The Case of Star Wars v. Star Trek (1977)

A battle of force and logic to create peace in our universe

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Calling all space travelers, or at least those that have fantasized about it. The age-old debate has made a crash landing here! It’s time to look at the case of Star Wars versus Star Trek. We have two opposing views from Kali Daniel and Darien Harris, moderated by The One Who Knows Nothing — at least regarding this topic — Spencer Brooks. Things are sure to get heated, so buckle up. In the end, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but there are a few key questions that must be answered to validate this discussion. There are no rules, not even the law of gravity, as we go warp speed into a comparison of these two Galactic dynasties.

Spencer Brooks: Which is better: USS Enterprise or Millenium Falcon?

Kali Daniel: Millennium Falcon is definitely not a piece of junk. It’s the fastest known ship in the Star Wars galaxy, so I should think it’s better than the Enterprise. 6.13 quadrillion miles per hour, man. I mean, come on. Y’all have a rental car company named after you. Y’all just stay in your seats, “we’ll pick you up” since we can span three galaxies a year if we wanted to. It’s the little ship that could — it’s small in comparison but it has survived so much.

Darien Harris: Enterprise! It’s patriotic, being inspired by some of the military’s most iconic aircraft. The navy even considered using the Enterprise’s command bridge design. That alone tells us this ship was crafted in greatness. Not to mention the updates of the five additional “Enterprise” ships following the first. Can you say legendary?

SB: Who has the better crew?

KD: Wow, not even sure that’s a fair question. I mean, Star Trek has set crews. With Star Wars, we’ve got X-wings, transports, freerunners — maybe that’s what makes us better, though. The size. Strength in numbers. By the Battle of Endor we had an alliance of… I don’t know, definitely in the billions.

DH: Starfleet is the United Nations of the galaxy. In it are countless heroic figures giving their lives to exploration, learning and not just world peace, but universal peace. It’s simply amazing. Sidenote: I bet Starfleet has a killer internship.

SB: Who is more realistic?

KD: Well, I think when you get into reality, Star Trek seems a lot more relatable. Yeah, I’m vouching for you, Darien. Won’t happen again. [laughs] But seriously, their dealing with a lot more of the communicative side of humanity. Star Wars is a big family drama with a few outliers. Things that Kirk and Picard face, from what I’ve seen, deal so much with just human relatability and understanding. Now as far as technologically speaking, Star Wars wins. Hands down. They’ve done studies on it, check the Space & Rocket Center.

DH: Clearly, Star Trek takes this one. Star Wars has non-human characters that are fun, iconic but not believable.  On the other hand, Star Trek marries exciting space adventure with relatable human struggle and development. That’s a classy combination, folks.

SB: Who would win in Spock v. Chewie?

KD: Spock. [laughs] What? I’m sorry! Chewbacca is huge and he’s great and he can kick some stormtrooper booty, but I think it’s safe to say Spock is a lot more intelligent than a Wookiee. I mean I know they pride themselves on being intelligent, but it’s Spock, man. He’s supposed to be, like, more advanced than pretty much everyone I know. No offense, guys. BUT for the record, Chewbacca is clearly the better physical competitor and he’s got that whole personal interaction aspect down a lot better than Spock. Physically, Chewbacca could manhandle Spock. Can’t make the Vulcan salute if your arms are ripped off.

DH: What is Chewbacca? I’m sure someone can answer but Spock would have that furball calculated and conquered in seconds. Intelligence beats brute force everytime. It would be a tough battle but Spock would come out on top. Don’t underestimate the half-human, half-vulcan combination.

SB: Who has the cooler outfits?

KD: Us. Definitely us. Robes that are elegant yet lightweight enough to toss aside and unleash fury on your opponent. Amidala’s headdress alone hath shooketh me to my core. And it seems like The Fleet’s clothes are a little… I don’t know, monotonous? Like you’ve got color variation there but there’s a standard there. We’ve got a lot more creativity and diversity in that area.

