I'm a sucker for data. I love analyzing things quantitatively. It's always a good day when I can combine my love of statistics with my love of Star Wars
. The policy website FiveThirtyEight has delivered that opportunity today. Writer Walt Hickey and the FiveThirtyEight team surveyed 1,186 people using SurveyMonkey and asked them a variety of questions about their familiarity with and interest in Star Wars
. You can view the entire survey at the above link, but here are some of the key takeaways from the data:
- Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they had watched at least one film.
- Eight-five percent of men have seen at least one film, compared to 72% of women.
- Of those who have seen at least one film, 72% of men called themselves a fan compared to 60% of women.
- The most widely-seen film is The Empire Strikes Back. Ninety-one percent of the 835 respondents who answered this question said they had seen Episode V . Interestingly, 80% said they had seen The Phantom Menace, compared to only 73% for A New Hope, although this likely reflects the recent 3D re-release of Episode I.
- According to the respondents who have seen all six films, the best one is The Empire Strikes Back. Thirty-six percent picked that film. The least popular film was Attack of the Clones, at 4%.
- Luke Skywalker was the most popular character. Ninety-three percent rated him favorably. Jar Jar Binks was the least popular, with a 37% disapproval rating. (Fun fact: Jar Jar's 29-37 favorable-unfavorable spread, which puts him at -8 overall, makes him better-liked than Congress.)
- And finally, according to 834 respondents, Han shot first by a margin of 15 points. Thirty-nine percent of people said Han, while 24% said Greedo. Hilariously, 37% chose "I don't understand this question."
Check out the entire survey right here
at FiveThirtyEight. Remember, however, that this is one survey drawn from a general audience, so its result should not be taken as gospel. Still, it's a fun look at a general audience's perception of our favorite franchise.