It’s an inarguable truth of geekdom: in the case of Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Star Wars is—without a shadow of a doubt—the superior franchise and quite possibly the greatest gift to mankind. Not wanting to breed too much animosity between the camps, Star Trek did revolutionize sci-fi fantasy, but you have to admit that it was Star Wars that injected the genre with captivating storytelling and aesthetics, raising the film production bar to impossible heights and delighting audiences of all ages for generations. You want proof that the galaxy far, far away is better? Well, young padawan, we’re more than happy to oblige!
Star Wars Has a Richer Story
If you break down the complexity of the Star Trek saga into its simplest form, it basically tells the years-long story of rotating groups of space explorers and the threats they encounter on their mandated quest to explore the universe. Star Wars, on the other hand, is the epic saga of the clash between the light and dark sides of the Force that has been waged since time immemorial, all of which is juxtaposed against an all-encompassing galactic war that actually has roots in the aforementioned ancient conflict. Now, imagine that you were given the choice of which series to watch based on these generalized descriptions alone. Be honest, the latter sounds pretty enticing, no?
Star Wars Characters Are More Iconic
If you picked a random non-geek off the street and asked him or her to identify the original crew of Star Trek from a picture, they might be able to correctly name Captain Kirk (although it’s likely they’ll just say Shatner), Spock, and then erroneously ask where’s that guy with the wrinkly forehead. Show that same person a picture of the original cast from Star Wars: A New Hope and the results will likely be much better that they’ll be able to identify the characters by name. Why? It goes without saying that the characters from Star Wars have a nostalgic and inimitable charm that simply resonates with the masses—geeks, nerds, and John Q. Public alike! Can’t say the same for Star Trek, especially in a world where Captain Jean-Luc Picard is referred to as “that bald guy who was also in X-Men.”
Star Wars Puts the Fantasy in Sci-Fi Fantasy
Everybody likes a good fantasy flick or television show now and then to escape from the grind of the real world, and that it is yet another reason why Star Wars trumps Star Trek. Star Wars, since its early days as a mere draft, was deeply steeped in the myths and legends that have shaped our love for all things fantastic. For example, the Jedi remind us of the noble knights of yore that also flawlessly combine elements of sorcery. The grandiose and dramatic battles that are the hallmark of Star Wars draw inspiration from those seen in ancient world mythology and literary classics. Star Trek barely dabbles in the fantasy element and always seemed to be more science-centric in its approach to crafting stories.
The Alien Races of the Star Wars Universe Are More Eclectic
Take a good look at the denizens of the Star Trek universe. Chalk it up to the production budget or lack of design ingenuity, but a majority of the different alien races and automatons in the series (aside from ones like Gorns and Edosians) look, by and large, human. Over time this starts to become monotonous with boredom kicking in pretty quickly. Star Wars aliens are much more eye-pleasing. Not only are there a menagerie of alien races that range from the bizarre to the exotic to the terrifying, but we also have a vast array of droids and wildlife that help make the Star Wars universe feel more alive, vivid, and—chiefly—interesting.
Does Star Trek have a character so charismatic and awesome that having him speak a line of dialogue for more than five seconds would be superfluous? Didn’t think so.
Which do you think is the better franchise?