't Lord of the Rings because, good as they were, they did not have this huge, over reaching popular culture impact that Star Wars did. Harry Potter is the closest to being the same sort of cultural phenomenon in its entirety that Star Wars was.

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