Star Trek ver­sus Star Wars

Let me open my big bag of geek here for a sec­ond. I al­ways pre­ferred Star Wars to Star Trek, but Debbie is a Trekkie, so when I de­cid­ed to watch every episode of MST3K, she coun­tered with a re­quest to watch all ten of the Star Trek movies. I groaned, but agreed. Debbie was orig­i­nal­ly a fan of The Next Generation, but watch­ing the movies con­vert­ed her. The orig­i­nal se­ries char­ac­ters are more com­pelling, with more agency, and more in­ter­est­ing ad­ven­tures than the lat­er films, some of which just seem like stretched tele­vi­sion episodes.

I read some of David Brin’s crit­i­cism of Star Wars around this time as well. It turns out that I’ve grown up enough to re­al­ly en­joy orig­i­nal se­ries Star Trek. Star Wars is easy for a child to ap­pre­ci­ate, but the Star Trek uni­verse de­mands a more ma­ture un­der­stand­ing of the way life works for full ap­pre­ci­a­tion. After watch­ing all of the films, and forc­ing Debbie to watch Trekkies and Trekkies 2, I went ahead and start­ed scroung­ing Original Series episodes. So far we’ve seen two; the pi­lot episode [sans Captain Kirk, but with Spock] and “Where No Man Has Gone Before” in which a cou­ple of the ship­mates ba­si­cal­ly turn in­to Jedi/​Sith, com­plete with telekine­sis and Force light­ning. In 1966, mind you.

I’m lik­ing that the char­ac­ters have back­sto­ries, have to wres­tle with the emo­tion­al con­se­quences of their de­ci­sions, and have their in­ner weak­ness­es thrown at them in every episode. It’s meaty, and kind of makes me want to see the new Star Trek flick com­ing out this sum­mer.

5 thoughts on “Star Trek ver­sus Star Wars

  1. Oh no, my se­cret is out on the in­ter-web! ♥ You for­got to men­tion that while we en­joyed the movies and show for plot, top­ics & char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment I was sur­prised to see an ad­di­tion­al en­ter­tain­ment fac­tor of the TV show: hand­some young faces.

  2. Down in the base­ment I’ve got The Trouble with Tribbles and Amok Time in film can­is­ters in my base­ment. We were clean­ing out an old me­dia rack in the base­ment of an old build­ing on cam­pus and I found them sit­ting there. I’m not sure if they are in watch­able shape, but I’ve tak­en care to pre­serve them and keep the con­tain­ers in a cool, dark, dry place.

    I can’t say that I fa­vor the orig­i­nal se­ries over next gen for their TV runs, but the orig­i­nal se­ries made vast­ly bet­ter movies. 

    You should get Babylon 5 on Netflix. It was a very good se­ries in the mid-90’s and I liked it bet­ter than DS9 (though I did watch both). You can learn more here: http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​B​a​b​y​l​o​n_5 Beware of spoil­ers though.

  3. This is the best en­try you’ve ever made. The en­tire orig­i­nal se­ries is now out on DVD, if you’re will­ing to rent or buy. I was a fan of the orig­i­nal se­ries (TOS) first, but even­tu­al­ly got in­to The Next Generation (TNG). My fa­vorite is eas­i­ly Deep Space Nine (DS9). TOS is good for so­cial dis­course, TNG for char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment, and DS9 for all the above plus po­lit­i­cal in­trigue. Happy view­ing!

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