Sharing Day, Nerd Fight Edition

Certain fundamental disagreements on essential dogma are the hallmark of all great human endeavors. Jews and Christians disagree over the divinity of Christ, Catholics and Protestants have gone to war over the nature of Mary, IT Professionals come to blows about Macs vs. PCs, and of course many, many more.

Perhaps no other question cleaves the Geek Community like this one, however:

"Star Wars" or "Star Trek"?

Further fueling the ongoing philosophical range war is the fact that both properties have manifested themselves in so many ways. Factions develop around "Voyager" and "Enterprise" or "Clone Wars" and video games like "Knights of the Old Republic". Partisans rally around polarizing figures, whether passionately positive supporters like those of the Holy Trinity (Kirk, Spock, McCoy) or equally sincere and vehement hatred like that engendered by Jar Jar Binks.

The time has come to choose sides, my friends. Like a violent Reformation or IT Department "Technology Purge", we're not here to listen to namby-pamby fence-sitting, we're at your door with torches and pitchforks and asking which side you're on, and why. So in the comments, tell us which kind of geek you are, and why you think your "Star" is the One True Nerd Way.

In return for answering the question and telling us all a little more about yourself, if you like you can ask me a question about whatever you wish and I'll do my best to answer it.

Now, cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of (geek) war!

(Image via "FashionablyGeek.com".)

67 Responses to Sharing Day, Nerd Fight Edition

  1. Okay, so, like, how many of you out there get the Trek reference in Cpt. Picard’s “There are FOUR aces!” line?

    As I do, my vote is cast for Trek. I know, I know, it’s, like, WAY passe to be a Trek fan. Shoot, at Dragon*Con, the Trekkers are like the pimply fat girl at the high school dance who can only catch the eye of the string bean dork from the chess club. And that’s sayin’ somethin’ at a convention full of pimply fat girls and chess club dorks.

    That, and Jeff and I spent many (*MANY*) a Saturday night in college watching Next Gen. And we wondered why we didn’t have girlfriends.

    Look, I loved the original Star Wars. I was absolutely insane over Empire. Jedi, eh, not so much. The special editions made me wary. But it’s the prequels, oh those horrid, time/space continuum-shreddingly bad prequels, that just soured me on Star Wars as a cultural movement.

    On the flip side, I was certainly aware of Trek as a kid, I watched re-runs like everybody else. But it was Wrath of Khan that just captured my imagination and put it in a choke-hold. Were the following movies as good? No, not at all. But I loved the universe, I loved the potential for good stories, and man-oh-man, did I love Next Gen. And when we closed season three with Picard on a Borg cube and Riker orders “Fire” and we fade to black to wait ’til next season…that was just awesome.

    I agree, the following Trek shows were downhill from there (I actually enjoyed DS9, thought Voyager was tripe and never spent a minute watching Enterprise), but I still love the idea of Trek, no matter how hokey it may seem to really be.

  2. Star Trek! Because it inspires me, it gives me hope for the future–human beings can quit going to war (at least against each other), we can develop a world without want. We can explore, learn, grow, collectively and individually. So much sci-fi focusses on dystopian futures, and I’ve always been inspired by the fact that the Star Trek universe envisions a brighter future for us.

    Star Wars movies mostly remind me of Westerns, and most Westerns put me to sleep. Seriously. I think I have yet to get through Empire Strikes Back without falling asleep. I don’t HATE hate on Star Wars, but it doesn’t inspire me at all.

  3. JInkieZoinks

    Star wars 4-Evah!!! an evil empire so evil they killed little furry guys in the 80’s. Pure Vader awesomness, lightsabers speederbikes the frickin’ Millenium Falcon, the heroes taking the advice of muppets. and this was just the first three films. The next trilogy made up for its problems with awesome lightsaber duels and space battles which brings to the final point Star Wars defined the idea of space opera back in 1977, it enforced it in later years and thanks to a huge expanded universe and history, it is still going strong.

  4. Personally I would like to choose Stargate, but now that’s not an option, that’s why I choose Star Wars. I’m not familiar with Star Trek universe at all. About Star Wars…well, I’m not a big fan, too, but at least I know “who is this black guy with red sword and what does golden robot do”.
    I would like to ask, what crossover would you prefer – SW characters in ST universe, or vice-versa, or no crossovers at all, and why.

  5. Star Wars, no doubt about it. However, because most people here are over the age of thirty, I have a completely different reason for my choice than most of you. I have never seen one of the original Star Trek movies, nor have I seen ANY of the TV shows, so my Trek experience begins and ends with the 2009 movie. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that movie and I watch it when I’m bored (which is more often than you think), but I only do so because of the witty humor and the fact that Anton Yelchin (who played Kyle Reese in Terminator: Salvation) plays Chekov. I do not know enough about Star Trek to call myself a fan.

    On the other hand, there is Star Wars. I am now going to shock you all when I say that I absolutely LOVED the Prequel trilogy. Yes, I know: GASP! However, I must remind you that I am one of the younger generation and the Lightsaber fight between Obi and Vader in New Hope was truly wimpy. I much prefer their battle on Mustafar. That said, I can appreciate the older movies for their story and the conflicts they depict.

