Fandoms have been at odds for much longer than the internet has existed and one of the first battles between fans involved Star wars and Star Trek. As the two biggest sci-fi franchises in the country, fans of each had an opinion on which one was better. The internet has made it even easier for people to make their case. People often treat fans like sports teams and Star wars and Star Trek are the two greatest “teams” in science fiction.
This idea ignores the fundamental differences between the two properties. In fact, they are so different that comparing them is a bit absurd.
ten Star Trek’s place as a TV franchise gives it a different style of storytelling
While Star Trek had as many films as Star wars, it is still primarily considered a television franchise. The creatives behind the property have used the differences in storytelling styles to create a truly amazing television, with different shows doing different things with their stories.
Shows that have made unique stories like CGU, TNG, and Traveler to those who have adopted long storytelling as DS9 and Discovery, Star Trek told all kinds of stories. While Star wars embarks on episodic shows, they are still very different from Star Trek shows that preceded them.
9 Jedi and Sith bring mysticism to Star Wars that isn’t there in Star Trek
One of the most popular parts of Star wars is the Jedi and the Sith. These two factions bring something to Star wars this Star Trek has almost completely avoided over the years, and that is mysticism. The Jedi can do things that no one else can and the Sith are the ultimate force of evil, both using uncorrected powers in Star Trek.
The mysticism of Star wars makes the story quite different from anything in Star Trek. There ain’t no elect nor almighty evils in Star Trek, and Star wars scratch an itch different from Star Trek.
8 Star Wars is all about conflict
Looking at the two names of the shows reveals another difference. Star wars speaks of war; every piece of Star wars the media are more about fighting evil than anything else. The characters are all around more martial and most fans of Star wars would be quite unhappy with a Star wars installment that somehow didn’t revolve around the action.
Star wars is fundamentally a simplistic morality game where the forces of good clash with the forces of evil. There is nothing wrong with that but it is ok for something completely different from Star Trek is.
7 Star Trek really gets to the heart of the matter with its cultures
Star wars and Star Trek are full of aliens and exotic cultures, which is one of the reasons the two have addicted fans. Everyone does different things with these aliens and cultures, the best example being the Vulcans. The Vulcans are a society in their own right in a way that no Star wars the race is.
Fans may like Wookies, but their whole thing is pretty straightforward and it’s the same with most Star wars races because their cultures revolve around one thing and fans are rarely shown anything else from them. Star Trek digs into the cultures inside, giving fans a different, at times almost anthropological, experience.
6 Star Wars is more entertainment than Star Trek
George Lucas created Star wars as a tribute to the sci-fi movie series and books he read as a youth that have since colored the franchise. Star wars is much more show-oriented than anything else. It relies on massive action and larger-than-life personalities like Han Solo to connect with audiences.
Star wars it’s like a candy. It’s colorful, it tastes good, and it has its place, but it’s not there to appeal to the viewer. Same The Last Jedi goes out of her way to explain what it’s about multiple times and has the kind of visuals and show that makes Star wars, good, Star wars. It’s pure entertainment.
5 Star Trek Emphasizes Science
One of the things Star Trek fans love the franchise, it’s science. Star TrekThe science of is based on plausible facts and while there is a lot of tech gossip in the show, it still makes sure to use science realistically. The future that Star Trek is a spectacle that feels real and is understandable by modern standards of physics.
Star wars is really just science fiction because there are spaceships and advanced technology. Other than that, Star wars looks more like a fairy tale than anything else whereas Star Trek is a lot of science fiction.
4 The characters are completely different
Star Trek and Star wars are both built around great characters, but the way these characters do things and who they are is completely different. The heroes and villains of Star wars are the heroes of a fantasy novel. They fit into broad archetypes that are familiar to any fantasy fan or D&D player.
The men, women and aliens of Star Trek are very different. They also have their roles, but they are more fleshed out and real and respectable beings who show fans the heights that everyone is capable of. This huge difference distinguishes the two franchises in a fundamental way for each.
3 Star Trek is a humanistic tale about overcoming our flaws
George Roddenberry created Star Trek at one of the most controversial periods in human history. The 1960s in the United States were the height of the Cold War and the Civil Rights movement. Society was about to change and Roddenberry wanted to show people what that change could be. Star Trek has always been meant to inspire and entertain, with most episodes telling something about American culture.
The resulting shows followed, showing a society that cared not only for itself but for all societies. This type of fiction is very different from Star wars and his stories about a battle between good and evil. Star Trek was made to inspire.
2 Star Wars’ morality game is for a different part of people
Call Star Trek more complex than Star wars is both correct and an underestimate of what Star wars is. Star wars is a morality play, about people who choose to fight for the good of others and sacrifice everything for this fight. Morality plays have their place in fiction and it is a very different place from the type of stories told in Star wars.
Morality coins show people what it is worth fighting for. They play a role in developing a sense of right and wrong than the more complex morality of Star Trek not. Star Trek assumes people understand morality; Star wars teaches morality.
1 They are fundamentally different genres
Star wars and Star Trek are both considered science fiction, but they shouldn’t be. In reality, Star wars has more in common with something like The Lord of the Rings Where A song of ice and fire than Star Trek. Putting the two in the same genre has always been a mistake because they are not both science fiction.
Star wars is a fantasy story with tech, but even calling it fantasy science is wrong because the science part is so tiny. Star Trek is the basis of science fiction, using the future as a backdrop for stories about humanity and what it stands for. These differences make any comparison irrelevant.
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