POP CULTURE SMASH
star wars vs star trek
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away”… countless pop-culture fans have debated on which sci-fi space film franchise best represents the egregiously popular genre. That’s right, I’m talking about “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”. Ever since the release of George Lucas’s “Star Wars”, there have been countless arguments as to which of the two “Star” franchises are better, and I, Alexander “Aqualink” Gatensby, intend to find the answer. The first thing you need to know before reading on this topic, is that although on the surface, the argument might seem just like a school-ground “my dad could beat up your dad” but, I assure you that it is much more than that. And I’m no outsider to the Pop Culture Geek community; I went to the Deadpool premiere in theatres dressed up as the “Merc with a Mouth” himself.
At their core, Star Wars and Star Trek are both great shows. They are both exceptionally entertaining, and I wouldn’t reject the chance to watch either. When I was small, the Star Wars Prequels were coming out. I know, I know: They are the worst of the series, but when I watch them, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. The Phantom Menace came out when I was only two years old, so I grew up watching the epic Darth Maul light-saber duel. I was of course also introduced to the original trilogy, which has aged well, and I went to see Episode VII in Theatres. I was also just recently shown Star Trek the original Series, and even though the visual effects are a bit dated, that does not take away from the fact that it is a totally ‘binge-worthy’ TV series. I love it. I love the characters, the setting, the concept… All of it. I have only seen a couple episodes so far, but I am definitely not stoping there.
Even though I have watched both Star Trek and Star Wars, I still feel as though, if it were up to me, I am completely biassed towards Star Wars being the better of the two. Just the fact that I grew up with it is a bit unfair. I have only watched a handful of ‘Trek episodes, so I am no authority on the subject. That is why I decided to go straight to the real fans at Yukomicon and on social media. Myself and four colleagues have asked fans of both series’ which they prefer and why:
(Before diving into the debate, it is important to establish some differences between the two franchises. From the outside, they might seem the same, I mean, they both have “star” in the title, and they both take place in space. But apart from the titles, and setting, there really aren’t a whole lot of similarities between the two. Star Wars is based around a movie franchise, with some Television adaptations, and Star Trek is the other way around. In my views, Star Trek bases it’s plot around moral lessons whereas Star Wars is based more around in-universe political views and supernatural abilities.)
I obviously am not going to write down everything everybody says, so I’ve compiled the best points right here in my own words.
Why Star Wars is Better:
-Star Wars has stood to the tests of time well. Every light-saber fight is incredibly captivating, and will have any first time viewer on the edge of their seat.
-It has a stellar plot, and cool abilities. Fans of Star Wars have said they prefer it over Star Trek because Star Trek is more about Rules, Logic, and morals than anything.
-Star Wars is less realistic than Star Trek, but that’s what makes it so great. Some people just want to see other people shoot laser-guns, and swing laser swords without an explanation of
how it all works. That suspension from reality makes Star Wars more timeless.
-The characters are incredible in Star Wars, and the costume design even more so (especially for a Movie Series which started in the 70’s).
-Star Wars has an awesome soundtrack and theme song which is recognized everywhere. (Personal Note: A couple years ago, I was part of the All City Band of Whitehorse, and we played an arrangement of Star Wars music. When we played it, I cried.)
-Star Trek’s newer movies, have also started to move towards what Star Wars is like, which doesn’t really fit. Sure casual movie-goers might love them, but hardcore fans not so much. Star Trek was all about putting off violence until they absolutely had to, but now in the modern movies, it seems like their first course of action.
-Darth Vader. Enough Said.
Why Star Trek is better:
-Star Trek is a classic. It presents a more plausible future for the human race.
-Star Trek has a more positive outlook on humanity in the future
-The moral tests are more relatable, and probably resonate a bit more with your average viewer. Star Trek also managed to take topical subjects for each shows time, and present them being solved in a futuristic setting.
-Star Wars may have some cool alien life, but Star Trek has just as many, if not more. (Also Star Wars has Jar Jar Binks… so yeah…)
-Star Trek also has consistently “good” episodes, and if one isn’t good, they have many more to make up for it. Star Wars only has 7 movies (with an eighth and ninth to come) and three of them are unanimously disliked by even the most hardcore fans.
• Star wars has many spin-off TV show and comics, and books, but as of a few years ago, none of that is canon (none of it really happened in the story-line) even though a lot of those “spin-offs” explained things perfectly well. Star Trek, stays true to it’s branching timelines, and most of it’s content, which is a one-up on Star Wars as far as I’m concerned.
– Looking back at the history of Star Trek, and it’s many different shows, there really is a version of Star Trek for everybody. There’s the Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, the Animated series… well theres a lot. So if you don’t like one of them, chances are that you’re going to like another.
Lots of fans came to hang out with us and share what they thought about Star Trek and Star Wars, and now we finally have our result. The poll was close though, really close. Some people couldn’t even choose between the two! In the end, we tallied up the votes… and Star Wars is the winner! Maybe it’s the cool villains, or maybe it’s the variety of other interesting characters, or maybe it’s just that people don’t like William Shatner (No seriously, people put that down as to why Star Wars was better) but Star Wars pulled through as the Yukon’s preferred “Star” Series. Pop Culture Fans have Spoken! Thanks to all who participated!
“Live long and prosper in a galaxy far far away…”