For what seems like millennia, Star Wars and Star Trek fans have long argued which franchise is better. For what it’s worth, we believe there are some strong points that favor Star Trek.
Science Based On Established Theory
This may not be an argument for many. Sci-Fi fans on the other hand, would agree. Star wars is a space opera. It never needed to create stories based on believable technology. There is no explanation for how the Death Star or the Hyperdrive works. We just had to go along with it. Star Trek on the other hand gives us such beautifully detailed explanations for every piece of equipment. And it is so grounded. Communicators were first introduced in Star Trek, a technology that was invented in the real world soon after in the form of mobile phones. Transporters can beam you up and down but they are also prone to failure. Everything in Star Trek is based on scientific facts and theoretical physics. That’s why hardcore sci-fi fans believe Star trek is much better for its genre.
Stronger Female Characters
Count the number of strong female characters in Star Wars. Princess Leia Organa, Ahsoka Tano, Asajj Ventress, Jyn Erso, Rey Skywalker, and Padme Amidala. We may have missed a few but there aren’t many to count to be frank. Star Trek has not many lead female characters but it’s list of badass women characters runs longer than 12 parsecs. Uhura, Guinan, Seven of Nine, Michael Burnham, Captain Katheryn Janeway, Major Kira Merys, Tasha Yar, and Jadzia Dax are to name a few. They had important roles to play and were regarded as icons of their generation.
Smarter, Subtler Humor
The entire approach to humor in Star Trek is lightyears ahead of Star Wars’ idea of humor. Star Wars believed in a more spoon-fed, tongue in cheek approach. There was no beauty in it since the jokes are pretty conventional, formulaic. Star Trek has a more nuanced and subtler approach to humor. It was character driven and was seldom explained further. The audience had to figure it out by themselves. The jokes built up and stemmed from character driven arcs. Not everyone but true Star trek fans would get it. Star wars’ idea of a joke was, well, Jar Jar Binks.
The Notion of Morality
Take Darth Vader for example. Sure he defeated the Emperor and helped destroy the Empire, ushering in an era of peace. But before his single act of defiance changed the course of history, he was a ruthless Sith Lord. Vader had killed thousands in the name of his crusade, including women and children. Somehow his war crimes were never brought into question. In Star Trek, the moral compass does not play this much coy. The captain’s orders are regularly questioned by his or her crew. Many of the episodes involve Star Fleet being put into a moral conundrum of sorts when it coms to helping a less advanced species.
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Star Trek was one of the first franchises in Hollywood to develop its very own language. The Klingon mother tongue is an actual language you can learn online. It has its own set of letters and syllable and different accents and dialects. Many of the species in Star trek are much better known and popular than any of the alien civilizations of Star Wars. The Borg, the Vulcans, the Romulans, Betazoids, The Trill, Bajorans, and the Gorn are widely popular names even outside Star trek circles. Every man, woman, and child on this planet knows the Vulcan Salute.
Star Wars was based on a vision. Star Trek on the other hand came into being because of certain real world events. The franchise was born right between the first human going to space and the first moon landing. the world was crazy about space travel. The final frontier sparked a revolution not just in the scientific community but also the film industry. When Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek, his stories was based on reality or as we like to call it “near-future reality”.
Incredibly Fleshed Out Villains
There will never be a villain as great as Darth Vader. Ever. Not even Star Trek could boast of having someone even near Vader’s caliber. Now since that is out of the bag, we would like to add that Star wars does have a villain issue. Except Vader and Palpatine, no other Villain has ever clicked that well. Darth Maul and General Grievous come close but they are more loved for their aesthetics rather than the overall character. Now when we move on to Star Trek, the number of times they have introduced so well fleshed out villains would make your head spin. Khan, the Borg, Q, the Kilngons, the Terrans and the Mirror Universe – there is no end to such epic and memorable villains.
Diversity When It Matters
and we say “When it matters” due to a very specific reason. Star Wars was basically the story of a bunch of white men trying to save a white woman from another bunch of white men. There were very little people of color in the whole franchise. Things changed only in 2015 with the Sequel trilogy. Star Trek, from its very beginning, looked towards a more inclusive future. It had a black woman and a gay Asian man in its core cast. The franchise also had three women playing crucial roles. Star Wars boasted of the diversity card from 2015. Star Trek has been doing so since 1966.
Focus On Social Issues
Star Wars, for the amount of force and influence it commands over the world, never once tried to highlight social issues. Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek came into force at about the same time as Rod Sterling’s The Twilight Zone. Both shows were bastions and stalwarts of highlighting sociopolitical and socio-economic issues that plague the world to this day. Star Wars lets you escape into a world of fantasy. Star Trek makes you think and ponder. You tell us – which one’s better?
The Franchise’s Genuine Respect For Critical Thinking
While Star Wars does have its merits, the many values it prides itself with do not have the virtue of curiosity and critical thinking. Most of Star Trek’s episodes force the characters to think outside the box. The only way to escape a tricky situation in Star Trek is to let your mind cogs run at overtime. Most of its stories focus on curiosity. If a long established trinket of traditional knowledge is being challenged, it is just a Monday afternoon for Star Trek. Star Wars does not encourage that kind of critical thinking for its characters. Everybody has a set role they have to follow at all times and at all costs.