No look back at the year in nerd culture can be complete without one of the most interesting developments in quite some time for fans of "Star Wars" and "Star Trek."
William Shatner took to his YouTube channel in September to declare, once and for all (reminiscent of the movie "Fanboys"), that "Star Trek" is superior to "Star Wars." In the midst of that, he took a few shots at Carrie Fisher (who appeared at Dragon*Con at the same time he did a few weeks earlier).
Fisher defended "Star Wars," and Shatner did not go unscathed either. "Shat" had a retort to Fisher, as well. George Takei, meanwhile, urged peace between the "Star-people," since they have a common enemy: "Twilight."
This debate for the ages inspired us to settle it once and for all, with you, dear Geek Out readers, as the judges. Meet "Team 'Star Trek": Michael Saba and Ashley Strickland. And "Team 'Star Wars": Topher Kohan and Nikki Rau-Baker.
Without further ado, we commence the ultimate battle!
Ashley Strickland begins, with the logic of Spock, describing what makes "Star Trek" special ...
It’s hard not to love "Star Trek" - intellectually fascinating, overflowing with characters with whom you can relate and fanning out in numerous directions of intriguing moral dilemmas while preserving a utopian integrity.
"Star Trek" paved the way for sci-fi and fantasy to be taken seriously. Unlike other sci-fi, it was not motivated by militaristic war until "Deep Space Nine," which even then poses questions about the duality of terrorism versus freedom fighters. Roddenberry introduced space as a final frontier that needed to be explored by a diverse but unified group of aliens and humans. Curiosity, rather than control, is their mission. Their utopian society is accepting, encouraging and peaceful, to a point. The members of the Starship Enterprise reflect personal struggles of moral justice, often helping one another to discover the best possible solution. It is sci-fi at its best, laying the groundwork for movies such as "Star Wars" to even exist (although SW is sophomoric at most in comparison).
"Star Trek" is driven by characters, rather than flashy weapons and fight scenes. They are engaging, endearing and lack perfection - their flaws make them likable.
From the incomparable captains, like brash Kirk, calculating Picard and the fearless Janeway, to the crews that keep those same captains in check, "Star Trek" never focuses solely on one person, rather how those people exist around one another. Spock, Scotty, Bones, Uhura, Chekov and Sulu could never be confused as foils for Kirk - they stand on their own, empowered, while accentuating Kirk’s character.
Picard’s leadership alone is worthy of intense admiration, but he also succeeds because of the myriad individuals that comprise his crew. We are exposed to all sides of the "Star Trek" characters, and they each have a deliciously long time to develop, so they become woven into our lives - a part of the family.
"Star Trek" brings together the most diverse of races and ideas and has them functioning on one spaceship. It is the fine juxtaposition of camaraderie and conflict that keeps Star Trek’s many incarnations so intriguingly convivial.
Nikki Rau-Baker calls upon her Jedi powers to make the case for "Star Wars"...
On Halloween of 1978, I donned my homemade R2-D2 costume, and that was the beginning of my fascination with "Star Wars."
Being a child of the '70s, "Star Wars" left an indelible mark on my life. Space pirates, lightsabers and the dreamy Luke Skywalker drew me in. But it’s the life lessons that kept me hooked. The choices that we make now affect not only our generation, but the generation we leave behind.
"Star Wars" brings us the future but with the gritty realism of the everyday struggles we all face. There isn’t an idealized version of the future that "Star Trek" tries to portray where people live in a perfect society with self-cleaning clothes and androids who can play the violin. The heroes do what they can to help each other
There are some who say that "Star Trek" has more social commentary. I would argue with that. In fact, through the Jedi Order we learn about tolerance, compassion and understanding in a chaotic world. Master Yoda and Obi-Wan teach us about sacrifice for the greater good.
The world of "Star Wars" delves deep into the spiritual realm with the Force. It teaches us to recognize that everyone, no matter how far gone they may seem, still have a chance at redemption and that is a story worth it’s weight in gold-pressed latinum.
