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

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This Generation's "Star Wars"

First off, it's Dan's birthday today. Happy birthday Dan! As a present, we let Dan debate again, and boy do we have a debate. Generation Y has been called many things; Boomerang children, unmotivated, unemployed, sexy...but we're not that bad. We have our own hopes, dreams and even a movie series that serves as our equivalent of "Star Wars." What is that movies series? Well, that's what we're here to debate!

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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Happy Birthday Dan! You poor, poor bastard for having to put up with them for a whole year :P

I have to agree with the Harry Potter choice. It has a huge following with Kids and the lot. LotR? Not so much. Star Wars had the same following where now all the kids are obsessed adults.

Also, god the Reading Rainbow. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Thank god they didn't say Twilight.

Star Wars= MMO
Lord of the Rings= MMO
Harry Potter= No MMO
This debate is over.


Ummm... as a member of generation Y (1985), I'd say my Star Wars was... Star Wars. Seriously, I watched that shit all the time growing up and the rerelease in the late 90ies can just as I was an impressionable 12 year old (who by that point knew all three movies by heart, but whatever).

Assuming we're talking about movies here, of course. By the time LotR and HP movies started coming out, I was already halfway through high school and past those years of my life when a movie can just blow my mind like Star Wars did when I was a kid.

If we're talking about books as well, then LotR wins for me, but I'm quite subjective here - LotR was read to me as a bedtime story when I was a kid.

Lord of the Rings FTW

Oh @#$! - this shit just got real!

While I love Lord of the Rings to death, I agree with Chris's argument that it doesn't really belong to this generation.

Sorry Dan, your attempt at an English accent gave me cancer.

I hope you're proud of yourself.

I think Harry Potter does, in fact, have the strongest case in the "changed the culture" realm; Harry Potter did, in fact, take over everything, and it even changed the movie business - it made long-stream continuity in films a thing that actually could be done.


Looking forward to this three-way debate!

Avatar: The Last Airbender anyone?

I'm sorry, but the award HAS to go to HP. We are looking for this generation's Star Wars, the movie series that changed Hollywood, absorbed the minds of children, and sold more merchandise than Christmas.

Harry Potter was the first true Mega Series. If you look back, prior to Potter, a good series always went in trilogies *coughSTARWARScough*. Anything that didn't, or just got lazy and went "Title Number 4" was majorly lackluster by the time it hit the fourth, and NOTHING even tried to produce a movie every year or two with the same actors growing up on film. This has changed the way Hollywood looks at franchises, and will effect the kind of movies that will come about in the next decade.

As far as the children are concerned, it has to be HP. The LotR just doesn't have the staying power. Hell, HP gets its own theme park. I grew up at the same rate as little Harry Potter, the first book coming about when I was eleven. I can tell you that honestly, people my age and younger love HP so much more than LotR. Don't get me wrong, I love LotR, but my friends and I didn't dream about being a hobbit in the shire or fighting for Gondor as little kids (or now), we wanted more than anything to go to Hogwarts.

And the merchandising. If there is one thing that separates Star Wars from everything else, it has got to be that George Lucas has generated an entire economy based around Star Wars. Books, games, toys, costumes, everything. And while LotR has those items, can you honestly say that there are more people buying replicas of Sting or the Ring as there are people buying wands and scarves and things with the house crests on them?

Also, as dumb a sport as it is, Quiditch is becoming an actual activity. My college has a team. Jesus.

Happy Birthday, Dan!

Well my gut reaction was Lord of the Rings, but after the debating, but Chris seemed to wrap things up rather conclusively. Harry Potter is definitely a cultural phenomenon that neither LotR or the new Star Wars movies can match. The actual movies? Eh, take it or leave it. The phenomenon? Harry Potter.

As a member of generation Y, I am offended that you would call the prequels the Star Wars of my generation.

Ohcrap...No Right Answer's going to do a three way debate...

Everyone put your heads between your knees and kiss your asses goodbye! This is going to get ugly!

Between the two debated, it's clearly and definitively Harry Potter. Dan's obvious lack of knowledge of Harry Potter did not help him at all; no one who knows anything about the series past the first couple books (at most) would describe them the way he did, because it's simply not correct. It's also true that it's far more of this generation's phenomenon; Lord of the Rings being around before this generation is irrelevant to a discussion specifically about this generation, and I've generally found that this generation tends to have issues with the terrible pacing and lack of focus of the books obstructing Tolkien's creative genius (which it does, so much).

