The Web generation speaks

What could Luke Skywalker, Mother Teresa, and Howard Stern possibly have in common? They’re all Heroes of Our Generation, according to a recent online survey of more than 16,000 Web surfers from the ages of 15 to 24 conducted by entertainment supersite the den (the Daily Entertainment Network at In fact, the so-called Web Generation chose Skywalker as its No. 1 hero, topping Jesus, Michael Jordan, Martin Luther King Jr., and even “our parents.” “The survey uncovered news about this group that surprised us,” says the den’s Mary Firme. “The message [is] that this generation embodies the influence of the Web on their world.”

Along with heroes, the poll also ranked villains (Saddam Hussein and Barney are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively), defining moments (the Challenger shuttle explosion was pivotal to the majority of respondents), and, naturally, the most popular brands of clothing and soda pop. The den says the WebGen poll has been such a success that it plans to do a similar study every year. With the release of next year’s Star Wars prequel, maybe Obi-Wan Kenobi will duke it out with Luke for the top spot—and Mother Teresa can referee.