    All in all, I formaly declare myself a Star Wars fan (even though I didn’t have too much of a problem with Jar Jar. I even say “okey-day” instead of “okay” once in a while. Go ahead. Laugh. I don’t care).

    Now, Jeff, is there any chance that you will convert some of the male clothes to female clothes in HM3? I have a policy of only making girls and I am kinda running out of choices for outfits.

  6. Me, Myself & I

    Choosing between the two, my preference is for Star Trek. Really what it boils down to is scope of story for me. In Star Wars you really just experience one big story (sure it affected the entire universe but still one overall story). Alternately the episodic nature of Star Trek results in a multitude of stories. You have entire seasons worth of different stories and details. Basically Star Trek is just fleshed out more and being a detail oriented person I appreciate the extra details.

  7. I think i like star trek more than star wars. So far as i recall i can remember on a smart guy there always suck his stomage and order to go to warp or cry for Kahn.
    First of all the next generation and deep space nine(with a bad boy as captain that punch Mr. Q KO) are my favourite. Last have a very good plot like spacecenter babylon 5. Something little to 90´s(look at their hair from Mr. Morden)
    but i like the style and the computer graphics. Star trek works in the same time in deep space nine with models too. So it looks like better. Whatever. I like babylon 5 a little bit more than star trek.
    Star wars is a little bit to much political(1-3 extreme).

  8. Hammerknight

    Star Trek Born 1966, Star Wars born 1977, Battlestar Galactica born 1978, and Stargate born 1994, all four were and are great in the Kingdom of Nerdtopia. (Modern Battlestar does not live in the same world.) Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar come to us from tells of mythical tales from our past. Jason, Hercules, Sinbad, Roman Gladiators, medieval fantasy and many more rolled up in to a ball and tossed into space. Star Trek and Battlestar are the spaceage Wagon Trains taking us to new worlds letting us meet new people and mixing in drama along the way. Stargate is H.G.Wells and archeology love child giving us a machine to travel to other planets and study their past. Star Wars combines World War 2 dogfights, Mythical and magical sword play, and a fight between good and evil, and mixes it up on a painter pallet and magical fills the canvas with wonder and ah. Without any of them many toy business would have went out of business a long long time ago. For action Star Wars wins. For old school drama Battlestar (tos) and Star Trek (tos) ties for the win. For mystery Stargate wins. For outstanding performance in a space soap opera the other Star Trek shows win. For best come back Star Trek (the newest movie) wins. For best cartoon out there today The Clone Wars wins. (There are very few shows that I call real cartoons out there right now.) For best try with low budget cartoon Star Trek TAS wins. For starting off with a blast and ending in a spark the Stargate shows wins. For costumes big win all around. For best ships, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar win in that order. I’m a fan of them all. (except the new Battlestar that screwed the pooch on so many levels.)All and all if look close enough you will see that they are the fantasy medieval world with a space backdrop, and you can’t beat fantasy medieval. Plus they make real cool comic books makes them all wet dream winners in Nerdtopia.

  9. Malfar (4): I am not a big fan of Trek-Star Wars crossovers. I just think they’re too different, and mixing them ends up making both feel … less than when they started.

    Trek is predicated on optimism, that peace and harmony are the norm. Star Wars is predicated on a much more balanced view, that good and evil can both be realized in not only society at large, but within each of us. And while the good guys end up winning, it’s all part of a much more cyclical and relative process.

    Mixing those two is problematic, and not something I’m a huge fan of.

  10. zaheelee (5): Yes, male-female conversions is what’s going on right now, as a matter of fact. Well, MORE of them, since most of it’s already done.

  11. War will always exist because people have a weakness to consume power. That is what Star Wars is about. The only way man will be at peace is to fight those who threaten it. George Lucas portrayed that in Star Wars perfectly. The problem with Star Trek to me is that thier greatest weakness is thier over optimism that leads to overlook those who are truely evil.

  12. I gotta go with Star Wars. I liked the original Trek and watched TNG when I was on, but I couldn’t watch it now. I thnik I gave up on Trek around the time of Voyager. I still think the original Trek has a lot of good ideas, and c’mon, Kirk rules, but I’m not interested in what the others Treks have to offer. I’ve been a fan of Star Wars for as long as I can remember, watching it on HBO back then there was only one.(I even got to see it in a drive-in for the ’79 re-release). I have so many great Star Wars memories like that, and almost nothing about Trek. For me, Star Wars is a way of life, Star Trek is an afterthought.

    Jeff, have you ever seen the movie Free Enterprise? it was an indie film from around ’98. It’s loaded with all kinda geek referances, mostly Trek and Star Wars. Good watch if you get the chance.

  13. If Emporer Palpatine ended up in Star Trek The Federation would end up the new empire.

  14. I like Star Trek and all, bit of a fan. I even get the “There are four lights!” reference, John (1). I really enjoyed the way Roddenberry addressed social issues through the medium of science fiction in the original series. But I’m still a Star Wars guy.

