With a new Star Wars film coming out this year and a new Star Trek next year, it might be time to once and for all settle the debate as to which is better- Star Wars or Star Trek.
It’s Star Trek.
I could leave it there and the argument would be just as watertight. But this is the internet where people get offended and angry by absolutely everything like there’s some sort of competition I am not aware of. The way things are going we’re going to evolve into a Youtube comment. Seriously, the internet gets angry so quickly even Bruce Banner is looking on and thinking “Dayum son”.
But nowhere else can it be seen better than in the conflict between Star Wars and Star Trek fans. Many wars have been fought, in fact rumour has it the only reason we went into Afghanistan was because Osama Bin Laden had a mix tape of Mark Hamill battle rapping William Shatner. Though to be fair, that’s just how Shatner speaks.
So I present to you five reasons why Star Trek is objectively (in a subjective way of course) better than Star Wars.
ONE: The story
Now I don’t necessarily mean it in terms of plot, but in a general sense. What are the themes at play here? Well Star Trek tells us of a better future for humanity, one of love, one of peace, one of knowledge and explanation. Star Wars on the other hand is about a family feud that would make Jeremy Kyle wince. Granted, Star Trek has some flaws in some of its characters. Geordie is basically that guy on the internet that complains women don’t like him so he stalks them and creeps on them and tries to seduce them with things he gathered from Spacebook. And William Riker is probably constantly in Sexual Harassment seminars. And Kirk probably has space AIDS and…. Sorry I think I lost my point, I mean there were a lot of guys in Star Trek whose action figures should come with Fedoras.
But Star Trek at least attempts to look at realistic inter personal relationships. Chakotay may be Commander Friend Zone, and Bashir that weird kid who pulled on girls pig tails and said it was love, but then we have the Tom Paris and Belanna Torres relationship. The Chakotay and Seven of Nine, The Doctors liaisons with Denara Pell. Sisko and Cassidy Yates, or Sisko and Jennifer- this man so loved his wife he couldn’t contemplate carrying on his normal life without her. These are deep loves and relationships. Trip and the difficult love of T’Pol. Kira and Odo. Kira and Bariel. Alt-Kira and Alt-Ezri. Kira and Shakar. Kira and, well I suppose the rest of the Federation. Data and Yar. Quark and money. Geordie and the holodeck (clean up on holodeck 3). Love and respect and romance are integral to Star Trek and it explores the ups, the downs and the realities of these relationships. And then Wesley gets his end away showing that love is possible even for the most degrading of individuals.
Even Doc Crusher fucked a candle.
But what type of love does Star Wars give us? Anakin and Padmes relationship seemed weird from the outset, they met when she was an adult and he was a child and ended with him killing younglings. Also, another reason Star Wars is inferior: younglings. We have Luke clearly having a crush on and then briefly snogging Leia and although they didn’t find out till later they were twins, neither seemed affected by their tryst. Solo and Leia are probably the strongest relationship of the saga and even they seem to be forced together purely for plot convenience, like they had to have a love story to get in the womenz because girlz don’t like sci fi. Though maybe the most powerful form of love is when Vader finally snaps out of his 30 year funk and throws the Emperor over the edge of a balcony, choosing to save his son. But lets not forget that Vader is responsible for millions maybe even billions of deaths. He was overseeing the empire on behalf of Palpatine when the Death Star destroyed Alderan, he helped in the torture of his own daughter, he killed and maimed and tortured. He made his own son handicapped. The sudden change of heart in Return of the Jedi doesn’t make up for this. It is a warped love, a series of warped relationships. Star Wars is not a story of love. Not that it has to be, but when it comes to realistic portrayals of relationships then Star Trek wins Hans down. And isn’t that what we want to see? Love? No? okay, so point one doesn’t convince. Lets move on to point two.
TWO: The Ships
Han Solo claims that the Millenium Falcon can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Which is like saying I can run a marathon in less than 26 miles. A parsec is a unit of distance not time. The Falcon is a rust bucket, it is falling apart. But lets look at the most dangerous vessel in the series. The Death Star. Yes, this can destroy a planet, but also a single rocket aimed at an exposed exhaust pipe can destroy it. As far as devastating devastators of devastation go, the Death Star is basically held together with sticky tape and papier mache, and was probably built by Anthea Turner after she finished Tracy Island.
If your most dangerous vessel can be destroyed by the intergalactic equivalent of a flick to the ear then you are doing something wrong. But what about Star Destroyers I hear you say? Well there have been multiple debates and basically the Enterprise would destroy one with ease. Star Destroyers don’t appear to have shields which means a well aimed photon torpedo signals game over. Now lets look at Star Trek. The Federation has a fleet of vessels, the Galaxy Class ship can fit on board over 1000 people including children, families, pets, bartenders and men in skirts that aren’t Scottish.
It is the height of luxury and can only be destroyed when you let Troi take the controls. Because women drivers, ammirite? No? Well Geordie and Riker laughed. But the ships in the Star Trek universe are so far advanced- they have teleporters manned by the most dedicated people in Starfleet who are all Miles O’Brien. Even Voyager which is operating on reserve power is able to keep vast worlds alive indefinitely on the holodeck because plot.
Deep Space Nine is a run down Cardassian outpost but still has so much luxury mainly thanks to Quarks lack of ethics. Basically the ships in the Star Trek universe can do pretty much anything whereas the Millenium Falcon is so shitty it doesn’t even know when it has landed in the mouth of a space worm. Or space penis. That was never clarified.
