The Great Star Trek vs Star Wars Debate

The great debate that never ends: Star Trek vs Star Wars. The most common question around this topic generally takes one of two forms: Star Trek vs Star Wars – Which is better? Or which one wins?

Well I’m sorry, but those are meaningless questions. WRONG questions, really. Which is better depends on personal preference, and “winning” implies the two franchises are measured by the same yardstick… when they are clearly not. One is Science Fiction, the other is Science Fantasy, there is no point in even trying to argue the technicalities when at least one of them doesn’t follow accepted scientific and engineering principles. It’s like the comic book fan debate: Who is stronger, Superman or the Hulk?

(Incidentally the answer to that question is: Depends on who’s writing/drawing. Which is probably as good an answer for the Star Trek vs Star Wars debate itself.)

So no, this isn’t a post on my personal take on the debate, but rather an interesting analysis between fans of the two franchises. A couple of years ago Exponential Interactive provided an infographic to NME on this very topic, which I do find interesting. I don’t think the findings would actually surprise anyone, but it’s still intriguing to do this comparison.

2015starwars_exponentialinteractive_full_081214-1

I assume everyone who visits my blog is a Star Trek fan – of course that doesn’t preclude you from being a Star Wars fan as well. But does this infographic describe you accurately?

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7 thoughts on “The Great Star Trek vs Star Wars Debate

  1. I’d say it’s debatable that even Star Trek really follows established scientific and engineering principles (at least not fully, hence the “Treknobabble” and “handwavium”), but it does at least kinda try to respect those principles. So I’d say that’s a fair point, with a few caveats.

    Star Wars, on the other hand… yeah. “Science fantasy” is a total contradiction in terms, I feel. I mean, science and fantasy are kinda mutually exclusive, no? The former is based on the observable universe, empirical data, you know, the whole scientific method and all that. The latter is, well, fantasy.

    So I would just simply call Star Wars “fantasy.” It’s got a bit of high-tech spacecraft, weapons, and machinery thrown in, sure. But I’d just call it “fantasy.”

    Another thing I noticed in that photo, toward the bottom: I think that should read “astronomy” rather than “astrology.” Big difference there. lol

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  2. Old STO fan here, came across your blog googling….something STO related I am sure. Always good reads!

    Anyway… My personal fan theory is that both Star Wars and Harry Potter exist in the same universe on two sides of technology/magic spectrum.

    Star Wars is an example of advanced technology, but limited magical skills(hence why the Force is largely not understood and just used to physically move things)

    On the other hand, you have Harry Potter: Limited technology but advanced magic. This is why the magical community seems so…primitive technology wise.

    Then you have Star Trek….the wonderful in between where the technology is just realistic enough to be believable yet amazing and the magic comes from exploring this big universe we live in.

    I am a fan of both, with my roots in sci-fi being established in SW and expanded on in ST. If I had to pick one over the other, I will take the open ended sense of exploration that ST gives over the space opera SW tells.

    Keep up the good work, looking forward to what you write in the future!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome to my little soapbox, where I ramble and (some) people stop to listen! 😉
      When I was little I actually liked Star Wars way better than Star Trek cuz it looked much cooler. Visually it’s still true, but as I grow older I became increasingly dissatisfied with the rather unsophisticated storytelling of Star Wars, so eventually turned to Trek.

      Never thought about the Harry Potter universe as a Tie-in though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. E.T. was arguably Force-sensitive as well; he could do Force levitation/telekinesis and maybe Force healing as well, when Elliot cut his finger and he healed it (“ooouuuccchhh….”).

        Tho it was unclear whether his healing powers were just part of his unique extraterrestrial physiology or some form of Force power.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly! Good visuals grab the eye, but once they lose the “wow” factor the story is what you have left. ST has much better story overall.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Yep, I think Harry Potter and his classmates would definitely be considered at least Force-adepts in the Star Wars universe. They’re not Jedi or Sith or any other specific Force discipline, but I’d say they’re still Force-sensitive at any rate.

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