    Trek has never taken hold of my imagination the same way that Star Wars did as a young kid. While the saying that “Star Wars is for that person what Star Wars was for their generation,” holds true, and the prequels and everything have not had the same epic hold that the original trilogy did. Yet I still love watching the prequels. I watch the Clone Wars cartoon. I’ve even read some EU books and comics. And Zaheelee (5), I will not condemn you for using “Okee-day” as I frequently use the term “Weesa here!”

    Jeff, my question for you regards Comic and Sci-fi conventions: Which ones have you been to? Do you plan in any way for HeroMachine to set a booth at one (even just as a pipe dream)? The question just occurred to me given that the Calgary Comic Expo is coming up shortly, and my friends and I are planning on getting our geek on and attending, so my mind is kind of con-oriented at the moment.

  15. Dan (12): I haven’t seen that one, no. I’ll have to check to see if it’s on NetFlix, thanks for the recommendation!

    Myro (14): I’ve only been to Dragon*Con. I had a big plan to go there this year with a HeroMachine boot, but ran out of time and money. UGO wasn’t super thrilled about going to it and then I had to move twice, money got tight, and it never came together.

  16. UGO doesn’t understand the opportunity they’re missing by not having a HM booth at Dragon*Con. Jeffrey would absolutely KILL.

  17. Star Trek.

    Because of the underlying philosophy.

    In the Star Wars universe, Either you’re a Jedi, or you’re nothing. Even awesome humans like Han Solo pales before the might of what? A mere jedi in training like Luke. And it gets awfully worse in the new trilogy.

    In Star Trek, well, all humans are equal, and anyone can become a ship captain. Your fate depends more on what you do than on your birth.

    Another point that struck me in Star Trek (and that I Hated in the new movie, which is more star wars than star trek) is the emphasis on empathy, discussion, and the willingness to try and leave in peace together.
    Star Wars, Whaterver the trappings, is manichean. Good vs Evil, again and again and again. There’s no peace to be attained between the sith and the jedi, no understanding. No compromise, because the dark side is just bad, because.

    Another little point that annoys me with star trek? The stupidity of the whole “dark side” thing.
    The moment you give in to anger, you give in to the dark side. In return of the jedi, palpatine wants skywolker to be angered and strike at vador, so luke will join him.
    Say what??? So, if you’re angered at, say, stalin for killing minions, the moment you strike at him in anger instead of peacefully, you become his ally and join him?

    That’s not to say that I didn’t like the old star wars. They’re a fine tale of adventure and good vs evil. But as an adult, I prefer a lot more the spirit that presided over star trek than the juvenile enthousiam of star wars, however more exciting it might be. Call it intellect vs emotion, if you want.

  18. Hammerknight

    @Dan you said you seen the re-release at the drive-in in 79. That made me remember seeing it when it was first release at a drive-in. The drive-in I seen it at was in Joplin, Mo.. So many years ago.

  19. I gotta go with Star Wars. The Wars have the Force. What’s Trek got, except for death prone dudes in red shirts? I mean come on, anybody on Star Trek that wears a red shirt (except Picard and Number 1 for some unexplained reason) has a higher probability of dying than Kenny from South Park. The only people you could say that about in Star Wars are about a third of those unlucky enough to be wearing Emperial armor, Storm Troopers or otherwise. And I defy you to think of any epic battle in the Star Trek universe, bigger or more thrilling than the first assault on the Death Star or any lightsaber battle in Star Wars. And as a kid, I recall wanting to know how to use the Force, not that Vulcan pinch crap. And anybody saying “May The Force Be With You” is much cooler than than some dude in a bowl cut sans personality spreading his fingers and saying “Live Long and Prosper.” Like Myro and others, I have watched a bit of Star Trek, but it never caught my imagination. Star Wars has done that many times over. It’s one of those few trilogies where you can watch dozens of times and still be on the edge of your seat at a critica moment.

    Jeff: When are we doing Open Critique Day next? I’ve got some things I really need to share and get feedback on? Okay, that doesn’t count as my question. So here it is, Of all the characters in Image comics, what is your current favorite?

  20. mightysamurai

    Star Wars. Partly because I was exposed to it before Trek,
    and partly because the constant preaching and moralizing that Trek
    does really grates on me after a while, to the point where I can’t
    watch more than one or two episodes of TNG in one sitting without
    getting aggravated by the self-righteous tone of it all. That’s
    probably why of all the Trek series, DS9 is my hands down favorite.
    It took Roddenberry’s annoying self-righteous moralizing and turned
    it around to show the Federation as a semi-realistic organization.
    They had flaws, they had elements that were corrupt or sinister,
    and they were no longer the squeaky-clean Mary Sues that TNG
    portrayed them as. Also, it annoys me the way some Trekkies like to
    claim SW “isn’t really science-fiction” because it has
    quasi-magical elements like the Force, whereas Trek is “based in
    real science”. Hogwash. The stupid technobabble of Star Trek is no
    less magical than the Force. Trek has about as much real science as
    Gilligan’s Island.

