Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Star Wars versus Star Trek: Mommy and Daddy, Why Are You Fighting?

Guys. Guys. You guys. Look. Star Wars and Star Trek both have "Star" in the title, but that doesn't mean we can't fervently love both franchises. This is not a sports rivalry. This is not Duke versus Carolina. This is not Jacob versus Edward (about which I know next to nothing, but a lot of other people with matching chromosomes do. And they take that rivalry pretty f*cking seriously.)

Star Wars? Is six movies. Seven, if you count The Clone Wars. Which I don't.

Star Trek is eleven movies and thirty seasons of serial television, encompassing seven hundred and twenty seven episodes in all. And yes, some of them are awful.

Just like the Star Wars prequels.

So let's just throw out the crappy phoned-in episodes of Star Trek and pretend the Star Wars prequels didn't happen.

Both franchises involve SPACESHIPS AND SPACE, but they aren't about the same thing.

Star Wars is about redemption. And loyalty. And why fascism is bad and Han Solo (or Slave Leia if you're a dude, or both if you're into that) is the sexiest anything ever. Star Trek is about humans convincing ourselves that we don't suck - only to find out that we still sort of do - so we gallivant about the galaxy trying not to suck. Star Wars is about what people are like when we're awesome, even though we kind of suck. Star Trek is about what people would be like if we were awesome, but still sucked sometimes. Star Wars is a character piece. Star Trek is a morality play.

Check us out! BFFs! Hey! Where are you going? To have sex and play football? FINE.

Star Wars is about its characters. Star Trek is about an idea.

Star Wars happened to some other folks a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Star Trek happens to us in a few hundred years.

Yes. The Empire could crush the Federation with one or two well-placed Death Star blasts. But the Empire? Was a bunch of Assholes.

Star Wars and Star Trek aren't rivals. They're not even playing the same game. Saying you can't love one if you love the other is like saying you can't root for the Dodgers if you're a Laker fan.

The one thing I'm sure we can all agree on? Pre-Sith Anakin Skywalker and Season 1-3 Wesley Crusher were equally annoying.

These are the things that keep me up at night, people.

[Let's play nice on Twitter.]
[You can also become a minion and subscribe to the syndicate.]

32 comments:

Leonnie said...

Finally! someone says what most of the fans are thinking!

Shinxy said...

Love it.

I am ashamed to say that even as a nerd, I've not watched either. I am doing it before my wedding. It's on my wedding-bucket list.

Holley said...

Agreed!! Thank you for putting this out there. I never understand the point of these debates. It's apples and oranges, people...

Jayne said...

I don't count Clone Wars either.

vicwu said...

Well said! Although, you make me like Star Trek more now that I think about it. But! I still like them both!

Jeff said...

I can't judge. I haven't seen anything Star Trek. Ever. I haven't even seen the newest one. It's on my DVD shelf. But I still haven't watched it. Does that make me a bad person?

DrSnarky said...

Jeff: you really should watch the new Star Trek movie. It is great! Trust me, I wouldn't steer you wrong. :)

Kelley said...

I just bought my 5 y/o a huge "fan deck" of Star Wars facts & characters yesterday. It's incredible how many facts, places, planets, battles, etc. there are to learn about! It's insanity! Still, I'm going to try to get my Star Wars facts down as it looks like my 5 y/o's Star Wars obsession isn't going anywhere.

I wish I had Kit Fisto's hair.

Max said...

Even though I am more of a Star Trek fan, I also am a fan of Star Wars. Doesn't need to be one of the other. And even for those who do feel it has to be one or the other - your comment about Anakin and Wesley cannot be argued. Funny stuff!

Elizabeth said...

I'm a Star Trek girl all the way - I've never really had any interest in Star Wars. Probably because, like you said, one is all about ideas and the other is a little more about the people. I prefer idea movies to people movies.

But I also have to say that the best/worst star trek episode ever was the Trouble with Tribbles II episode from the animated series. Worst animation ever, lame story that was just an excuse to bring the tribbles back, and generally hilarious because it had all the right people doing the voices. It made me happy.

Martha said...

I didn't even know this was a thing. Thank you for the enlightenment. I've planned for years to settle down and start watching Star Trek, but now I have even more resolve (and Netflix). I have loved the Star Wars movies since I was a kid.

Lydia and Kate said...

You are obviously a genius. This post is awesome. Agree 100% on all your points and this coming from someone who has watched Jedi 4 times in the past week thanks to a seriously obsessed 5 yr old boy.

Annah said...

