“Greatest” and “created” are so subjective as to render that statement worthless.
Lucas created a universe that was financially successful on a previously unimaginable scale by applying familiar tropes in ways that people really needed to see and hear at the time. That said, he had the aid of equally visionary collaborators who helped turned a banal, derivative, illogical, poorly-acted and unintentionally racist mess into modern mythology.
Roddenberry had perhaps the most socially progressive and ultimately optimistic vision of the lot. That said, his writing was often hackneyed and sappy, his vision was limited by ideological blinders, and again the legacy of his work depended on the work of collaborators who were better at expanding his vision than the “creator” was at originating it.
I’m not familiar with Toryama’s work enough to comment on it, except to ask who the hell thought Dragonball belonged on a list with Middle Earth.
Professor Tolkien indisputably created a landmark work of the fantasy genre. Middle Earth was a watershed in the history of media storytelling and modern mythology. Tolkien’s world-building was second to none in terms of detail, scope, and poetic resonance. That said, it’s also a racist, sexist old-boys’ club created by a product of the Edwardian upper class, based near-entirely on reworking actual mythology from several cultures whose works don’t necessarily fit together well. (Also, Jesus Christ, if I never have to read another five pages’ worth of epic elven poetry stuck in the middle of an adventure story, it will be too soon.)
Rowling’s work is delightfully British, fun to read, and far deeper than a casual glance would reveal. More than perhaps any creator save Roddenberry, she crafted a humanistic, progressive, and ultimately hopeful vision that lacks the sappy superficiality of Gene’s own work. Like Star Wars, the Harry Potter series spoke a message that people all over the world were almost literally dying to hear, and that message – unlike those of all the other creators – had room in it for people who weren’t just straight white (or near-white) dudes. That said, the series makes no fucking sense from a logical standpoint, its storyline is retcon-city, and many of its best ideas were culled (if altered) from other, better material.
Martin is certainly the most serious and single-handedly ambitious of the lot. More than even Tolkien himself, G.R.R. has brought fantasy into the real of serious matters and adult consideration. That said… holy fuck, George, could you at least try to write a story that didn’t involve rape, torture and betrayal as major elements of the plot? Also, Tolkien with more rape and genocide is still basing your work off Tolkien.
Wow. Um, okay… apparently I had some opinions about this stuff tonight…