  21. mightysamurai

    “In Star Wars you really just experience one big story
    (sure it affected the entire universe but still one overall story).
    Alternately the episodic nature of Star Trek results in a multitude
    of stories. You have entire seasons worth of different stories and
    details. Basically Star Trek is just fleshed out more and being a
    detail oriented person I appreciate the extra details.” You need to
    look up the Star Wars Expanded Universe. People have been fleshing
    out SW for years, to the point where it’s arguably been *more*
    fleshed out than Trek. Trek has only the tv shows and movies to
    flesh out its universe (according to Roddenberry all other Trek
    media is non-canon by definition). SW has had hundreds of books,
    comics, and video games to flesh out its universe. “The moment you
    give in to anger, you give in to the dark side.” WTF? Do you know
    anything at all about Star Wars? Because that’s not how it
    works.

  22. Sutter_Kaine

    Is it my imagination or is Star Trek about socialism? There are no rich or poor, everyone has access to the same level of education and health-care, and the advancement of technology is driven by the needs of society rather than a free market economy.

    That being said, I love Star Trek but have to go with Star Wars. Other people have already pointed out the mythic scope of the setting so I’ll just add this. Sure, Star Trek has teleporters, but Star Wars has light-sabers. Light-sabers trump teleporters.

  23. @HammerKnight, yeah I was only 2 in ’77, so I missed the original release. But I have a clear memory of seeing it in the drive-in. The good old days. 🙂

  24. SpellCheckingQuill

    Trek.

    I always have a hard time arguing this with my friend Max, the hardcore Wars fan, because I love both Wars and Trek, and they each appeal to me for different reasons.

    Wars holds more sentimental appeal for me since I grew up watching the movies every Saturday morning (cartoons are for normal people). I only started watching Trek through Netflix a few years ago (and have since seen almost all of OST, all of TNG, DS9, and Voyager, and the third season only of Enterprise), so it’s not quite as nostaglia-inducing as Wars is.

    However, Trek wins my respect over Wars for several reasons (in no particular order)…

    A) Star Trek Original Series single-handedly defined the modern science fiction genre for television and cinema. Star Wars would have never happened if Trek hadn’t prepared the way.
    B) Star Wars really feels more like fantasy set in space than sci-fi… which is great, I love fantasy, but if it’s a question of which is the better sci-fi, I have to pick Trek.
    C) Trek developed its universe more. Although the Star Wars fandom eventually developed the Galaxy Far Far Away to Trek-like standards of detail, the actual movies didn’t go into great detail on many different cultures. Trek went into detail from the start.
    D) Trek upheld continuity very well, given the time span that it covered and the great differences in budget, effects, and audience. Yes, I know the Klingon foreheads changed drastically from the Original Series, but the makeup and budget available in the Sixties was vastly inferior to what TNG had to play with in the Eighties. Plus, they did actually go back and make up an excuse for that later. It was a flimsy excuse, granted, but it was an excuse, and they weren’t afraid to laugh at themselves for it.
    E) Trek had the Enterprise series, and that was bad. Wars had Episodes I-III, and that was worse.

    *hides from hordes of screaming nerds bearing plastic lightsabers*

    Please don’t hurt me. I love you, really, I just don’t agree with you.

    Live long and prosper. \//,

  25. The answer is simple…STARCRAFT!!

  26. @mightysamurai:

    [“The moment you give in to anger, you give in to the dark side.” => WTF? Do you know anything at all about Star Wars? Because that’s not how it works.]

    Well, Ok, I know squat about the expanded universe, but wasn’t palpatine trying to get Luke to give in to anger in order to have him fall over to the dark side? Wasn’t luke trying to resist that? Wasn’t palpatine pretty happy the moment luke actually fights vador with anger, and disappointed the moment he stops?
    This was the whole point for palpatine of having Han Solo, Leia and all fall into a trap on the ewoks moon. He made this just so luke would get angry, hate him and all, which would make him fall to the dark side, and thus, magically, join him.
    And luke was all “Ok, this guy is gonna kill my friends, but I gotta remain all zen or I will join the dark side and the guy that’s killing my pals and sister”

    This was maybe rationalized, bettered and expanded in books and comics approved by lucas (although not written by him^^), which I quite clearly hope, I’m also maybe taking shortcuts, but it’s right there at the start, and it’s pretty silly 🙁

  27. While I enjoy both for many reasons, neither are my premier sci fi show. Of the two, however, my favorite would have to be Star Wars. The original trilogy is to me, the best sci fi movies out there. It had great plot, visuals and in my opinion more original aliens. I also viewed its space scenes as better.

    While I favor Wars, I also enjoyed Trek. It too had great writing. I also enjoyed Enterprise. Their mirror episodes were fantastic and it was in my opinion, very enjoyable to watch. My favorite Trek episodes however are the Tribbles, both TOS and DS9. Also who can forget those movies, KKKKKKKKKKKKHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I admire both of these shows and I will always love both, but my favorite Sci fi show is Doctor Who. It is the one I grew up with and it still resonates with me.

    My question to you Jeff is do you happen to watch IT Crowd? It is very funny and is loaded with geek humor. If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend it.

  28. Hmmm…my first choice for favorite would be Babylon 5. But, of the two options given, I would have to say Star Trek, and even then, only Next Generation really. The original Trek was okay, but the ones after Next Gen descended in terms of quality.