Now as for Star Wars still being this generation's Star Wars... perhaps. I look forward to that, But in my mind, thus far it's either Harry Potter or that. Lord of the Rings isn't in the running.

3 options, 3 wrong answers. How did this happen?

It really feels like Harry Potter wins for what encapsulates Generation Y for me. Being born in 1993, I can say that those books were something that got me into reading. Whilst Lord of the Rings and Star Wars are both things I love, they were made in different generations.

LotR is a great series of books and movies but they were created in the 50's which doesn't feel like it belongs in this debate about what encapsulates a generation born between the 80's and 00's.

Star Wars is much closer but the prequels were just continuing on from something that belonged to Generation X. I love the series, it was one of the first things I bonded with my mother over and now that I'm more grown up can have discussion with her about things we love and hate about the series. However, it's not something I can say was as big in culture during my upbringing as it was when she was growing up. Sure, there was still things about it that extended out to other mediums but most of it was either toys for the kids or novels for the grown up Generation X.

Harry Potter is that thing that happened in the 90's and just exploded. Calling it anything less than a phenomenon is not doing it justice. Not only did the books take off but in a few short years, there were movies already being made that have now become one of the most well known franchises in the world. To me, this is the same thing that Star Wars did for another generation of people and therefore why I think it wins.

Avatar: The Last Airbender anyone?

4 way 2 part debate winners vs each other.

I don't think either are anything like "this generation's Star Wars", but Harry Potter is probably closer. LotR has been around for ages, way before the movies. Didn't really cause a revolution either. Harry Potter did a better job at that but it's still a far way from the way Star Wars has spread in to every part of pop culture. The Star Wards prequels didn't do that either.

Captcha: heretic element. Sounds like a completely awesome game or band name.

Twili... what is that shining dot over in the distance?

Lets see here:

Lord of the Rings really does belong to a different era. It might actually belong to the Star Wars generation.

Star Wars prequels is a bit iffy since they were created by the Star Wars generation for both their generation and their children. It could be a new Star Wars revolution and this generation really does love Star Wars, but my stance against LotR is the same one I have with SW. It wasn't created for this generation.

Harry Potter really does belong to this generation through and through.

I'd like to put Avatar: The Last Airbender on the list, but the movie...

:D Happy Birthday Dan !!!

On topic: "this generation's Star Wars" is still Star Wars although is the new crappy trilogy :P nah :P the Harry Potter movies are the closest thing

I'll defend the star wars prequels another time, as I have something far more true and even more hateful to say.

This generations "Star Wars" is Twilight. As much as I hate and detest Twilight, I can't think of a movie/book series that has caused more of an uproar and "re(de)volution" since Star Wars. Yes Harry Potter is fantastic and I do enjoy them (even though I'm not a fantasy guy) but Twilight seems to be the more dominate presence here.

Would say more but class time.

Toy Story should be this generations Star Wars.

Harry Potter wins hands down. If you ask a random person on the street to name a wizard, it's going to be Harry Potter, and not Gandalf.

More seriously, it had a bigger cultural splash then Lord of the Rings. It had more staying power. Not because it's better, but because it did. It made J.K. Rowlings the richest woman in Britain, it sold more merch then Jesus, and the movie franchse was seen by the entire planet.

In the nerd community, this might not be apparent, because everyone's "over" Harry Potter and because Lord of the Rings is a nerd cultural touchstone, but in the general population, LotR came and went while HP changed things.

I'd also like to add that the reason Lord of the Rings was even made was that fantasy became cool again in the late 90s early 2000s... because of Harry Potter. Harry Potter started this wave of fantasy (and even, maybe, of sci-fi/superhero/nerd movies). It was the proof that the general public was interested in more then just sitcoms on the big screen.

That's not to say that the LotR movies are not as good as the HP movies (in fact, I think they're far superior), but that's not what this debate is about. In fact, I'd say the original Star Wars movies were not that great. The acting was cheesy, the story predictable much of the time, and the effects didn't hold up. Yes, it was revolutionary at the time, but that doesn't make them good. It did make them stupendously popular, and it changed pop culture... Just like HP.

