I picked Luigi for this competition because I wanted a Mario character that could get creamed by my favorite Pokémon. Unlike below, though, I made sure it wasn't Mario himself who I don't particularly like.
Luigi is probably my second - maybe third - favorite from the Mario franchise. Which, in itself , is not necessarily my favorite franchise (I was a Sega kid, remember), but certainly deserves respect and a place in a pop-culture competition. Plus Mario Kart IS one of my favorite video game series and a genre-defining one at that.
To me, Luigi (and Tails from "Sonic", who will most definitely have a spot in a future competition if there are any) represents the generic "Player 2" who stronger kids usually forced you to be, but they were more interesting anyway.
I picked Indiana Jones for this competition because, frankly, he's an insanely popular character who I kind of wanted to see get beaten by Jack Sparrow, a true favorite character of mine. Unfortunately for me, I ended up miscalculating just how popular he was in my readerbase.
Don't misunderstand me, I do think Indy is a great character. If I didn't, he wouldn't be in this competition (recall I implied certain franchises were absent on purpose). Plus, as George Lucas' other big project with highly overrated and underrated entries, one of the characters deserved a spot in the roster, at least initially. In hindsight I probably should have picked Marian. She's a strong female character (well, she has a memorably distinct personality at least) that I completely forgot about when thinking of strong female characters, and at least then I wouldn't be so worried about her getting this far. Oh well.
Indy was one of the two characters I picked not because they were MY favorites, but because they're popular with others and define an archetype for some (full disclosure: the other was Katniss - though I felt more comfortable with her because Girl Power).
You know who I'm voting against, but again, it's up to you guys.
As always, make sure you're viewing the WEB version of the site and vote in the poll on the right-hand side of the screen. Poll closes Friday (slightly earlier than normal because of Erev Yom Kippur), and results posted on Saturday (set up ahead of time, natch). Feel free to discuss your pick in the comments below.