Have never watched either. I'm guilty as charged. But I did read your whole post so at least I understand a little bit now.

Queen of the Rant said...

donot like either of them so I am in the clear- bwhahaha hahah,

DerekL said...

Before you praise Star Wars for being about loyalty, anti-fascism, and redemption - you should read David Brin's take on ST v. SW.

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/feature/1999/06/15/brin_main/index.html

The Ranter's Box said...

I fell asleep watching Star Wars at the drive-in movies when I was a kid and so I never really connected with it. Star Trek however was a staple in the house. For some reason my non-english speaking great grandmother loved watching Star Trek episodes. It was her thing but we all watched together. Just remembering brings up the warm fuzzies!

Colleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colleen said...

I've never known another woman to feel the same way about those two before... Today is a good day indeed.

Electric City Sanctuary said...

This stuff makes my day every time. There are some sane people in the world... Please keep it up.
-Jess of ECS

Margaret said...

@Derek - Right. Like I said, Star Wars is about the people in it. Star Trek is about an idea. Which is why the IDEA of Star Trek has passed the baton to different casts of characters more than once. Also, I said from the beginning, "Let's throw out the prequels," which are where Brin's largest issues with the concept of Sympathy for the Vader are focussed. Also, his analysis doesn't seem to contradict with the statement that Star Wars is steeped in themes of loyalty and redemption. In fact, his piece takes issue WITH the theme of redemption for Vader.

It seems to me that Brin's hypothesis is that Star Wars is about rule by one or another Elite Chosen Group - the far right or fascist Imperials and the far left Rebellion, who, while not necessarily chosen by the people in a democratic fashion, certainly weren't nearly as far to the right as the Imperials.

Midwestern Mama Holly said...

Im really of no use in this fight. I never really watched either.. actually I feel asleep during Star Wars. That being said, the DH is a total Star Trek nerd, and the few I have seen, I have to say that Jon Luke Picard - Patrick Stewart - is tres yummy.

Ethony* said...

Pre-Sith Anakin Skywalker and Season 1-3 Wesley Crusher were equally annoying. - AGREE! I love this post. I also like both franchises and I refuse to believe I can't

You are right they are playing by different rules.

Henna @ AboutDivorce Blog said...

even now that it has ended, i am still a big fan of star wars, the charisma and the magic they wove on the people is still there

Sunny said...

Found this blog on the blogs of note and it's been a funny and honest trip reading it, with 45 minutes gone before I knew it and lunch postponed till at least 1:30 now.

As for the topic itself, I watched Star Trek as a kid, but I'm afraid I never really understood it. I was 5 and a recent immigrant and barely spoke English. Power Rangers was more my thing. I always hated it in Star Trek when they went through black holes or warp holes or whatever because I just wanted them to get home again. Guess it was a reflection on my new immigrant status; I just wanted to go home.

I guess the uncomfortableness that Star Trek gave me made me a fan of Star Wars, because I remember watching a bunch of typically guy movies with my dad as a kid and that was one of the ones on the list.

The boyfriend is a pretty big fan of both; I'm sure he'll understand this more than me. I'll point it to him and see if he gets a laugh out of it; thanks! Now on to explore more of your blog~

noktour said...

I prefer idea movies to people movies.

Serge said...

Very funny and enlightening article, as always. Keep up the good work here. I'd love to hear your thoughts on my blog: theacademik.blogspot.com.

ghrency said...

I never understand the point of these debates..good thing you posted like this.

thanks


villa curic dubrovnik

A.R.Williams said...

LQTM.

PaintedDreams said...

haha nice job! That was awesome. LOL. Still laughing about the "we still suck" part that followed every point. XD

Charles said...

Sorry it took so long to respond here... although following your tweets regarding SDCC was fascinating (good job stabbing that guy in the eye... that was you right?)

I concede to everything you have written here. I should spend more time focusing my wrath on the prequel star wars films, and less time trying to drive a wedge between myself and people who like star trek more than me.

I had some friends in high school who constantly compared "Trek" to "Wars" and after a couple of years, I just became totally polarized on the issue, but you are right i suppose. They are not even really in the same vein. To me sometimes it still just seems as epic as the battle between Israel and Palestine...

anyway, hilarious post. I had temporarily lost track of the link to your page here but have found it again and will be following now. yay

http://arealgoodblog.blogspot.com

John said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
silver star said...

Interesting...

I came over from Quiet Rumblings, my husband loves both, I love Star Trek, but could never get into Star Wars. I thought I was an odd ball for not liking both, but I have found out by reading this and the other comments that my odd ball ways are for different reasons.