Michael Saba fires the first photon torpedo at "Star Wars"...
After seeing "Star Wars" for the first time, my brother and I spent an entire month running up and down the hallways of our house, imagining that we were Han and Chewie scrambling through the narrow corridors of the Millennium Falcon. I wanted to live in that universe, but that was because I was a child.
When you take a look at other kinds of sci-fi and genre fiction, you inevitably realize just how simplistic the "Star Wars" take on the military-themed space opera was. It’s about on par with a pulpy daytime soap, dripping with a Manichean, good-versus-evil philosophy where the show’s secular (Empire vs. Rebellion) and spiritual (Sith vs. Jedi) realms square off with all the subtlety and charm of Rock-'Em-Sock-'Em Robots.
Once you’ve seen the original series "Star Trek" episode "The City on the Edge of Forever," there’s no going back. Loosely based on the titular classic Harlan Ellison novel, it was a stark and brutal commentary on the Vietnam War, drug use, peace activism and how good intentions are often the surest path to hell.
It’s illustrative of the biggest difference between the two franchises: You can change the name of the characters, locations or even the films themselves in the "Star Wars" series, and it’ll still be a modestly goofy and outsized take on the hero’s journey monomyth. With Jawas and Ewoks.
"Star Trek" gave us something different: An idealistic vision of what a multicultural (and multispecies) future utopia could look like, and what this speculation tells us about the here and now. It’s science fiction as social commentary in the grand tradition of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein.
"Star Wars" gave us lasers, lightsabers, and action figures – in other words, science-fantasy. Maybe Harrison Ford said it best after reading a script for "A New Hope," dense with unpronounceable jargon and fantastical characters: “George, you can type this s-, but you sure as hell can’t say it.”
Topher Kohan "Strikes Back"...
Really? You believe for one second that all "Star Wars" gave us is “science fantasy?" Wow, I would never want to see what you thought Einstein gave us. Yeah, I just did that: I compared "Star Wars" to Albert Einstein, he gave us the theory of relativity. If you ask me, that is as much “science fantasy” as anything you see in "Star Wars."
Do you believe that "Star Trek" is not military-themed? How about "Deep Space Nine" or the neutral zone. It has as many oh-my-God-we-are-about-to-be-attacked episodes as any sci-fi show on the air. Ever. Now I will give you that if you look at the "Star Trek" universe as a whole, there is a big story arc, more so than in the six "Star Wars" movies. But that is only because they let anyone write for "Star Trek."
Strickland unleashes her Vulcan death grip on "Team 'Star Wars' "...
"Star Trek" may not have “the Force,” but that’s because it didn’t need a vehicle with a name motivating it forward. Acceptance is widespread, not something that is shared amongst a few robed figures. All of the characters have a chance at redemption, and the captains and their crews offer these chances to friend and foe alike.
"Star Wars" and "Star Trek" portray two separate futures. Gene Roddenberry envisioned a future that one would hope isn’t idealized in its themes of equality and acceptance, even if it is clean and imaginative in other aspects. But let’s not forget, "Star Wars" includes droid armies in our future. A society that creates machines that can mindlessly kill others bears no equality or acceptance.
Things are black and white, or blue and red rather, in "Star Wars." You’re good or bad, and you can’t take the middle road. Moral complexity is what creates a society of acceptance in "Star Trek." The gray areas, the flaws and our inherent diversity from each other is, in fact, uniting.
"Star Trek," in many ways, has and continues to inspire our future, and not just in a societal way. The tablets, communicators and other devices used in "Star Trek" inspired the social media and technology we use today. Children that watched this show did more than wear a costume each Halloween or fight with plastic lightsabers in the backyard – they took it a step further and invented prototypes for devices that would shape and change the way we live.
While "Star Trek" is not as strictly militaristic as "Star Wars," it does include thematic elements, battle scenes and decisive foes – no sci-fi series of this caliber would do well without it. But it is not the main focus, unless, as I alluded earlier, you include "Deep Space Nine." The action in "Star Trek" instantly captivates, but the philosophy of it remains with you longest.
