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Star Wars v. Star Trek

 

Amazing how surreal the real world is now in comparison to fiction.  Time to take a break from an increasingly insane world and take a  look at two of my favorite fictional locales:  Star Trek and Star Wars.

 

In comparing the two franchises, I would give the prize to Star Trek for consistent quality, with the exception of Star Trek the Next Generation (PC In Space.)  However, Star Trek never reached the heights attained in the first trilogy of Star Wars, or the depths plumbed in the second trilogy.   Give your opinion in the comboxes.

 

Bonus debate:  Most annoying Star Trek and Star Wars characters.  Hint:

 

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

21 Comments

  1. If Star Trek is one of your first television memories, nothing is going to overcome that. You can watch them today and see them through the current cultural lens and your own life experience. Most of the movies are decent enough to very good, and that includes the new JJ Abrams films. The Bear doesn’t like Next Gen, either, but his kids love it, and all the weird spinoffs, That’s what Star Trek is to them. They haven’t even watched the original series. So I think it depends on what era you come from. There’s a good documentary called “Chaos on the Bridge” (I think Netflix might stream it.) It shows just what a weird mess Next Gen was with an increasingly strange Gene Roddenberry and his henchman sneaking around and re-writing scripts. Hosted by none other than James Tiberius Kirk. (Kirk’s parents must not have been history buffs to name little Jimmy after one of the wickedest Roman Emperors.) Star Wars also captured everyone’s imaginations, then lost the magic… the Bear is not convinced (again) JJ Abrams has really recaptured it although the last one wasn’t bad as far pushing all the right nostalgia buttons.

  2. Trek.
    There’s more drek, but there’s more everything, and I think its high points are better and more common.
    They’re both awesome on the toys/props front– I’ve got a picture of my daughters in Jedi robes with lightsabers, and all of my kids “sword fight” stealing generously from the Jedi. (even the 9 month old gets the idea of “hit stick on brother’s stick, laugh”)
    ***
    Bit turning point: Trek is the one with the most workable philosophy points, even if some of them are only workable backwards. (“Their system has to be an invisible-to-the-Fleet group of religious people, probably in the traiders group Mudd and Worf’s brother was from”)
    For Star Wars, even my fan husband will flatly argue the rational existence of “gray” force users– neither chaotic evil nor lawful orderly.
    ****
    Star Wars wins on most annoying character– the prequel attempt at Baby Darth Vader.

  3. I’ve heard it argued that Episode 1 was the most disappointing movie of all time, if you consider the level of anticipation going into it. I’ve see it once, a bit of Ep 2, and none of Ep 3 or the new one. I’d have to say the Ewoks are the most annoying characters, with the Emperor second.

    Most annoying Star Trek characters? Except for the original series, there wasn’t a single character of note in any of them. There were actors who played people with different ranks and assignments, but no characters I can remember.

  4. Actually, I was thinking of that clip when I wrote my earlier comment. Star Trek’s Federation characters are like root beer: bland, unpleasant, a taste that you can get used to but if you go for a while without it you won’t miss it.

  5. Except for the Borg, who I think are the best sci fi bad guys ever, TNG was as bland as underdone white toast. The Borg could kick the Empire’s ass.

    So would Kirk. “Force! I don’t need no stinking Force!” Spock would rig a matter- antimatter bomb and Kirk would put it on the Emperor’s dinner table at 6PM sharp….after getting it on with some hot alien lady….but I digress.

    As an undercard…..Spock versus Darth Vader….the Dark Side versus logic…the winner would be the one who clubs the loser over the head with a folding chair…..

    Wander over Yonder is better sci fi than TNG. Endless diagnostics, blather, Whoopi Goldberg?

    It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh. Later.

  6. In comparing the two franchises, I would give the prize to Star Trek for consistent quality, with the exception of Star Trek the Next Generation (PC In Space.) However, Star Trek never reached the heights attained in the first trilogy of Star Wars, or the depths plumbed in the second trilogy. Give your opinion in the comboxes.

