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"This is Madness!" gives Star Wars fans a tournament to care about

Elliott Serrano, for Redeye

March 17, 2013

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The internet has been buzzing with talk about a "tournament" that's coming up. It hasn't even started yet and its already stirred up some controversy with arguments over how some of the contestants were seeded within their respective regions on the tournament bracket. It has even caused one paticipant to exclaim "This is madness!"

No, I'm not talking about that other tournament featuring that sport where men in shorts bounce a ball and try to get it through a hoop. I'm talking about the one that matters: The Star Wars Character Tournament. Taking place over the next couple weeks, the SWCT will decide who is the greatest Star Wars character in the galaxy!

I will be following the tourney with great interest and offering commentary as the results are revealed. But to start us off, here are my predictions for the opening round:

THE LIGHT SIDE

HAN SOLO VS LANDO CALRISSIAN: While Lando may have his fair share of fans, there are very few scoundrels out there that can match the wry Correllian smuggler in charisma. All the geek gals I know just love Han Solo, despite that embarassing problem he has with - ahem - always shooting first. Just like he did the Millennium Falcon in that hand of sabaac, Lando is gonna lose another to Solo.

PREDICTED WINNER: HAN SOLO

OBI-WAN KENOBI VS QUI-GON JINN: This is a tough one. My knee-jerk reaction would be to go with the more popular Obi-Wan, but Qui-Gon has been raised in stature ever since Liam Neeson has gone on to play badass characters in Batman Begins and Taken. Then again, Obi-Wan has had his legend grow, not only in the Star Wars movies but also in The Clone Wars animated series. This one could be close but I'm going with...

PREDICTED WINNER: OBI-WAN KENOBI

LUKE SKYWALKER VS WEDGE ANTILLES: I'm sorry, but anyone going up against Luke in the first round is gonna get blasted like a mynock off a ship's hull. As Luke told him in A New Hope: "Pull out, you're not doing any good back there."

PREDICTED WINNER: LUKE SKYWALKER

YODA VS MACE WINDU: Two Jedi Masters. One has a language problem, the other an anger management issue. Both are formidable and have very ardent fanbases. Still, when it comes to the greatest Jedi Master of All you always bet on green.

PREDICTED WINNER: YODA

R2-D2 VS C-3PO: Poor Threepio. He is beloved, and one of the few sharacters to appear in all (current) 6 Star Wars films, but he just doean't match up to his plucky astromech companion. Everybody wants their own R2 unit. I'm not so sure they feel the same about protocol droid that complains a lot.

PREDICTED WINNER: R2-D2

PRINCESS LEIA VS PADME AMIDALA: I give the nod to Leia since she has better taste in men. On top of that, Padme's relationship with Anakin Skywalker was slightly healthier than the one between Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Slightly.

PREDICTED WINNER: PRINCESS LEIA

CHEWBACCA VS WICKET: Wookiees versus ewoks. Most Star Wars fans love wookiees as long as they aren't in the Holiday Special. On the other hand, stormtroopers hate ewoks. Hate 'em.

PREDICTED WINNER: CHEWBACCA

AHSOKA TANO VS CAPTAIN REX: Anakin Skywalker's padawan met her fate in The Clone Wars animated series finale recently, but that doesn't mean she's gone forever. Meanwhile, the Clone Trooper Captain will continue to live on as a highly collectible statue for geek bookshelves everywhere. My midichlorians tell me that Ahsoka's fan base is going to rlly around her and carry her into the next round.

PREDICTED WINNER: AHSOKA TANO

COMING NEXT: THE DARK SIDE

Voting for The Star Wars Character Tournament starts on March 18th at StarWars.com!

ELLIOTT SERRANO IS A REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR AND CHICAGO'S TOP GEEK

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