Finally, I'd like to add that while overall, LotR franchise might (might) have had more influence on culture (it invented adult fantasy), bringing us Dungeons and Dragons , WoW, and so on, it's influence has been spread out through the past 60 years. The movies themselves were not hugely influential, I think, because it was all things we'd seen before. It was done expertly, and it's a story that deserved to be on the big screen, but it was not revolutionary.

Unlike Star Wars... And Harry Potter.

I'm Gen X, so... meh.

First off, happy birthday Dan!
Secondly, looking forward to next episode, about damn timefor a three-way. Though, who's gonna be the judge?
Thirdly, and most importantly, you're all wrong. HP seems like the wrong generation, but that depends on the definition of generation, so you may be correct. LotR has permeated every generation ever since it was made, gen Y can't call dibs on it. The SW prequels seems simply insulting to my generation, though I haven't heard your arguments.
For me, it's the Matrix. Just the first one. While just one movie, it had such a massive impact on the culture.

In my opinion, Harry Potter is more of this generations "Star Wars" than Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings was a far better set of movies, but it didn't have that enormous impact on our generation that Harry Potter did. Just my opinion when the video started and nothing was said during it altered my opinion, although adding the "Star Wars Prequels" was unexpected.

On the Star Wars Prequels, my thought is that they only technically qualify as this generation's "Star Wars"[1] and that otherwise that set of movies was close to irrelevant.

[1] By virtue of literally being the Star Wars of this generation

I'm gonna have to go with Mass Effect instead of any of your choices.

I'll defend the star wars prequels another time, as I have something far more true and even more hateful to say.

This generations "Star Wars" is Twilight. As much as I hate and detest Twilight, I can't think of a movie/book series that has caused more of an uproar and "re(de)volution" since Star Wars. Yes Harry Potter is fantastic and I do enjoy them (even though I'm not a fantasy guy) but Twilight seems to be the more dominate presence here.

Would say more but class time.


Twilight is actually a symptom of the impact of Harry Potter. Twilight exists and is famous because of the Harry Potter effect. Harry Potter has a theme park. A THEME. PARK. It is part of pop culture now IN EVERY PART OF CULTURE. Twilight is just infamously bad. It just got a following with a specific very small section of the population. Dont kid yourself, Twilights fans are actually the minority.

You're all wrong, it's the Matrix trilogy.

Like you said, it didn't have to be good movies, but what do you say to this?

The Matrix was a completely new take on the sci-fi genre that took classic concepts and reinvented them, just like Star Wars.

The Matrix popularized and revolutionized special effects in cinema, just like Star Wars.

The Matrix was the three-part journey of a young "chosen" hero destined to do great things, just like Star Wars.

The Matrix had a sage-like mentor who guided the hero through his trials and instructed him in the ways of doing really cool shit ("free your mind" vs The Force), just like Star Wars.

The Matrix encompassed several philosophical concepts and weaved them into its narrative for the good guys to live by, just like Star Wars.

The Matrix has been parodied, referenced, satirized and -most importantly- emulated by many other movies following its release, just like Star Wars.

The Matrix encapsulated the current culture and made several references to things popular with the culture of the time (such as anime, kung-fu movies, video games, Dystopian futures, etc), just like Star Wars.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point, if you're looking for "this generation's Star Wars" look no further than The Matrix trilogy because it's all there, whether you like it or not, it's all there.

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.

In reading this thread, why exactly doesn't doesn't Warner Brothers start a Harry Potter MMO? Seems like low hanging fruit.

For it to be 'this generations star wars' I think there has to be certain criteria.
-There have to be people cosplaying it
-it has to be quoted to death
-it has to give rise to some sort of slave-leia level fetish.
-you have to be ashamed of it a large % of social circles in public

So, i think this generations 'Star Wars' is, and i weep for those damned souls, Jersey Shore.


Also, as dumb a sport as it is, Quiditch is becoming an actual activity. My college has a team. Jesus.

Congratulations on inventing the Jetpack or Flying Broom and the most dangerous sport since Buzkashi.

Is it just me or does everyone seem really drunk in this episode?

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