    Next Gen was a smart, cleverly written sci-fi series with engaging characters. And while Star Wars had decent characters, they were more of an archetypal nature than well-developed characters. Part of that goes to the fact that Next Gen was around for years and had time to develop the characters, whereas Star Wars had far less ability to showcase their personalities and had to settle for the archetypes instead.

    But, Babylon 5 still beats them both, by combining well written and thought out characters, with a grand epic tale. Kind of a best of both worlds thing.

  29. I haven’t ever heard of the IT Crowd, no.

  30. Star Wars, if a cargo freighter has enough power to kill military pilots, i’m sure they could kill the enterprise and its fleet no problem. And as always, The Death Star kills planets!
    Hey jeff what’s your favorite american tall tale?
    like john henry, or the tales about davy crockett.

  31. Favorite American tall tale is Pecos Bill!

  32. @Kountkill, it’s good to see another Babylon 5 fan. That would be my second favorite sci fi show. It had everything.

  33. good choice for legend, I’ve actually made a character who’s steed depends on whether widowmaker or the cougar are best fit, he’s called legend, and has items belonging to american legends, like appleseed’s bag and crockett’s rifle, stuff like that, he is in the 1920’s south, cuz he needs to be a gentleman, and paul bunyan’s remarkably new for an american legend.

  34. You know, I’d say I’m more of a Star Wars fan. On the other hand, I’ve never spent an hour discussing with my brother how easily one could have a self-repairing time-traveling pirate ship with a practically immortal crew using cast-off one-episode gimmics from the Star Wars universe, so maybe I’m more inclined to Trek than I initially thought. But back on the first hand, the fact that building a pirate ship would be my agenda if I lived in the Star Trek universe could indicate otherwise.

    Kidding aside, when it comes down to it, it bothers me that humans in Trek have no culture. The aliens they meet have colorful traditions, clothes, arts, music, food, etc, but humans…don’t. The most modern music you hear from humans is Riker’s jazz. The only paintings you see are Data’s landscapes. Human ships are dreary and boring on the inside (honestly, if I were to steal one for my pirate ship, painting murals in all those long beige halls would be one of my first priorities); when you see a human crewman’s quarters, they are either barren, or filled with ancient objects, like Picard’s books. Even the holonovels we see are all throw-backs to old movie serials or film noir. Humans apparently just don’t create anything anymore.

  35. Oops, got on my soapbox and left my question back in my chair. Let me just…ah, there it is. Ahem. How’d you meet you wife?

  36. I met my wife in a bar, actually 😀

    A friend of ours was a social hub kind of guy, and had a regular Happy Hour each week where the various groups of friends he had would get together. Sort of a networking thing, I guess. She was there to meet another friend of his (who didn’t show), I was there bringing a random person I met in our apartment complex to network with other attorneys, and two cancelled dates later (and almost another, which would have resulted in the dumping of shrimp on her head), we finally went out and fell in lurb.

  37. mightysamurai

    Well, Ok, I know squat about the expanded universe, but wasn’t palpatine trying to get Luke to give in to anger in order to have him fall over to the dark side?

    Yes, but there’s a lot more to it than “have a moment of anger and instantly fall to the dark side” as you claimed. Even the movie itself doesn’t claim that. Regarding that specific fight Luke was already angry at Vader after the taunt about his sister, but he didn’t fall to the dark side. He needed to go all the way and kill Vader before he could completely give in.

    And yes, if you spent all your time fuming about the actions of a mass murderer like Hitler or Stalin it will eventually lead to the dark side. Just like it would in real life. Constantly stewing in anger all day long never leads anywhere good. Which is the whole point.

  38. mightysamurai

    A) Star Trek Original Series single-handedly defined the modern science fiction genre for television and cinema. Star Wars would have never happened if Trek hadn’t prepared the way.

    That’s debatable at best. For one thing, Star Wars didn’t really take any inspiration from Trek. Most of its inspiration came from much older black and white scifi films.

    B) Star Wars really feels more like fantasy set in space than sci-fi… which is great, I love fantasy, but if it’s a question of which is the better sci-fi, I have to pick Trek.

    Yeah…no. Star Trek is just as much a science-fantasy series as Star Wars. They just call it “technobabble” instead of “The Force”.

    C) Trek developed its universe more. Although the Star Wars fandom eventually developed the Galaxy Far Far Away to Trek-like standards of detail, the actual movies didn’t go into great detail on many different cultures. Trek went into detail from the start.

    Of course they did. A tv series has that luxury. That’s why the Expanded Universe exists. It sounds to me like you’re trying to find reasons not to give SW a chance against Trek.

    D) Trek upheld continuity very well, given the time span that it covered and the great differences in budget, effects, and audience.

    …You don’t really believe that, do you? Really? Really?

    E) Trek had the Enterprise series, and that was bad. Wars had Episodes I-III, and that was worse.

    Trek also had The Undiscovered Country, Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, Nemesis, and Voyager. Not to mention that not all the episodes of TOS and TNG were any good. I’d say by sheer volume alone, Trek has way more embarrassing crap on its resume.