Then we have on board technology that can make anything out of the basic molecules that exist. No one goes hungry, no one goes bored or wanting. The biggest risk on board a Federation star ship is sitting next to a computer when in battle, at which point it is always bound to explode despite not really consisting of anything that should explode. The ships have carpets, they have recreation, they have immense speed, to such a degree that at one point they have to limit it because it is fucking up the very fabric of the universe. Even the runabouts in the show are luxurious, now granted the shuttlecrafts are a problem as they have no toilet but then we never really see toilets anyway so maybe it is all beamed out into space. Maybe that is what is damaging the fabric of the universe, a mix of Worf shit and Rikers used condoms.
Star Trek again wins hands down. Sure the light sabre is cool, but is it the Genesis Device? No it isn’t. All the Death Star can do is destroy a planet. Genesis changes a planets entire set up and then just to be even more fucking hard as nails, still blows up the planet. Then we have the aforementioned holodecks. A place where you can live out any fantasy you wish. Obviously the holodecks are used primarily for sex, but they do admittedly have draw backs. For a start anyone can enter quite easily at any time and find Picards pasty white ass balls deep in a Crusher hologram, which leads to another problem- the person you chose to sex. The holodeck malfunctions so much it is likely that when you are getting your end away with your dream pin up Bajoran there will be a glitch and you find yourself so deep in Worf he can’t even growl properly. Or maybe it turns into Will Riker which would be a nightmare for anyone but Will Riker who obvious uses the holodeck to (trom)bone himself. But that’s when things go wrong. When they go right you can have adventures anywhere you like and with anyone. You could spend your entire existence in a holodeck and never notice that’s where you are. Maybe in some St Elsewhere style twist, the next Star Trek series will end with some regular Joe saying “end program” and we learn everything that has happened over the last 50 years of television has be naught but one bored young mans fantasy.
Then of course we have replicators- they can make anything. Need new boots? Replicator. Need some food? Replicator. Need a new replicator? Replicator. They can do anything. And if for some reason technology can’t do what you want, then there is always Q who is just an inferior Wesley Crusher if you ask me. In the Star Trek universe there exists a being so close to an actual God that he may well be the root cause of all religion on Earth.
And to weaponry, a light sabre may be no match for a good blaster but a good blaster surely can’t hold its own against a phaser set to wide beam? Han Solos blaster can only shoot like a gun, but with red beams of anger, whereas a phaser can be constantly on. Oh and you can set them to overload which will either destroy a ship or make a small black mess depending on what the screenwriter needs. Then we have transporters, and warp drive, and easy time travel, and fucking Data. C3PO is nothing compared to Data, and R2D2… what even the fuck is it? He’s like a Furby got drunk and shagged a Tamagotchi. Even the Borg laugh at Droids.
FOUR: Enemies that are actually a threat
Save for the Death Star destroying Alderan, we never really see a Star Wars villain that is much of a threat, and even that was technology. Though also Peter Cushing was there, which is a formidable combination. All Star Wars enemies are pretty easily dispatched, even Vader is toppled by the Power of Love (The Huey Lewis song, not the emotion). But villains in Star Trek are a very credible danger. Without the combined forces of the entire Federation, the Klingons and a tricked into fighting Romulans it is very likely the Dominion would have conquered the Alpha Quadrant (because fuck the Beta quadrant, not like the Romulans live there or anything). The Dominion lost through sheer strength of the opposition who had to work together in ways they never had before. The Empire was defeated by the Care Bears. Lets take Q. He started as an antagonist but later softened, but if he so chose he could wipe out existence in a click of his fingers. The Galactic Empire can’t even compete.
One of the most dangerous threats to the Enterprise is Wesley Crusher’s science experiment at the start of season 3. Fucking homework nearly toppled the most advanced ship in the fleet. That’s real power. And then there is the Borg. They wiped out a huge chunk of the Fleet at Wolf 359, and probably pissed in someone’s kettle just to rub it in. They might be defeated, but they are not defeated with ease. And the Borg queen simply cannot die, she just transfers her mind into some other drone. The Emperor is dead and gone in Star wars, but the Borg queen is like a man proud of his grey hair- she just won’t dye.
But what do we have in Star Wars? An Empire whose most advanced battle-station has so many flaws its like a Lewis’ Department Store. Did no one think to cover the exhaust vent? Or maybe not connect the vent directly to the one thing that can destroy the vessel? No one think to have a couple of twists and turns? Who designed the ship and thought “Well, this vent is fine, it can only be reached by small single manned ships and the rebels only have a few hundred of them so what could go wrong?”
The most badass character in the whole saga – Boba Fett – is eaten by a giant sand anus after speaking less than a dozen words. The most badass enemy in Star Trek (Khan) goes on a rampage in two different timelines, and in one time his actions result in a planet being reborn and then destroyed without the help of a giant space laser. He also has a bitchin’ waxed chest. Eat that Vader.
And on the topic of Vader. A part man, part machine who is basically a puppet is fine when you have millions of them in a Collective. But on his own he is pretty useless. Does Darth Vader actually do anything villainously worthwhile in the whole saga? Sure he tortures Leia, but that didn’t need his presence. He is basically just an observer at his own shindig. He walks around being all shiny and robotic but never really does anything useful nor anything that really couldn’t have been done without him. He might have thrown the Emperor down a vent shaft but that’s it, he picked up an old man and chucked him off a bridge. That’s his level of badassery there. Bullying seniors.
And finally, point number five:
FIVE: Jar Jar Binks.
That’s really all I have to say here. Oh, also, Younglings. And Midichlorians. And Han shot first. And Parsec. And… ya know what? Star Wars sucks. But I still enjoy it. Much like I enjoy watching Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. Basically, Vader is Tommy Wiseau. “You’re tearing me apart Leia!”