The story still continues for "Star Trek," and not just “anyone” can write for this ever-evolving franchise. Roddenberry’s creative team shapes and evolves like any writing team, adjusting when there are conflicts and taking the story where it needs to go. Captain Kirk can’t guide the Enterprise through space alone – he needs his crew. And "Star Trek" was never just Roddenberry’s property. As Nichelle Nichols personally told me, it was the writing and production team as a whole that produced what millions still love today. It doesn’t rely on an animated series to keep it going or capture young viewers – "Star Trek’s" movies and TV series are good enough to do that on their own.
Kohan executes Order 66 to terminate "Team 'Star Trek' "...
Well, I would argue that today, there is a larger audience for "Star Wars" because of the animated series and if the "Star Trek" audience is based on movies, well … SW ranks as one of the highest grossing movies of all times and one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time.
I would rather have a "Clone Wars" on TV than the show "Enterprise." If that is what “Roddenberry’s creative team” is creating, then all Trek fans should be bowing at the feet of J.J. Abrams for saving your franchise from utter destruction.
In the world of good sci-fi movies, there is no conversation. The original "Star Wars" trilogy rules supreme. If you add in the TV shows, and you have to if you are talking about "Trek," then I put the three prequel SW movies up against the last three "Trek" series all day long, and again SW will be king!
The Force will always be with us, but we will not always live long and prosper!
Rau-Baker finds "Team 'Star Trek's'" lack of faith in "Star Wars" disturbing...
Maybe if "Star Trek" had the Force, they could more effectively defend themselves against the random tragedies that seem to beset them. The wormholes, cosmic dust waves, giant blobs of oil and angry rocks are just a few of the things that could be tamed with the Force.
On the topic of machines that kill, let’s take a look at the Borg. They fly around in their giant metal cube assimilating species and even take the beloved “I’m-from-France-but-speak-with-an-English-accent” Captain Picard into their collective. But they are not mindless; instead they have a hive mind where diversity is frowned upon.
Things in the "Star Wars" universe are not always black and white (or blue and red as has been said). Characters struggle with moral dilemmas just like anyone else. When Obi-Wan duels with Anakin, it’s not something as simple as “he is going to be bad, so I have to kill him." During the duel, Obi-Wan even says “You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.” That right there shows the humanity that exists in "Star Wars."
"Star Trek" may have inspired some tech, but "Star Wars" has spawned an entire religious movement. The Jedi Church has become a widely recognized and accepted form of religious expression with some people listing the religion on their census forms. I’m not saying that I will go out and start wearing a cloak and carrying a lightsaber to work, but it is pretty interesting that the philosophy of "Star Wars" has inspired people to follow the Jedi code.
Just as the story continues for "Star Trek," so it does for "Star Wars." With the films, the books and video games, the world of "Star Wars" is ever growing and continues to offer the fans new material to enjoy.
Shields up, Strickland prepares to engage to warp speed, but not before one last volley...
George Lucas has said that he was writing "Star Wars" during the heyday of "Star Trek’s" syndication. He watched the show and even attended "Trek" conventions. “ 'Star Trek' expanded your mind in terms of what was possible,” he said. “The story is what makes it work.”
Simply, without "Star Trek," you wouldn’t have "Star Wars." "Star Trek’s" foundation and philosophy has and continues to give us “infinite diversity in infinite combinations.” It inspired the science fiction and fantasy that has come after its pioneering days on television in the 1960s, boldly going where no one had ever thought possible and paving the way for future stories.
You’re welcome, George.
Kohan prepares the Death Star to fire at "Team 'Star Trek'"...
You are 100% correct in that "Trek" might have inspired Lucas to move his tale to the stars, but to say without "Trek," there would be no "Star Wars" is like saying, with no Ford, we would not have cars.
Lucas took a timeless story, and put it in a universe that is ever-growing and expanding. All the time, exploring new corners of it, be it his or Her Universe.
