Star Wars vs. Star Trek
VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script Written by Matthew Thomas.
In the world of science fiction, there are two entities that rule the roost, but today there can be only one. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we pit the 2 biggest franchises in science fiction, Star Wars and Star Trek, against one another to see which one comes out on top. Although both sci-fi series have had a few dips in quality throughout the years, the missteps along the way have paled in comparison to the heights they have both reached.
Special thanks to our users DonovanTPS, mac121mr0, DuffleMuffin, cvanorman, perryhigh, Michael Gonzales, Maurice Rodriguez, viliguns, That Christian Guy and Eeman02O1 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Star Wars vs. Star Trek
In the world of science fiction, there are two entities that rule the roost, but today there can be only one. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re pitting the 2 biggest franchises in science fiction, Star Wars and Star Trek, against one another to see which one comes out on top.
Although both sci-fi series have had a few dips in quality throughout the years, the missteps along the way have paled in comparison to the heights they have both reached. For this showdown, we’re evaluating them on specific categories to see how well they measure up.
Round 1: Spaceships
When flying through space, these are the crafts that allow you to do it in style.
With so many alien races, “Star Trek” allows for many, many interestingly designed and downright cool spaceships to be created. Whether it is Romulan warships, a litany of others or one of the most unique spacecraft ever, the Borg cube, the men and women behind this epic space opera did not skimp when coming up with cool space vehicles. Of course, we would be remiss if we did not discuss the sleek and legendary starship Enterprise. One of the first images that comes to the mind of any Trekkie or casual observer, there is no ship more intertwined with the idea of “Star Trek” than this, considering it’s the main setting for many of the franchise’s series and movies.
Despite names like X-Wing and Y-Wing sounding nowhere near as cool as a Romulan Warship, we can assure you that these starfighters from the “Star Wars” universe have some incredible charms of their own. Whether it is Jango Fett’s Slave I and its amazing battle capabilities and incredible sounding bombs or the awe-inspiring StarDestroyer that first introduced us to this universe and blew our minds in the process, “Star Wars” came to play. We still haven’t even brought up Star Wars’ two legendary spacecrafts, the Death Star and Millennium Falcon, one of which poses an imposing figure over the entire universe while the other is the epitome of cool in space.
When a ship wins the hearts of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, who are arguably the coolest characters in this or any other galaxy, who are we to argue? The Millennium Falcon stands head and shoulders over any other spaceship, while the Death Star and Destroyers ensure “Star Wars” flies away with the win.
Winner: Star Wars 1 / Star Trek 0
Round 2: Scope of Universe
One of “Star Trek”’s greatest strengths is its core concept of going “where no man has gone before,” which has allowed it to systematically discover and flesh out new alien races again and again. Though some of the planets they travel to only allow for throwaway adventures, there are still several that have managed to occupy their own corner of the series’ universe. From the violent Borg, Klingons and Romulans or the more peaceful Vulcans and others, “Star Trek” came to fight in this category.
Unlike its competitor, the world of “Star Wars” is chiefly defined by their film entries and as such, the budget and effects that have served as the backbone of this franchise’s most famed planets are as large in scope as any could be. Wookies, Hutts and Ewoks are but a small sampling of the many noteworthy alien races that we created to populate a galaxy far, far away.
As much as we love the “Star Wars” universe, we have to admit that this one was not that close. The various races, cultures and planets of the “Star Trek” universe are far more fleshed out and the entire culture of the series focuses on their inclusion. Not to mention the fact that there are no Gungans in “Star Trek”.
Winner: Star Trek 1 / Star Wars 1
Round 3: Sci-Fi Themes
When Gene Roddenberry created the original “Star Trek” series, it was built on a federation of planets working together to build a society of mutual respect and peace, which is as admirable an idea that we can think of. If we could attempt to build our society around the United Federation of Planets’ principles of “universal liberty, rights, and equality” as well as the idea of sharing our “knowledge and resources in peaceful cooperation and space exploration,” our world would be a lot better off.
A story originally built around spiritual themes based on the connections that we all share with each other and the world around us, the villains of “Star Wars” sought to destroy any warmth they found in the universe and spread hate and anger. Though it may have a bit of a ham-fisted allegory for progress destroying nature, the tale of woodland creatures overcoming Empire forces in “Return of the Jedi” was emblematic of the story’s themes.
Despite both franchises focusing on admirable and not all that different themes at their hearts, it is “Star Trek” that wins the day here. The fact that with the release of the prequels, the original “Star Wars” trilogy’s concepts in some instances were decimated with unnecessary and obtrusive explanations, as was perfectly personified in the concept of Midi-chlorians.
Winner: Star Trek 2 / Star Wars 1
Round 4: Special Effects
When looking at the scope of special effects that have made the stories told within the “Star Trek” universe, it is a tale of the rich and the poor. For people who are new converts to the series and are only familiar with the impressive techniques and visuals in “Star Trek” reboot movies, going back and viewing the shoddy moments from the original television series may be truly shocking.
When the original “Star Wars” film hit movie theaters, people worldwide couldn’t have possibly been prepared for the spectacle they were about to behold. Crafting a world of space travel and battles that felt truly real for their time, “Star Wars” broke new ground and as a result, box office records. Arguably taking a step back with the cartoony effects seen in the prequels released at the turn of the century and early 2000s, the 2015 film shows the ultimate combination of practical and digital effects.
Though the effects that were used in the prequels may not be the most popular ones in the world, “Star Wars” was still able to craft a fully formed world. Despite not being the worst effects of their time, many of the moments that took place under the “Star Trek” banner have not aged well in the slightest so this round is going to George Lucas and his gang.
Winner: Star Wars 2 / Star Trek 2
Round 5: Heroes & Villains
Captain Kirk, Captain Picard, Captain Sisko, Captain Janeway, Captain Archer, Spock, Bones, Worf and so many other men, women and alien creatures that have worn the uniform of the Starfleet have been given hours and hours of airtime to become three-dimensional characters in “Star Trek.” Arguably as layered and interesting as nearly any creations that have passed before a camera, the hero side of “Star Trek” is truly impressive. The villain side of the equation, however, has some great characters for devotees, but for the casual viewer, it all comes down to one man, Khan Noonien Singh, or as we’ll always know him KHAN!
“Star Wars” has so many great heroes and villains that we don’t have enough time to list them all now. Whether you’re talking about Jabba The Hutt, Leia, Luke, Bobba Fett, Darth Maul, Lando, Han Solo or so many others, when their names get dropped, the vast majority of society will instantly get a visual of their visages in mind. The character that stands head and shoulders above the rest in our minds though is Darth Vader, who casts such a large shadow over pop culture that it is nearly impossible to recognize him, is also often named one of the best film villains of all time.
Despite their meager screen time in comparison to their competition as found in “Star Trek”, the populace of the “Star Wars” universe pull out a victory due to their larger impact on film history alone.
Winner: Star Wars 3 / Star Trek 2
By a score of 3 to 2, “Star Wars” pulls out a victory with the swing of a light saber in this truly hard fought and close battle of science fiction heavyweights.
What did you think of our verdict? Be sure to debate in the comments and subscribe to WatchMojo.com for more entertaining versus battles.