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'Harry Potter' vs. 'Star Wars': Which is better?

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Star Wars Harry Potter
Lucasfilm; Peter Mountain

The final installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, appeared in theaters July 15. But, don’t worry, guys: Our obsession with the beloved series continues to thrive. Not only will we be able to enjoy the books for years to come, but we will also be able to soon enjoy the entire franchise on Blu-ray until Blu-ray becomes obsolete when the future just implants movies directly in our brains.

Over at MTV (and embedded below), you can check out a sneak peek at footage from an extra, in which J.K. Rowling talks to star Daniel Radcliffe about Harry Potter. And the actor who lived through 10 years of unyielding fandom dropped an interesting nugget in his interview: “I always think that that’s one of the wonderful things about Potter and the Potter fanbase … If you think about the other big costume-wearing [franchises] that go with it, things like Star Wars and Star Trek, with Potter, because it started off as a literary thing, has created a generation of the same kind of mentality … with an appetite for reading and literature, which is kind of amazing.”

Wait, hold the Hedwig: Did Radcliffe just say that Harry Potter is better than Star Wars? Well, no, he didn’t, but his point leads us to ask the question anyway: Is Harry Potter better than Star Wars? The two franchises are surprisingly easy to compare: The both follow three heroes — two male, one female — who fight evil against all odds alongside robotic friends. (Star Wars had C-3PO and R2D2, while Potter had Robert Pattinson.) They both boast main characters with serious parental issues. And they both enjoyed highs (The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Empire Strikes Back) and survived lows (The Chamber of Secrets, The Phantom Menace). But Radcliffe makes a good point about the success of Potter and how it’s only served to bolster our flawed education system. There are very few movies that encourage our youth to pick up 700-page books, and not put them down until they are finished. Add in the fact that Harry Potter tells a magnificent, sweeping story beloved by children and adults alike, and it’s difficult not to make a case calling the spellbinding films the best franchise ever made. Especially when it never suffered from dialogue like this.

Then again, Harry Potter was a much-loved franchise based on a series of much-loved books. Though there’s more to lose adapting the tales into movies, there’s also more money (and love) to gain with a built-in audience. This tips the scale in Star Wars‘ favor — after all, we’re talking a series of original films, and never-before-seen impressive special effects that wowed just about everyone in the country. ($461 million worth of movie-goers, at least.) Not to mention the fact that Star Wars‘ and George Lucas’ influence on future films and directors will likely never be matched by the likes of Potter. And though Potter might have a more direct link to literature, any Star Wars fanatic will admit to burying their face into one of these.

But whereas Star Wars started strong and deteriorated into a much-maligned trio of prequels, Potter only improved with each new film. And, unlike Star Wars, Potter actually redeemed its despised, floppy creature character at the end of the franchise rather than letting him slip away into the background as if he didn’t deserve death or salvation after assaulting our ears and brains for over two hours. Then again, Wookiees!

Enough from me. I’m going to let you guys hash out this possibly sacrilege argument. Which is better: Star Wars or Harry Potter?

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

Read more:

‘Harry Potter’: A to Z

25 Best (and Worst!) ‘Star Wars’ Moments

Stop hating George Lucas, and stop loving ‘Star Wars’ so much: Why it’s time to grow up

A ‘Harry Potter’ veteran takes a virgin to see ‘Deathly Hallows — Part 2.’ Will the magic work on an unenlightened Muggle?