Star Wars vs. Star Trek: Which Space Saga Reigns Supreme?

Categories: Nerdgasm


Cool ship: Millennium Falcon vs. USS Enterprise

Star Wars: As the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon outruns and outmaneuvers Emperor Palpatine's stacked warships. Captain Han Solo makes sure the ship really has it where it counts when he blasts Darth Vader away from the first Death Star, ensuring Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker's victory in the Battle of Yavin. While piloting the Falcon, Solo makes the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. Inside, the ship features a sabacc table, smuggling compartments and a very roomy co-pilot chair.

Star Trek: James T. Kirk captains the most widely recognized version of the USS Enterprise, naturally using it both to explore space and woo ladies, though other captains also have put various incarnations of the ship to good use. The bridge design is efficient, and the ship features at least one holodeck where human and object simulation -- and stimulation -- can occur (Quark exploits the technology by renting out holosuites for illicit activities). Instead of disembarking from the ship via traditional means such as a ramp, one can use the transporter to beam directly to a location.

Point: Star Wars, because this baby's got a few surprises left in her.


Planet destruction: Alderaan vs. Vulcan

Star Wars: This Earth-like planet features grasslands, ice caps and large bodies of water, and its people value art, education and diplomacy. Emperor Palpatine and his army see Alderaan as being sympathetic to the Rebels opposing his Empire, so Grand Moff Tarkin tries to extract intelligence from Alderaanian senator and princess Leia Organa. After Leia gives Tarkin false information, he forces her to watch while he destroys Alderaan with the first Death Star's powerful superlaser, destroying the planet and killing billions.

Star Trek: Primarily a dry red planet, Vulcan has deserts, mountains and small seas. Once a highly emotional species, the Vulcans eventually become logic-oriented and scientific. In an alternate reality, vengeful Romulan captain Nero holds Spock responsible for the death of his wife and unborn child. He forces Spock Prime to watch him destroy Vulcan with a black hole that eats the planet from the inside out. On Vulcan's surface, the younger, current Spock (yeah, it's confusing) watches in anguish as his mother perishes before he's transported to safety himself.

Point: Star Trek, because losing his mother brought emotion and passion back to Spock's life.

And the winner is...

Overall winner: It's a tie. Star Wars and Star Trek each have rightfully have earned their places among the highest grossing and most-beloved sci-fi franchises. Though their stories similarly are set in galaxies far, far away, each series takes a different approach to plot, characterization, relationships and battle.

There are plenty more comparisons we could make, though: female leads, villains and even music score. Let us know in the comments which series wins your admiration and why.

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Cory Hart
Cory Hart

Star Trek. Better story, better characters, better philosophy, its got its own languages!

Eileen Rush
Eileen Rush

Star Wars is epic and archetypal. Star Trek is campy but legendary -- and a big (well not THAT big) and memorable part of my childhood. Bones! Beam me up, Scotty! Warp speed. Live long and prosper! Klingons (sp?) and those clingy polyester shirts (so 70s)! I have to admit I was in love with Captain Kirk -- but not when he turned into (in real life) a grifter wife killer and then Denny what's his face on that show I rarely watched (Boston Legal? -- my dear departed dad liked this show). Once a Trekkie, always a Trekkie! But still love and live by: may the force be with you!


No contest, Trek fans. And did you hear "E.T." was a stolen screenplay? They stole mine too! Dude, I'm in the LA exoburbs, and they would know.

Doreen Rush Knapik
Doreen Rush Knapik

Fun article, and you're spot on - except for most memorable phrase. "To boldly go..." is way more kicking than the passive "May the force... " But a tie, really? What happened to boldly going there, RFT?

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

you mean to tell me that a tardis is better than a y-wing? no way, man.

Aaron E. Robb
Aaron E. Robb

Doctor Who, Flash Gordon, John Carter of Mars, heck even Lensmen

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

did star trek have boba fett? no. so star wars wins.


Luke is a bitch . . . until Jedi!  Sigh, I can't believe I'm getting involved in this debate.  But Star Wars trumps Star Trek.  Great work, Allison!

allison.babka topcommenter

@cruelnumber2 ROTJ is actually my favorite film of the series (NOT because of the Ewoks, thank you very much). Still, even when he's wearing bad-ass black, Luke still sounds and acts like Uncle Owen just grounded him.

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