Let's meet the combatants:
MATCH 1: Why the Long Face?
Darling of the Podracing circuit, mostly due to his unchecked aggression on the track and a number of not-quite-legal modifications to his massive racing machine. A former slave who won his freedom, he has absolutely no sympathy for any in the same situation - and in fact has developed somewhat of a rivalry with one particular little slave boy.
* Incredibly flexible
* Opposable toes and extremely dextrous with all four limbs
* An incredibly skilled racer with a fast machine
* Belligerent beyond all reason
* Has risen cheating to an art form
* Very small
The last great Fire Drake and the chiefest and greatest calamity of the Third Age, Smaug's biggest claim to fame was utterly destroying the kingdom of Dale before driving the Dwarves out of the nearby mountain of Erebor and sitting on the tremendous pile of treasure for the next couple of centuries.
* Absolutely massive animal and capable of highly-maneuverable flight
* Breathes fire
* Highly intelligent and very clever
* The ultimate hoarder
MATCH 2: Insufferable Know-It-Alls
LT. COMMANDER DATA
Created by roboticist Dr. Noonien Soong, Data was lost in a stellar disaster before being found by Starfleet and reactivated. After going through Starfleet Academy, he eventually joined the crew of the USS Enterprise under Jean-Luc Picard. Owns a cat named "Spot."
* Immune to biological diseases and other weaknesses that can affect humans and other carbon-based lifeforms
* Superhuman strength
*Ability to absorb and process information at incredible speeds
* Vulnerable to technological hazards such as computer viruses, certain levels of energy discharges, ship malfunctions, remote control shutdown devices, and the "off switch" located in-between his shoulder blades
* Baffled by human emotion and has bad luck with emotion chips
* His "brother" is a real piece of work
A young witch from Britain. Although she was born to Muggle dentists, she has proven to be one of the most talented magic users of her or any age. One of Harry Potter's closest friends, allies, and confidants (and incidentally married the other closest friend, ally, and confidant). Currently the deputy head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
* Studious and an incredibly fast learner in most subjects
* Incredibly tenacious
* Dedicated to the welfare of all living beings
* Can be very bossy
* Is an overachiever and prone to biting off more than she can chew
* For living in a magical world, she's unusually skeptical
I make no secret of my preference for Hermione, and if she can get over this hurdle of an equally popular character she has a good chance at the finals. Sebulba and Smaug, however, is a far more difficult choice for me to make. The dragon is a formidable contender in anything, but a number of readers who found me through Star Wars may vote Sebulba on principle. We shall certainly see...
As always, make sure you're viewing the WEB version of the site and vote in the polls (remember, there are two now) on the right-hand side of the screen. Polls close Friday, and results posted on Saturday. Feel free to discuss your picks in the comments below.