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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 3, 2002

First 'Star Wars' trilogy wins popularity battle

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Staff Writer

You like "Star Wars"! You really like "Star Wars"!

Well, the first set of "Star Wars" movies, anyway. And — no surprise — you pretty much despise Jar Jar Binks and young Jake Lloyd of "The Phantom Menace."

That much was obvious when we tallied the final results of our Old "Wars" vs. New "Wars" poll. The survey pitted characters, scenes and other minutiae from the earlier trilogy against what we've seen so far of the new one, and asked you to vote on which you prefer.

The poll — which ran in The Advertiser's print and online editions — received more than 1,000 responses over a 10-day voting period last month. It even got a short burst of international attention and votes when

theforce.net — one of the largest and most respected "Star Wars" fan sites — posted a link to our own Advertiser site complaining about our survey designer's (hey, that's me!) stacking of odds against "Phantom."

Maybe they should blame George Lucas for making it so darn easy.

Here are the poll results.

Best unintelligible sidekick:

Chewbacca, the first trilogy, 87 percent

• Jar Jar Binks, "The Phantom Menace," 13 percent

Forgive me for beating an almost-dead Gungan, but I was surprised that the much-loathed Binks got even this much love.

Best 'Ben' Obi-Wan Kenobi:

Old Ben, played by Alec Guinness, the first trilogy, 66 percent

• Young Ben, played by Ewan McGregor, "The Phantom Menace," "Attack of the Clones," 34 percent

The results here probably reflect young Obi-Wan's role as a silent partner to Liam Neeson's Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn in "Phantom," rather than a lack of talent on McGregor's part. Based on trailers so far though, voting here would have likely been a lot closer had "Clones" already been released.

Best butt-kickin' royalty:

Princess Leia Organa, the first trilogy, 55 percent

• Queen Padme Amidala of Naboo, "The Phantom Menace," 45 percent

The closest race of the bunch. At one point Amidala was just 7 percentage points behind Leia. A tough choice, but Leia got my vote, too.

Best acting by an inanimate object:

Billy Dee Williams' Exxon Valdez-slick '70s hairdo (Lando Calrissian), "The Empire Strikes Back,""Return of the Jedi," 63 percent

• Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker, "The Phantom Menace," 37 percent

Let's just say I wish Jakey the best of luck for a happy future in a galaxy far, far away from a theater near me.

Best use of high-speed transportation:

Imperial speeder bike chase, "Return of the Jedi," 58 percent

• Podracer race, "The Phantom Menace," 42 percent

Imperial storm troopers pursuing Luke and Leia through the lush and obstacle-rich forests of Endor handily defeated the overlong "how-many-video-games-can-I-possibly-sell-with-this" podracer race that (surprise!) Anakin wins.

Best statement of personality with a hairstyle:

Princess Leia's tightly wound cinna-buns "A New Hope," 74 percent

• Anakin Skywalker's boy-band-with-a-death-wish rat tail, "Attack of the Clones," 26 percent

If the World Wide Web was around at the "Star Wars" release in 1977, sites belaboring the good and bad points of Leia's hair would have required Yahoo! categories all their own. As for Leia's frosty personality, blame that on-again, off-again mock-British accent Carrie Fisher was obviously struggling with for two hours.

Most excruciating line in a 'Star Wars' movie:

"Ex-squeeze me?" — Jar Jar Binks, requesting some clarification from Qui-Gon Jinn, "The Phantom Menace," 63 percent

• "But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!" — Luke Skywalker whining to his Aunt Beru, "A New Hope," 37 percent

I won't argue the fact that Luke's sorry piece of crybaby dialogue still stinks like an old Jedi Fruit Roll, but at least it wasn't lifted straight outta "Wayne's World," for crying out loud.

Best opening episode of a 'Star Wars' trilogy:

"Episode IV: A New Hope," 1977, 81 percent

• "Episode I: The Phantom Menace" 1999, 19 percent

Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and the Rebel Alliance battling the Empire vs. the boy Anakin, Jar Jar, Darth Maul, mitochlorians and unfair taxation of trade routes. Is it any wonder Lucas lost us at, "Ex-squeeze me?"