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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