    Well now I could take the Catholicism but not this kind of heresy!

    You’re really telling me that nothing on DS9 was the equal of Empire Strikes Back??? The show with Garak and Quark and Miles O’Brien (the man with the most stable family in science fiction)??

    And true TNG’s early season (especially S1) is very nearly as bad as the prequels but “the Inner Light”, “Tapestry”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, “Darmok”, “the Offspring”??

    Season 3 onward of TNG is just good TV.

    The less said about Enterprise the better.

    As for most annoying character, say what you will about Jar Jar, at least nothing he did ever led to the death of a teammate OR put the ship at risk. So that makes Neelix the bigger danger annoyance.

    Also, since there’s a bunch of Catholics here and we’re on the subject, I’m sure we can all do a part to preserve this bit of ancient Internet history, the Grudge Match of which there are several Wars vs Trek matches listed.

  7. I enjoy watching Garak and Bashir (and listening to them), but O’Brien is quite seriously a role model.
    He’s genuinely good, honest– most brutally towards himself– to a fault, and the only thing that matches his devotion to his friends is his devotion to his duty.
    Plus, he was quietly, earnestly, honestly joyful. That’s pretty impressive for he-whom-the-script-writers-enjoy-literally-torturing.

  8. “You’re really telling me”

    The Star Trek franchise consisted of a series of television shows of varying quality and movies of the same stripe. I rarely was not entertained by them, except for Old-Bald-English-Guy-Pretends-to-be-French Trek. However, except for Star Trek II, Wrath of Khan, none of them packed the same entertainment punch as the first trilogy of Star Wars. Likewise, none of them, except for the Shatner directed Star Trek V, were as abysmal as the second Star Wars trilogy.

    In regard to Enterprise, my bride and I are rewatching it currently. The main problem with that series was the temporal war plot line which never worked. Shows which simply dealt with the early exploration of space by Earth and the events leading to the formation of the Federation are fine. Some of the episodes are true gems:

  9. “but O’Brien is quite seriously a role model.”

    Also one of the very few enlisted men in the Star Trek universe, which always seemed to consist of lots of chiefs and very few indians.

  10. Yes, when it comes to depth, script writing, character development, acting and transcending themes ….. nothing beats Star Trek. Each of the series has something of value. Next Gen did have the fabulous Data. Heck, even Star Trek Continues has merit.

  11. Actually, you can’t directly compare the two. “Star Trek” is science-fiction and “Star Wars” is fantasy, a difference not understood by many. That having been said, the most annoying characters from each franchise obviously are Wesley Crusher and Jar-Jar Binks.

  12. Oh, “Enterprise”…what you might have been.

    On balance, worthwhile, especially for the nods to TOS and some fantastic writing.

    Some, alas.

    I think the Temporal War plot was a mistake mostly for the reason that they didn’t commit to it. If you are going to have a metaplot device, you have to stick with it, a la Straczynski in Babylon 5.

    All in all, though–pretty good. Definitely better than Voyager (which quickly abandoned the interesting possibilities of a mixed Federation/Maquis crew).

  13. Dale Price brings up a point. Babylon 5 was awesome. There were no theatrical movies but the story arc was well thought out and put together.

    None of it is as much fun as playoff hockey, but that’s my opinion and it ain’t my blog.

  14. Playoff hockey is always fun when your team is winning.

    I watched Babylon 5 at the time of its airing. Extraordinary. I rewatched it a few years ago. Terrible acting, hamfisted morals, and of course the wreck that was Season 5 (although you can see things falling apart in Season 4).

  15. The problem with Enterprise was that they had no plan for the temporal cold war which was why it fell apart.

    Also, Don there is an important factor you have overlooked: the parody factor.
    Wars had Spaceballs.
    Trek had Galaxyquest.

    Much as I love both, clearly Trek wins here no matter what the history books say.

Comments are closed.