So last week, Avatar passed Star Wars on the All-Time US Box Office list, and I saw the question posed on the Internet, “Is Avatar better than Star Wars?”

The question was asked under the premise that they are both science fiction films with innovative special effects, on other worlds, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Now, this is a loaded question, so I will have to throw out two glaring qualifiers. 1) Star Wars has over 35 years of goodwill behind it, as people love the Holy Trilogy. 2) The All-Time list is not adjusted for inflation or other competing forms of entertainment, which is a whole other discussion.

Putting these two things aside, can there be an objective look at this question?  Well, obviously not since it’s a subjective question, but I’ll do my best.

First off, Star Wars gives you a vast story that starts in the middle of things and expects you to catch up, while Avatar explains everything to you up front.  In Star Wars, there’s some sort of Galactic War, robots are trying to escape, there’s a princess, a big bad guy, a bunch of intergalactic soldiers who aren’t even identified as Storm Troopers at first, and Luke Skywalker is the main character and he doesn’t even show up for around 20 minutes.  Then you get a wizard, the Force, light sabers, more aliens, a cool spaceship, space fighter ships, and more and more cool stuff.  The movie keeps giving and giving and working your imagination to its limits.

Avatar gives you one world, two races, standard characters, and a single linear story.  It’s a solid movie with great special effects and groundbreaking 3D animation, but it’s still a pretty simple concept.

Star Wars was the opposite with numerous races (especially the cantina scene), multiple planets and space travel, and an intergalactic rebellion filled with numerous sub-plots involving smugglers, bounty hunters, mobsters, traders, and of course…The Force.

George Lucas pretty much had a massive story in mind when he made Star Wars as even The Clone Wars were mentioned in the movie 35 years before we were told the story of The Clone War.

I don’t begrudge James Cameron anything as I did like Avatar, and that movie should be allowed to make as much money as possible.  But I still think Star Wars is better.

If I had seen Avatar when I was as young as the first time I saw Star Wars, I probably would’ve been completely in love with it due to the special effects. But Star Wars resonates because of it’s expansiveness as it was able to spawn the two amazing sequels, the three somewhat regrettable prequels, a massive expanded universe filled with books, comics, and video games, and even the most recent Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon which is one of the best cartoons that I can remember.

Basically, George Lucas took a bunch of different ideas and put them together into one awesome movie.  James Cameron took one idea, changed the races and the planet, and gave us a visually stunning yet predictable story.

To me, no comparison.  Star Wars.