When Kevin Smith recently visited the Star Wars Episode VII set, it was a safe bet that something interesting would come from it. A great anecdote, a sneaky set-pic, or a juicy leak or two. What we got instead, is something of a surprise.
One of the biggest Batman fans on the planet, Smith's response to getting a sneak peak at the Episode VII set was to reveal that he is, in fact, more excited about the upcoming installment of the Star Wars series than about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
As he put it, speaking at the Neuchatel International Film Festival:
What I saw blew me away. I was…up until then the movie I couldn’t wait to see, of course, Batman Vs. Superman. Number one I love Batman. Number two I know the guy playing Batman this time, and you know [pointing to his Fat Man jersey] Fat Man. But that just took second place. Suddenly, the guy who was like, ‘Yeah, Star Wars, I liked that as a kid.’ That dude is now this dude, who’s like, ‘Star Wars still means the world to me.’
By itself, this may not mean all that much - after all, Smith is probably absolutely right to be completely over-excited about both movies. It got us thinking though - which movie should we all be most excited about?
Which, in turn, got us thinking about how we could work it out.
We took a look at some of the major factors below - but in the end, we need you guys to decide. Because let's be honest - we're never going to be able to decide on our own.
Episode VII: Reunites the original cast - including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill - as well as bringing in a well received crop of critically-acclaimed younger acting talent. Step forward Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson and Gwendoline Christie.
Batman v Superman: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and assorted ensemble return - but it's the additions to the cast that make the news. Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot's casting as Batman and Wonder Woman caused widespread fan revolt - which is only now beginning to die down. Jesse Eisenberg's role as Lex Luthor has had a similarly mixed reception.
Our Vote: Episode VII. If only for hiring Brienne of Tarth.
Episode VII: J.J. Abrams was lured away from the Star Trek franchise - or possibly coerced by a threatening bounty hunter in some fancy Mandalorian armor. His work on Star Trek, Alias, Lost and Fringe has won him as many devoted fans as it has determined detractors.
Batman v Superman: Zack Snyder returns from Man of Steel - which won him equal measures of fan fury and respect. 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch were equally divisive. It's probably kindest not to mention Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.
Our Vote: Abrams - so long as he keeps the lens flare to a minimum.
Episode VII: There's been very little confirmed, but persistent rumors suggest Han Solo takes a central role, helping to introduce a new generation of characters along the way. There's been a lot of talk to do with Jedi Hunters, Mandalorian Mercenaries and Sith, too.
Batman v Superman: It's Batman, versus Superman. In a movie. The fact that it'll also feature Wonder Woman, the beginnings of the Justice League, and Lex Luthor as a Mark Zuckerberg-like figure is all just gravy.
Our Vote: Batman v Superman. Because it will feature Batman fighting Superman.
Episode VII: The Millennium Falcon is very obviously set to return. Seeing as they've already built one. The odds are we'll see Imperial Star Destroyers, X-Wings and AT-AT's, too.
Batman v Superman: There will be at least one Batmobile, though no word yet on whether we (won't) see Wonder Woman's invisible plane.
Our Vote: Episode VII. You just can't beat the Millennium Falcon.
Episode VII: Lightsabers. There will be large quantities of Lightsabers. Even Blaster Rifles can't compete with them for coolness.
Batman v Superman: Barring Batman bringing the Shark-Repellent Spray into play (pictured), the odds are that his presumably dizzying array of gadgets will mostly fit into the 'specifically designed to fight Superman' category. There's also that lingering possibility of Zod's battlesuit from Man of Steel being appropriated by someone.
Our Vote: Lightsabers, all the way. Have you seen Darth Maul?
Episode VII: The Force gave Yoda the ability to survive for hundreds of years, move things with his mind, defeat people far physically stronger and faster than himself, and generally be awesome. Just imagine how cool Luke Skywalker could be by now.
Batman v Superman: Aside from laser vision, super strength, the ability to fly and assorted other powers not yet explored on screen, Superman possesses that most important of super-heroic powers: the ability to be thrown through buildings whenever the plot requires it.
Our Vote: Batman v Superman edges it. Mainly because you can't help feeling like Superman would win in a straight out fight with most Jedi.
Episode VII: The franchise dates back to 1977, with the release of Star Wars. Since then there have been thousands of sequels, spin-offs, novels, comic-books, television series and other assorted pieces of non-canon ephemera.
Batman v Superman: The original Superman comic was published in April 1938, and the first Batman comic in May 1939. Since then they've both seen several television and film adaptations, as well as the entire DC comic-book universe built up around them.
Our Vote: If only for longevity, Batman v Superman has to take it.
Episode VII: The film will return Han Solo to the screen - along with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, and presumably many more beloved - and iconic - characters.
Batman v Superman: The movie will finally bring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman (DC's Holy Trinity) together on the big screen. With the expected foundation of the Justice League on it's way too, there are a lot of childhood dreams about to be realized.
Our Vote: Batman v Superman. They're bringing Wonder Woman to the screen - which has to be worth a whole lot of something.
The Pop Culture
Episode VII: The original movies have touched every corner of our culture - from How I Met Your Mother to days of the actual year (May the fourth be with you...). Boba Fett, light-speed, droids, Wookiees, lightsabers, the Death Star. All of these have buried themselves in our collective consciousness - and a whole lot of Family Guy specials.
Batman v Superman: Bats and Supes are two of the world's most iconic characters - especially if you ask Jerry Seinfeld. There's a reason Kevin Smith has a hockey jersey reading Fat Man, and it isn't only his size. The supporting characters? Not so much. Sorry, Cyborg.
Our Vote: Episode VII. Because Batman hasn't taken over a whole day in early May.
The X Factor
Episode VII: Darth Vader. Just because.
Batman v Superman: Batman. Just because.
Our Vote: Batman v Superman - because Darth Vader isn't going to be in Episode VII, at least not in more than a cameo. Batman, on the other hand, is in the title of the movie. And is always awesome.
All of which means, after 10 grueling rounds, the two films...are tied.
See, I told you that you guys'd have to decide.
So, what's it to be?
[Star Wars: Episode VIII](movie:711868) is set for release December 18, 2015. [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870) will follow it on May 6, 2016.
Which movie should we be the most excited for?