I am glad we have both for fans to watch and pick what they like to see, and for me, and all fans of good storytelling, that pick is and will always be "Star Wars."
May the Force be with you.
Who won this battle royale? Let us know in the comments!
in the text it says star wars created a religion but rememer this. Star Trek created languages like klingon or vulcan and in the end you have to pick religion or language i know what i would chose and the main reason for that is we know there is no jedi religion after life but with language u know how to speak it and its is something very cool thing to impress your friends and prove it but with the religion you can just say you belive it withno proff so in the end i say live long and prosper
I know both are still fantasy, but I still look at the scientific theory behind the technology. I'm still wondering how a light-saber emits a powerful beam of energy that somehow stops itself after traveling a short distance from it's source. Although star wars is very entertaining, to me it's no more than a good action story. Knights, a princess, almost like reading a take of King Arthur. Star Trek, much more believable, much more organized, and much more depth as far as the themes covered in the shows and movies.
Basically, it's comparing comic books to best seller novels. Comic books can be entertaining, but no where near the novel.
All you guys talking about who would win in a fight is stupid. Star Trek takes place in the future, while Star Wars takes place "a long time ago." Star Wars would have be much more advanced by the time it caught up to Star Trek.
Also, if pre episode iv Star Wars fought Star Trek, Star Trek would lose, because The Empire could just use Starkiller and he would just smash the enterprise with the force.
Star Wars has an evil empire full of mindless soldiers that get Force-choked by their own superior for making a bad call. Their motto is 'The Dark Side is more powerful; Join us and we'll rule the galaxy.' There is supposed to be some balance in the Force, but we generally see that the bad guys have an over-abundance of resources, and Rebel forces can barely scrounge up a couple dozen fighters. I have no idea what they're doing in their 'Expanded Universe' but from what's presented, the quick and easy path to Evil proves far more rewarding.
Star Trek is generally not about conflict whether you accept this or not. It's about exploration, meeting new cultures that may be receptive of your visit, want you to get lost, use you as a pawn in their own conflicts, or maybe capture you and take your technology. But their goal is exploring, learning, and helping those in need. It's a far more adult look at humanity and interaction. Along the way, viewers get to question their own morals based on the situations presented.
In a question of which is stronger, the galaxy with the best resources is the one with the most versatility. Star Wars is based in fantasy: The Force magic, and a realm of hyperspace that allows faster than light travel, and hypermatter which is basically an endless source of energy, with which they make enormous super strong ships, weapons, and shields. Star Trek is based more in reality, using physics and science theory to develop and modify, always creating, expanding and evolving technolgy to even include time travel. While Star Wars relies on tactics of bullying through bigger, stronger, and greater numbers, Star Trek relies on the power of the mind to assess situations and use the most efficient means of accomplishing the task.
Unfortunately for Star Wars, battles take place in normal space where Star Trek ships are very quick, very nimble, and able to escape harm for as long as necessary. The Empire simply cannot destroy what they can't catch, but what they CAN do is follow Star Trek ships around long enough for someone to observe a weakness and exploit it. If this proves unsuccessful for longer than we're willing to endure, just get the temporal weapons active and cut through the nonsense. Or have USS Relativity pull Palpatine himself off whatever ship he's hiding on and purge the transport buffer rather than re-materialize him. Star Wars may have powerful weapons but they'd be scared back to their galaxy by the variety of quantum mechanics technology in Star Trek.
If you compare the technology the way you do, I say Star Wars wins, because Star Wars takes place "a long time ago" whereas Star Trek is in the future, so the Star Wars technology will be far more advanced.
Very silly to just assume star wars would advance even more. Why even bring that up? We are comparing the two as we know them, not as they could be in fantasy time frames? How do we know star wars didn't blow themselves up and started against as bacteria before reaching star trek time? Strange concept.
Let's see how long this discussion goes with JJ Abrams directing both Franchises. Star Trek and Star Wars directed by one man.
I like both SW and ST and each is good on their own.