  39. mightysamurai

    A) Star Trek Original Series single-handedly defined the modern science fiction genre for television and cinema. Star Wars would have never happened if Trek hadn’t prepared the way.

    That’s debatable at best. For one thing, Star Wars didn’t really take any inspiration from Trek. Most of its inspiration came from much older black and white scifi films.

    Also, if it hadn’t been for Star Wars re-popularizing the scifi genre back in the 70s, there would never have been enough support for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Trek would have died with TOS and would be known as nothing more than a brief footnote in American history.

  40. Twilight Zone. (dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee)

  41. Know the difference between a Star Trek and a Star Wars fan?

    Star Wars fan has a girlfriend.

  42. Wierdrocks

    …. I’m gonna go ahead and throw a big wrench into this whole thing and say that I’m actually a fan of BOTH series! Ha! Take that! I wear my Federation uniform WITH my Jedi robes! Woo!

    (*cough* Firefly is better anyway *cough*)

  43. Ah, this is truly a geek battle. Give us two choices and someone has to bring another option into the mix. 🙂

    At the moment I must go with Star Wars, despite the disappointing mess that was Episodes 1-3. The original trilogy (New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi) was a satisfying story arc that has inspired me and given me a great love of scifi. Star Wars boasts one of the best and most recognizable villains of cinematic history and the concept of the Jedi has captured the imaginations of millions like no other idea.

    When I boil it down to the essentials, Star Wars is for the heart while Star Trek is for the mind. While I can appreciate a well constructed thought, a visceral, adrenaline punch to the heart will stick with me longer and keep me coming back for more.

    As for my question: What is your all time favorite scifi concept and why? (Examples: the existence of the Force, plugging into the Matrix).

  44. Let’s see, favorite scifi concept and why … that’s tough. I loved the “jumping back in time to your previous life with all your knowledge intact” format of “Replay” (the inspiration for the funny but much less inspiring “Groundhog Day”). It made me think a lot about life, the choices we make, and how we choose to live. I also loved a novel I read waaay back whose name I’ve forgotten where all of the technology was biological in nature, up to and including the star-spanning ships. I had never thought of organisms in that way before.

    I loved the Force before Lucas destroyed it in the first prequel. That more than anything made me hate that movie, even more than Jar Jar Binks.

  45. I like all the Star Wars and Star Trek, my brother got me watching movies like that when I was younger. I never read the books on any of the movies. I always hate it when people say the book was better, well then go home and sit in your room and read a book and quit talking and let me enjoy my high def big screen LOL. I remember nights of staying up watching TNG or DS9. I did occasionally watch voyager but thats where it should of stopped. The new enterprise I hate! They messed up parts of the story/time line and they changed the classic music entro but anywho. Both are cool in their own way but I guess I have fonder memories of Star Trek TNG.

  46. Oh yeah a question for Jeff…I don’t know if this has been covered or said somewhere else but if you could have any superpower or superpowers of a certain character what or who would it be and why? I wouldn’t mind having Superman’s powers but if I had to pick one power in general I would say teleportation would be cool. Beam me up scotty!

  47. Sean Murphy

    I am a fan of both Science Fiction nd Fantasy,although sometimes Fantasy that tries to pretend it is Science Fiction annoys me, but Star Wars does not do that, so both are on equal footing there. Because of the greater volume of material, Star Trek has more truly great and more truly crappy bits, so I can’t fairly give either an edge there. I guess I tend to equivalate ST series to SW movies, approximately, and when I think about it that way, Star Trek takes on a slight edge. I liked the first series, liked the second better, and liked the third even more so, and it seems to me that each furthers develops and improves on concepts from previous ones. Star Wars follows a different progression for me. The special effects get better with each movie, but Lucas ruined the concept of the Force progressively for me.It started out as a cool magic system, mysterious because there was so little explanation. Then in Empire it got twisted into a religion of self-denial, and in Revenge, it became even sillier, with Palpatine trying to get Luke to kill Vader or himself in order to turn Luke to the Dark side. (I have seen one explanation that ade a little sense of that, but it was a comic series and it was eliminated as a possibility by the prequels – Palpatine was cloning himself and using the Force to transfer his mind from clone body to clone body because the Dark Side was decaying his flesh over and over, using technology forbidden since the Clone Wars were won by the anti-clone forces, and he intended to transfer his mind into Luke’s body at the moment that Luke gave in.) The prequels took the ruining of the Jedi even further, by making love as well as anger corrupting influences…

    …And so I vote for Star Trek. In the end, ST gives me enjoyable ideas as well as action and effects, and SW had only one interesting idea which it corrupted and killed, leaving only action and effects.

    So Jeff, my question is, how many people do you think answer these just for the chance to give their own opinions even though they have no actual question? Actually, don’t feel compelled to answer, it is just idle curiosity, and I didn’t have an actual question…

  48. Sean Murphy, I’d guess the vast majority want to be heard and aren’t particularly motivated by questioning me. I mean, come on, I’m not that interesting! Which is totally fine with me, the main point of these Sharing Days is to find out more about the various folks who participate in the community here, so as long as people want to speak up I am thrilled. Not asking me a question is pretty irrelevant, at least for me.

