When you’re a massive nerd, and you fancy indulging in some fatty foods and decide to do a run of a franchise, Harry Potter and Star Wars are always two that come to mind.
Harry Potter has 8 movies in the run, Star Wars has 9 (discounting Solo and Rogue One). In this article, I’m not going to compare which franchise is better (I am a bigger Star Wars fan than Harry Potter), I’m going to look at which run is actually better to watch.
If you’re a fan of one or the other, that’s fine, if you’re a fan of both then that’s also fine. This article is purely my opinion on which run I enjoy more.
Harry Potter’s 8 movie run was done consecutively. Meaning each movie came out after the last, and the story had a continuous cycle across all 8 movies.
Star Wars 9 movies were broken in regards to release. We had the original 3 which were episodes 4, 5, 6. We then got the prequel trilogy in the early 2000s, followed by the sequels to the original from 2015 onwards.
The issue that arises from the Star Wars side is that there are plot holes or a lot of stuff that didn’t make a lot of sense. You have to read books, go back to the Legends aspects of Star Wars or watch the animated shows in between to gain a better understanding of what’s happening and why.
Whereas because of Harry Potter’s release cycle, and the fact each movie was released after the other with only a couple of years between each, it was able to ensure the plot remained as stable as possible.
The quality of movies also goes to Harry, purely because the original Star Wars movies were released in the 1970s and 1980s, meaning because Harry Potter was first released in the early 2000s it had better access to movie technology. Although nothing can be taken away from what Star Wars was actually able to do 40 years ago.
Winner – Harry Potter
Harry Potter maintained 3 main heroes throughout the run in Hermoine, Ron, and obviously Harry himself. Including the sneaky reveal of Severus Snape at the very end. The movie also had other major heroes that were kind of the side but mainly at the same time, if that makes sense? Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Neville Longbottom could be included in there as well. Each one of the main heroes played a fantastic purpose, and all remained lobbed together in order to defeat Voldemort.
Star Wars having 3 separate times, had different heroes. The prequels were Anakin (until he turned younglings slayer) and Obi-Wan. The Original had Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and even Lando. The Sequels were majorly pointed to Rey, Finn, and Poe. Due to the fact that nearly 20 years passed between each trilogy, it’s understandable the main heroes would change, but they still remain. For example, Luke, Leia, and Han are all present in the sequel trilogy.
Harry Potter takes a major turn in this category because of one reason. Growth. Due to the fact we see Hermoine, Ron, and Harry grow from the age of 11 all the way into their adult lives, we see them form a dysfunctional trio into becoming some of the best wizards and witches of all time. The love for each other saw them through into the eventual defeat of Voldemort, and despite the fact they had issues with each other throughout the fun, their entire friendship cycle is just far more enjoyable.
I can’t take much away from Star Wars, in the original trilogy, Luke, Leia and Han were entertaining as can be. Han was a smuggler, Luke was force sensitive and Leia was a princess. Again, a dysfunctional trio that comes together in order to defeat the greater good.
Winner – Harry Potter
It’s worth noting here that Harry Potter maintained one villain throughout its entire run with Lord Voldemort. Star Wars had a fair few but the main 4 were Darth Maul, Count Dooku, Darth Vader, and Kylo Ren.
Voldemort was a nasty dark wizard, who’s end game was to end muggles, and also kill Harry Potter for surviving his attack on his parents and the Avada Kedavra spell. Voldemort’s plan was set from the beginning and never really swayed from that. My problem with Voldemort is we didn’t see his brutality enough if I’m being honest. Despite being one of the best villains to ever exist, I do feel like we could have seen more from him.
In Star Wars, there are 4. Taking Maul and Dooku out, you’re left with Vader and Ren. Darth Vader alone is one of the most popular villains in the world, and for me, has a far more interesting backstory. Going from a slave to the chosen one for the Jedi, to destroying the entire order and being confined to a suit for the rest of his life due to his horrific burns. I wasn’t alive when Empire Strikes Back came out, but I can only imagine what the public’s reaction was like when it was revealed that Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father.
I think in regards to brutality and pure reasoning, the Sith do get the upper hand in this category. Harry Potter does deserve a lot of praise for sticking with 1 villain throughout the run.
Winner – Star Wars
Movies within the franchises
Obviously, we know Harry Potter had 8 movies, and Star Wars had 9. In this category, we’re going to look at what individual movies were bad to the public and also in my own opinion. I will begin with Star Wars here.
Due to the recent nature of releases, let’s discuss the sequels. I’ve never known such a loyal fanbase to the Star Wars franchise to completely turn on the sequels. I can understand why. The Last Jedi wasn’t a bad movie, but it definitely isn’t one that stands out by any means. I mean, to be honest, the entire sequel trilogy was lackluster compared to what it actually could have been. It even got to the point where petitions arose to count the sequels as non-canon.
It’s only been recent that a lot of fans have accepted the prequel trilogy, albeit if that trilogy is my favorite out of the 3. I think this is due to age, and like myself, I grew up with the prequels whereas my parents grew up with the original therefore that’s their favorites. Overall, the problem is the trilogies are broken. There’s a couple of movies during the run that you often dread to waste your time in but feel the need to in order to get the best experience in watching the entire run.
Harry Potter in this regard never really had any movies that I personally dread to watch. I think each movie served a proper purpose and with the careful creative direction of JK Rowling, each movie was a nod to the famous books. Personally, the first part of Deathly Hallows is really the only movie I’m not a major fan of, whereas the rest are great to watch.
Winner – Harry Potter
To put this one bluntly, Harry Potter had spells, potions and the main weapon is a wand. Star Wars is mainly blasters and lightsabers. This category will come down to a matter of opinion above all else as to which side of the offense you prefer the most.
My issue with Harry Potter is the spells remain fairly similar throughout. We know there are 1000s of spells out there, but I do believe more could have been shown. One point does remain though, the spells are extremely interesting. The unforgivable curses which consist of Avada Kedavra, Crucio, and Imperio are a great touch throughout as we do actually see one of these 3 frequently. You know s*** is about to go down once one of these spells is cast. The wands are an interesting take in the fact that the wand chooses the wizard/witch but this isn’t touched on a lot during the franchise either. Not to mention any duel in Harry Potter doesn’t last a long time and is over usually within seconds.
Star Wars lightsabers remain one of my favorite weapons to see in any franchise, not just between these 2. I love nothing more than a lightsaber duel as it’s a test of multiple skills including swordsmanship, agility, reactions, stamina, and more. The vast majority of weapons we do tend to see in Star Wars are blaster rifles/pistols, which is what everybody tends to use who cannot wield a lightsaber. Surprisingly, what a lot of casual fans don’t realize is a lot of these weapons are actually different.
All in all, as much as I love the Harry Potter spells side, I just can’t knock a lightsaber.
Winner – Star Wars
Overall winner – Harry Potter
I’m not taking either away from both of these fantastic franchises, they’re both amazing runs to go through when you have nothing to watch or if you’re a first-time watcher.
Ultimately for me, I prefer to go through the Harry Potter run than I do the Star Wars side due to the broken-down nature of the odd poor movie from Star Wars. This is even despite me being a much bigger Star Wars fan than Harry Potter.
I like what JK Rowling has built with Harry Potter but for me as a person, Star Wars is just my go-to for anything, but in terms of a movie run, Harry Potter will take my vote.