I love both series. I am not caught in this never ending "which is better" conundrum. I don't waste my time dissecting the two to make one or the other look like less. That is a waste of time that I can fill nicely but watching more and equally amazing series/films. I would put a stop to the constant comparisons and bickering, and suggest that people watch the films, enjoy them as stand alone events. Some things need to be kept separate from each other to reduce constant criticism. I prefer Trek to a degree, but still love the original Star Wars trilogy. I think the Star Wars prequels were a step backwards for that genre. I hope the promised Star Wars films are better than the prequels. My 2 cents. 😉
Oh come on! The Star Wars Prequels were fun. I agree that they are not as good as the Original Trilogy, but they brought in some great inclusions into the saga. The Effects were good, the overall story was good (though how it was executed was often choppy), what the Jedi Order was is great. I also agree that they do have some bad inclusions into the saga (Jar-Jar Binks, Midichloreans, the Anakin-Padme Romance), but saying they are outright bad movies has no logic in it. I can understand why people hate Episodes 1&2, but Episode 3 was just Awesome. Besides, there are many Star Wars Fans, including myself, who enjoy both the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy. I am looking forward to the upcoming Sequel Trilogy though, and I pray that J.J. Abrams does a good job (I bet he will).
Anyway, I prefer Star Wars over Star Trek, but I do appreciate how Star Trek influenced Science Fiction and Pop Culture today.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Its easy, SW was the little guy vs Government, ST was the government vs the little guy!
SW was all about individualism, about having faith in yourself, where ST was about rules and procedures and being a small cog in a very big wheel.
In the cold light of day, Star Wars is your traditional old school conservative, pushing to provide for their family in a self sustained kind of way and everyone is live and let live, as long as you keep your head down! Star Trek is a socialist ideal where everyone is the same, and follows the same rules – ironically, the greatest enemy in their universe is the Borg, a great twist on communism!
The best part though is how both these stories have made a whole generation avoid the real world! 🙂
Star Trek is for adults while Star Wars is for kids. It's that simple. Star Wars is a cheezy fantasy world with weird hero costumes (kind of like Batman) while Star Trek presents a more realistic futuristic scenario the charms of various personalities, from the hot "Counselor", to Captain Picard's leadership, to the coolest of them all – "Data".
thats about all i have to say.
stardestroyer site is a biased SW fanboy site and the fact you reference it shows a lack of creativity and credibility. It's a site for the mindless followers who can't think for them self.
Star Wars is definitely the more exotic universe, and they're technology was unfreakenbelievably cool, especially in 1977, they wouldn't stand a chance against the Star Trek universe in a battle. First off, nothing in Star Wars ever seemed to work right. everything always seemed to need fixing or bangin to get it started. Secondly, Star Wars technology was built with some awful design flaws. Why exactly does the bridge of the star destroyer need a glass window and a view on top? and why put the bridge shield generator on the top of the ship too, and not give that sheilds? and the Death Star's poop shoot? that thing was BEGGIN' to get blown up. But star trek, they got shields up the wazoo. Cloaking devices, and they're stuff never seems to break down. the enterprise has crash landed on planets and travelled through time. Darth Vader would be a black stain on Captain Kirks boot.
Logically looking at both through the words of the creators would be acceptable to both Vulcans and Jedis so lets begin. Lucas always claimed that Star Wars was fantasy in space and often compared the characters to typical fantasy types like the hero, princess in distress, wizard etc. So Star Wars is logically developed for escapism and entertainment. Roddenberry has always stated Star Trek had a two prong approach. First was hope in the future by showing the Enterprise and Federation as a socially evolved utopia compared to modern day. Second was to use the show as social commentary for modern issues. So Star Trek was more for hope and social change.
For who would when in a fight, it all depends on the scenerio. Both are highly advanced technologically and both have the means of destroying each others ships and infastructure. I would have to give a general edge to Star Trek. Star Wars characters tend to have two tactics fight and flee. Star Trek characters will use those two but also look at all other alternatives as well. Also an entire legion of the Emperor's best troops were routed by a stone age race of teddy bears, so it has that against them.
