Monday, June 6, 2011

Harry Skywalker, Ron Solo, Darth Voldemort


I have no claim on the terms nerd, fan girl, geek, gamer or any other similar titles. Even if I wanted to be one of those people I couldn’t be. I don’t know anything about W.O.W., the only video games I play are Mario Kart, Super Mario Galaxy, Rock Band, and Just Dance. Occasionally I play Super Smash Bros (and by "play" I mean push random buttons). When people talk about Pokemon they may as well be speaking Chinese. I never even knew what comic con was until I was seventeen. It’s plain to see that whether I like it or not, the world of video games and science fiction will be forever closed to me in almost all areas.
Despite my obvious lack of nerdiness I can proudly claim to be a super dweeb in two categories--Star Wars and Harry Potter. I’ve been addicted to Harry Potter since the second grade and I’ve loved Star Wars since birth (and by Star Wars I mean the real movies, not those poor excuses of films known as episodes I-III).  At some point I felt like I had to choose where my allegiances really lie and I faced the eternal question--if I were given the chance, what would I be? Jedi or Wizard? I narrowed it down to three categories that one can compare the two worlds by--skills and weaponry, movies, and characters. I've made my choice, what's yours?

Skills and weaponry: 
Wizards have limited power without a wand. As children, it's typical to have unintentional and uncontrollable outbursts of magic, but those are uncommon especially once the wizard has received their own wand. If they don’t have their wand with them a wizard is basically just a normal human being and is thereby useless. However, with their magic stick and enough training a wizard is almost unstoppable. There's a limitless amount of functions that can be accomplished with a little stick of wood and some unicorn hair.

Jedi's have the ultimate weapon. It's a sword and a taser (for lack of a better word) all in one, except better. What kind of taser can cut through a door, deflect laser bullets, slice storm troopers in half, or take the front end of a speeder off? Granted, a light saber isn't as versatile as a wand by any means, however, Jedi's do have the Force which compensates for the lack of utility found in a light saber. With the Force you can do almost as many things as you would be able to do with a wand, but with both hands free, so it's a win-win. Imagine you were saber-less because a certain Sith lord had knocked it out of your hands, all you have to do is use the force and bam--weapon retrieved. 

I am constantly in awe of how George Lucas created A New Hope in 1977. The special effects were decades ahead of their time, and to be honest they’re better than a lot of the effects in movies coming out today. Imagine making the Sarlacc (the giant pit with teeth in Episode VI), making the Jabba the Hutt costume, or filming epic speeder chase scene with the, lets face it, archaic technology of the seventies and eighties. In addition, special effects aside, how many times do movie franchises start out with a fantastic first movie, and the sequels that follow get more and more disappointing? The answer is about 95% of the time. Not with Star Wars though. as far as I’m concerned, the last movie, Return of the Jedi, was the best movie of the entire trilogy.

Unlike other series, Harry Potter has gotten better with every movie. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, little Hermione, Harry, and Ron were young, inexperienced actors and sometimes it was almost painful to watch. They’ve gotten exponentially better with every film. While I still think the acting is cheesy and contrived sometimes, they get a gold medal for most improved. The special effects have improved vastly as well. In the first and second movies there were Quidditch games where it was all too obvious that there was a green screen as well as "people" who were created by a computer program. But now there are stunning sequences of magic that look so real that it seems like there really is a magical world somewhere. As far as the plot of the movies goes, in general the plot has followed that of the books, which are perfect in every way. Even if there are creative liberties taken with what is and isn’t put in the movies, overall the story stays the same.

Harry started off as a young, innocent, naive eleven year old who had no idea of his past or his true potential. throughout the series he grew as a wizard and as a person and by the end he was a mature, powerful person who was ready to take the necessary steps to defeat evil. The series is full of dynamic characters who go through similar journeys as they grow up. Hermione changes from a girl who only cares for school to a very well rounded adult. Ron used to be a boy with severe middle child syndrome and a lack of magical skills. In the end his skills are still pretty average but he got to marry up (Hermione) so I'd consider that a win for him. Aside from Harry's good character progression I did find him somewhat annoying at times. It kills me to hate on the guy who was with me since I was 8 years old, but I've got to admit, he's kind of a diva, he's angry a lot, and sometimes he just annoys me. I know Dumbledore didn't tell him everything, but that guy was probably the busiest wizard ever, give him a break.

Star Wars seriously pulls ahead in this area. Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader are arguably the biggest characters in the franchise and they're probably my overall favorites. As with Harry Potter these characters also go through growth and they are better people at the end of the saga. Luke used to be a somewhat irresponsible teenager who's biggest wish was to go off to the Academy like his friends. Little did he know that he'd end up as a Jedi Knight who is responsible for the demise of the evil emperor. Han Solo used to be a selfish nomad tool who cared only for himself and his precious Millenium Falcoln. In the end he gets the girl of his dreams and he even lets a friend take his beloved ship into battle. Of course I can't forget Chewbacca, the worlds most lovable sidekick. He's not very eloquent, but he always gets his point across, and he's always there for his friends.Leia used to be a selfish princess with entitlement issues, by episode IV she's risking her lie for the sake of her friends and the galaxy, she also ends up with Han Solo and becomes the most perfect couple anyone has ever seen. Darth Vader experiences the biggest change of heart anyone has ever seen. He goes from most gifted Jedi the galaxy has ever seen to evil henchmen who does the emperor's bidding to the guy who throws that emperor over a railing to save his son. What a guy. 

And the Winner Is:
After nineteen years, I've finally made my choice. It's hard to choose between my two loves. It's like choosing which child you like best. But sometimes the choice needs to be made--with the movies, I'd never choose between two kids. This choice probably doesn't even matter because the odds that my midi-chlorian count will suddenly go up to a Jedi level are pretty low....but stranger things have happened. Not. But in case in another life I have the chance to become a wizard or a jedi knight I now know for sure that I would most definitely choose a Jedi. May the Force be with you.  

1 comment:

  1. Haha, this is so awesome! I have to agree, Jedi would win. It's such a hard decision though! I'm glad you weighed it so perfectly :)