  49. Tool, Superman’s powers would probably be my answer, too. Particularly if you’re going with Golden Age Superman, there’s almost nothing he can’t do, and very few powers he can’t replicated. He’s got speed, invulnerability, vision powers, flight, super intelligence, everything.

  50. I have to admit, I’m surprised by the Trek love on this board.

    I concur with Jeff regarding the devastating effect of the “midichlorians” revelation. That one bit of unnecessary expositional foolishness undercut the entire foundation of the Star Wars mythos. Absolute pure and utter crap. A colossally amateurish storytelling blunder by the “Grand Master” Lucas.

    Yeah, and Jar Jar didn’t help any, either.

  51. @Kountkill: I’m with you. I’m a B5’er all the way.

    But since this is the battle between Trek and Star Wars, I have to give the edge to Trek. I did enjoy the original trilogy but the whole thing was killed by the prequels. I will never forget (or forgive) Lucas for putting Liam Neison through that awful “Mr. Wizard” sequence in the first film.

    I enjoyed Next Gen and even parts of DS9 but in many ways I’m still really old school. I like the original. Maybe because I grew up watching it in reruns and missed most of Next Gen because I was at sea for a pretty heavy chunk of the run. Of course, I’ve made up for lost time and gone back and watched them all. I started to lose it with Voyager but it never really jumped the shark.

    I never bought the whole “working together for the betterment of all” nonsense. It’s just not a part of human nature. We’d all like it to be but time has proven otherwise. Setting that aside, the examination of culture in a safe lens, that of science fiction, puts Trek over the top. Roddenberry got away with stories that could never have been done in any other format at the time.

  52. BTW, RIP Jeff Conway A.K.A Zac Allen of B5.

  53. I have to say Star Trek, partly because I grew up with it. But also, for as black and white as Star Trek (especially the original series) portrays the universe, it’s still not as black and white as Star Wars. I think part of it is that the good and bad in Star Trek is generally kept to a human level (so to speak). There are greedy people and mean people and misguided people, but there’s no sense of true evil. Star Wars is this epic tale of good versus evil, but I really can’t get behind that. For me, the more interesting story is people versus people. The Klingons or Romulans don’t run around claiming to be on “the dark side.” They’re simply on the side of their people and see their interests as best served by opposing the Federation. A lot of the conflict arises from cultural differences, not just good and evil.

    I also agree that Star Wars has a bit more of a fantasy feel to it with the Force. I know Star Trek uses technobabble to excuse it’s fantasy elements, but that technobabble facilitates suspension of disbelief for me and gives Star Trek a more sciency atmosphere.

    I don’t remember who said it, but YES, Star Trek humans are bland! Where’s the future music? Future novels? Future Ikea? I’ve never seen so many old fashioned lifestyles on a starship.

    Even so, I love Star Trek best.

    Jeff, you can’t ask a question like this and not answer it yourself. Which is it? Star Trek or Star Wars?

  54. mightysamurai

    I also agree that Star Wars has a bit more of a fantasy feel to it with the Force. I know Star Trek uses technobabble to excuse it’s fantasy elements, but that technobabble facilitates suspension of disbelief for me and gives Star Trek a more sciency atmosphere.

    This is exactly the reason why I generally oppose these “which franchise is better” questions. Star Wars and Star Trek are so fundamentally different that you can’t really say which is “best”. It’s like asking whether Superman or Batman is the better superhero. You can’t answer it because they’re two completely different characters. So it all comes down to subjective opinions.

    Technobabble is a great example of what I mean. Some fans are able to suspend their disbelief regarding Star Trek technobabble. I am not. I find it silly and, frankly, rather stupid and a little offensive. To me it feels like an excuse for not doing any research, as well as a deceptive attempt to portray Trek as hard science fiction, when in reality it’s just as soft if not more so than Star Wars will ever be. It’s also helped promote the laughable lie that Trek is “based in real science” which is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I would rather a series come right out and say “this is magic and we won’t try to explain it” than use nonsense to seem scientific, which is part of the reason why I prefer SW more than Trek.

    But that’s the thing, all of that is just my personal opinion. Just like your reasons for not liking SW are all your subjective personal opinion. I like Trek less because it yanks on my pet peeves and offends some of my personal principles. Someone else without those same peeves or principles is capable of enjoying Trek in a way that I simply can’t, just like I am capable of enjoying SW in a way that someone who doesn’t share my viewpoints can’t.

  55. Star wars all the way. Every movie (in its own way) is amazing! I never really caught on to star trek.

  56. @mightysamurai (54) The secondary, unscientific nature of technobabble in Star Trek is part of why it’s often considered space opera, and not true science fiction. That was always my approach to the franchise.

  57. @Atomic Punk (41) That made me lol. My friends & I used to say it with a bit more vulgarity, and say the Star Wars fan had actually had sex.

    This debate reminds me of a time when I worked in a comic store years ago, and overheard two guys arguing about whether the Enterprise could take on a Star Destroyer. I laughed about it, because it was so ridiculas. So, I tell my friends about it, we all start laughing & saying how insane it was because it’s a mismatched fight, and I slowly started to realize that we were on diffrent sides of the debate, which then turned into the exact argument I had overheard.