I enjoyed both ST and SW. However, my heart goes to other series, SG1 and B5 (way better than Galactica). SG-1 was really interesting because it showed an unprepared humanity reaction to technically superior civilizations (both good and bad). B5 because the whole series was premised on the fact that two superior races basically used the civilization pool of their galaxy has a chessboard to determine which of their ideologies was correct.
In response to the thread about Star Trek being an influence on Star Wars and without Star Trek there would be no Star Wars is a complete error. First of all, George Lucas wrote Star Wars based upon the serials (12 to 15 part shorts that showed before the main feature during a Saturday Matinee in the early days of cinema), which would mean more inspiration from the likes of Flash Gordon. In addition, the force concept was a mixture of his Methodist background, Greek mythology, and the growing influence of eastern religions during that time period.
Lets face if there had been no Trek, Star Wars may not have been, and how much of Trek did influence Lucas, and did he not get the script from some one else,
Both suffer same issues out of 6 Star Wars movies only 2 were good what is now Star Wars 4 and 5 EMpire Strikes Back. Trek has had maybe 3 that were good possible 4 out of what 10 Wrath of Kahn, the 4th one I think name was Voyage Home, the Next Gen one where they go back in time fighting the borg, and the reboot.
But to be fair Wrath of Kahn and the reboot are the best 2.
It seems the main factor in a fight between Star Wars and Star Trek will be speed of travel. I am assuming that both Star Wars and Star Trek would each be able to destroy the other's ships in a space battle.
With hyperdrive and the ability to travel almost without any time loss between any points in space the Star Wars clan has the upper hand. They merely have to produce a large fleet and keep it blobbed in a few areas. If a Star Wars planet or fleet gets into a fire fight they merely send scouts to the blobs of fleet and tell them where to go and an over whelming Star Wars fleet destroys the Star Trek fleet.
Same for defending planets the Star Wars fleet merely has to see the approaching Star Trek fleet which they can see coming a mile away and arrange for over whelming fleet to meet them in transit. Cloaking would help but the Federation does not have it.
The clear winner will be Star Wars because of it's much much faster travel time.
Star Wars can punch a Death Star into a Star Trek base power it up before the Star Trek fleet can get thru the Star Wars fleet protecting the Death Star. Then blast the base and be at the next target before you can say Scotty Beam me up.
The only way that Star Trek could keep up with this mobile fire power would be to develope a transporter able to transport a whole fleet any where in the galaxy. A tech they do not have.
That conclusion is false. Time does pass while in hyperspace in Star Wars Universe. Why do you think they show Luke having time to work on all this training with Obi Wan aboard the Falcon while they're enroute to another planet. It's not instantaneous at all. Not to mention, look how slow the Death Star is... In the midst of a massive conflict they had to wait ages for it to just come around a planet so it could destroy Leia's homeworld. Plenty of time for things to happen – otherwise when the rebel fleet attacked the Death Star it could have just moved out of the way "instantly" and just kept jumping place to place so the rebel fleet could never knock it out. Sorry, but you're assumption is just wrong.
What about Doctor Who? The Doctor could rewrite history and eliminate both worlds if he wanted to.
Two different genres: Star Trek is Science Fiction while Star Wars is Fantasy (albeit with a sci-fi twist). Hear me out on this:,Star Wars has all the hallmarks of a fantasy story: A reluctant hero, on a quest, guided by a wise old sage (wizard), with a magical element (the Force, though they tried to explain that away with "mitaclorians" or whatever in the horrible prequels), taking place in a "galaxy far far away." While their are humans in Star Wars, they are not Earthlings. Star Trek has a tangible connection to Earth. It may be the Earth of the future, but it is the story of us, guided by Science and Humanity. Star Trek, however fanciful, has a basis in real physics and a foot in our world. I like both, but it's like the Beatles and Rolling Stones question, and I have to go with Star Trek as just a smidge more than Star Wars. Love em both though.