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Harry Potter Is Better Than Star Wars and Star Trek

During the Thanksgiving holiday The Wife proposed a Harry Potter movie marathon. I've never considered myself much of a Potter-fan. During the books' popularity over the last 15 years I resisted reading them. And while I saw six of the eight movies during my film critic days -- and appreciated them individually -- the franchise as a whole never inspired devotions to the level of the pop culture cults of my childhood and teen years, Star Wars and Star Trek.

So I welcomed the chance to give the series a second look, fueled by The Wife's enthusiasm. She read all the books and knows the arcane details backwards and forwards. The Potter books arrived for April, a few years my junior, as a receptive older child, for me as an angsty teenager looking for "mature" books.

Last Wednesday night after wrapping up the day's editing I made a run to the library to pick up the four titles we didn't already own (The Half-Blood Prince) or have recorded on the DVR (Prisoner of Azkaban and both Deathly Hallows). And so began our epic Thanksgiving Potterfest with The Sorcerer's Stone that night; which we carried on at a pace of three films both Thursday and Friday before concluding on Saturday morning.

My conclusion: young geeks nowadays have much better options than previous generations. Compare the eight Harry Potter films with the six Star Wars and eleven Star Trek. By any "objective" measure -- box office, percentage of positive reviews, or number of award-winning actors featured in the films -- Harry Potter wins. And does any Jedi or Trekkie want to argue that by the "subjective" measure -- just sitting down and watching all the films in the series -- Harry fails to triumph over Luke, Han, Kirk, and Spock?