  58. Ok, I’m gonna start by surprising a few people and give a few points to Star Wars (kinda)…

    1) Star Wars DOES have a more “operatic” feel to it, a sense of grandeur… BUT then again, Asimov and Tolkien do it SOOOOO much better than Lucas (even considering the EU, and I have read just about every book and comic)

    2) Star Wars DID define the modern Sci-Fi MOVIE genre AND the original trilogy IS a good benchmark for a movie trilogy particularly because it ends the second movie on a bad note BUT as far as trilogies go there are better.. LOTR ,even though it isn’t ‘ real trilogy (remember that it was conceived as a single book) or Asimov’s Foundation trilogy (it was expanded later) are better, AND SpellCheckingQuill(24) is right, Star Wars would never have happened without Star Trek.

    In the end though I have to go with Trek (did anyone have any doubts? I mean really, LOOK at my screen name). And its not just a “passion” thing. In many ways Trek appeals to my intelligence. The Original Series in particular is one grand critique on society, masterfully done by Roddenberry, specially considering the time. I mean everyone else was doing fluff like lost in space, and Trek was saying stuff like “racism is stupid” and bringing a black woman an asian an american and a russian all together on the command crew. I mean, this was the 60’s, people. Visionary!

    Next Gen was a very rare case of capturing the lightning in a bottle AGAIN. I know that not all the episodes are good, but overall… Look at the responses here even… A LOT of people are TNG fans. It speaks to us on a deeper level.

    I guess I could go on and on all day long but I’ll stop now 😉

    For my really REALLY late question, I’ll echo the one you haven’t answered Jeff: Which side of this debate do YOU prefer?

  59. Oh and on the sex thing, I’ll just say this: I’m happily married to a beautiful woman, and already was widely known ny the Worf monicker before I met her, nor have I ever hidden that fact. So there!

  60. Just curious – to what degree is this is a debate about film vs. television as different media? Star Wars (as a real cultural force) only appeared in film, whereas Star Trek spans both media. Episodic as Star Wars is, it was not conceived to fit into 45-minute (or less) blocks + commercials. To what degree is the reception of the the franchises dependent on their respective media? (To say nothing about other media involved in the mythologies of the shows: comics, fan fic, etc.).

  61. mightysamurai

    @mightysamurai (54) The secondary, unscientific nature of technobabble in Star Trek is part of why it’s often considered space opera, and not true science fiction. That was always my approach to the franchise.

    “Often considered” by whom? Because I’ve met dozens of Trekkies who swear up and down that Trek is grounded in real science, when it most assuredly is not.

    I wouldn’t have nearly as much of a problem with Treknobabble if this weren’t the case. Hell, most superhero comics take technobabble to all new heights. But no one ever claims superhero comics are grounded in real science. The same can’t be said for Trek. Some (not all, but some) Trekkies actually claim Trek is the superior franchise specifically because of the wrong-headed belief that it is scientifically accurate.

  62. Sutter_Kaine

    The word “technobabble” is grammarbabble.

  63. Vorpal Laugh

    @mightysamurai While I wouldn’t label Star Trek as “scientifically accurate” I have never heard anyone claim its hard science fiction ala Asimov. It is scientifically based especially compared to stars wars though. By that i mean that everything follows the same laws. No mater how ‘beyond human understanding” something might seems it follows natural laws and we could figure it out, maybe not today but some day.

    For the actual question, damn its hard, never understood some peoples almost hatred of one or the other. i do love them both, but If had to pick, Star Trek. Three Reasons are
    “The City at the Edge of Forever” TOS, “Chain of Command pt 2” from TNG and “In the Pale Moonlight” DS9. All three are very human stories.

    (fav sci-fi show is Farscape, though Fringe is close)

  64. mightysamurai

    It is scientifically based especially compared to stars wars though. By that i mean that everything follows the same laws.

    This is exactly the kind of mistaken opinion I’m talking about.

    The idea that Trek is “scientitifically based” is simply not true. In fact, the bulk of the book The Physics of Star Trek focuses on explaining how nothing depicted in Star Trek would ever work. Not “might work in the future”, it would never ever work. It is not scientific in the least and any claims to the contrary are simply wrong.

  65. Actually, my wife is a big Trek fan, and there is a large percentage of women in the Trek community, especially in the Fanfic area, where they love to write those Kirk/Spock hooking up stories.

    Actually, I’ve found women to generally relate to Trek better than SW because it has more character development and interaction than SW.

  66. Okay, I’m a little late to this conversation (internet/networking issues at home), but here’s my two cents worth. I’m one of those rare nerds that actually enjoys both. I see merits and flaws in both universes, and one of the things I enjoy doing with some friends is finding parallels between Wars and Trek. In fact, I’ve had the idea for a story/webcomic that I’ve been trying to hammer out for a while now that combines elements of Star Wars and Star Trek together, with healthy doses of a lot of other sci-fi. Granted, with my sense of humor, it would be mostly parody of these mythologies, but I think it could be fun.

  67. Star wars. Reason lightsabers nuff said.oh and the fact its a massive space opera that’s far more interesting then start trek .