DH: Are you serious? Robes are not cool. Robes are for lounging, not conquests and adventure. The heroes of Star Trek are capable and mighty and they look like it! I’m surprised one of those space-capes haven’t got caught in a turbine or something yet. The writers wouldn’t allow it, but we all know it would probably happen.

SB: Which is better: Original Star Trek or original three Star Wars?

KD: Well, I’m obviously going to go with Star Wars. I haven’t seen most of old Star Trek stuff. Just what we watched in Dr. Mac’s class at UNA. I’ll never forget the phrase “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.” [laughs] That’s with me for life. But I think that my ignorance kind of speaks to the legacy of Star Wars. Star Trek was before my time, so was Star Wars. But you can bet your bottom dollar my dad, brothers and, now also, my boyfriend were going to beat me to death with it. I don’t think I even got introduced to Star Trek with any kind of understanding of the universe until memes. [laughs]

DH: I think Star Trek is America’s favorite. The original series made William Shatner an icon. Also, the history of the early shows provides a rich context for the newer movies and shows that connects with a wider audience. Star Trek is everyone’s galactic preference!

SB: Which is better: New Star Trek or new Star Wars?

KD: We’ll take this prize. Granted, the new Star Trek movies are cool and Star Wars’ prequels are pretty unanimously viewed as hot garbage, but I think we’ve more than made up for our part with the newest films. They’re engaging and drifting from the kind of corny humor that was so adored in the original three, but there’s a bigger audience now.

DH: The box office numbers indicate that the new Star Wars movies have dominated in theaters. The numbers are staggering. Star Trek still towers above as an entity in itself with superior storylines and a legacy that cannot be ignored. That goes without saying.

SB: Luke Skywalker vs Star Trek captain of choice or all

KD: [laughs] The fact you are asking Luke Skywalker versus “pick a captain” proves the greatness of the Skywalker legacy. Even somebody who knows nothing about Star Wars knows you don’t mess with Skywalker. Captains come and go like the seasons, my guy.

DH: Captain Kirk, obviously the most well-known and capable leader from Starfleet. A captain’s strongest attribute is his team. The original Kirk, Spock, McCoy trio is legendary, brilliant, and undaunted, setting the bar for all others that would hope to make a name for themselves in Starfleet.

SB: Which has had a stronger influence on pop media?

KD: Oh, Star Wars for sure. Like I said previously, I missed out on Star Trek being a thing for most of my life, but you walk into Wal-Mart and you’re bombarded with Star Wars swag. But when you’ve got a name like Disney backing you, that’s kind of their thing. The legacy itself could’ve sold plenty of merch, but having the support of an international marketing juggernaut has really boosted its street cred.

DH: I’ll have to admit, Star Wars wins here. The t-shirts, memorabilia, and Weird Al Yankovic parodies prove it. You cannot shop at most retail shops without finding a generic Star Wars shirt. Listen, there is a real religion based on Star Wars, Jediism. You can’t make that up. Well, someone did but you get my point. Star Wars has not only generated fandom, but worship.

SB: Which is more heroic? I know the enterprises set is a discovery team bringing peace around the galaxy but if you think about it Star Wars is literally (not all, but mostly) the Skywalker and Solo squabble — it’s basically one big family fight.

KD: Well, I think I’ve got to go with Star Trek on this one. Admirably, they’re restoring peace to the universe. In Star Wars, the peace they’re trying to attain is more than just between Skywalker and Solo — that’s such a small part of it. It’s about fighting the Imperial Alliance and forming a new republic out from under them. It’s, dare I say, American. This interview has really just shown me I know more about Star Wars than I’d like. [laughs] Shout out to my father. See, I got jokes.

DH: Hands down, Star Trek takes this question. You have Starfleet dispatching brave, valiant protectors of the universe to restore order and bring peace. It’s pure benevolence and the human protagonists are relatable and personable. Finally, something we can agree on!

Which star is better?

We asked you, our readers, who was undoubtedly the better odyssey. You have spoken via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

54 votes total

72% — Star Wars

28% — Star Trek