Star Wars Vs Star Trek

Erica Garbutt, Features Editor

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It’s the age-old geek question: Which is better, Star Wars or Star Trek?

I found out a few months ago when I checked out the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series from the library. I knew Star Trek was considered a classic and I’d heard it was supposed to be more cerebral than Star Wars, so I was hoping for the best.

What I got was not what I expected. In my personal opinion, Star Wars has aged far better than Star Trek. Despite Star Trek’s best efforts to engage with moral dilemmas, it still reeks of cheesy ‘60s sci fi. The costumes are ridiculous, the acting is over-the-top at best and the storylines aren’t quite as gripping as you’d think of a so-called ‘classic.’  Sure, young William Shatner is fairly easy on the eyes; however, a handsome leading man isn’t enough to save a show that doesn’t seem relevant to our modern world—where even a superhero flick can hold meaning and compelling characters.

I will, however, give Star Trek credit for its episode “The City on the Edge of Forever,” which manages to insert better human drama and avoid many corny cliches by setting its action in the ‘30s via time travel. I can see why it’s considered one of the best Star Trek episodes; Kirk’s conflict as to whether to save the woman he loves at the cost of the entire Federation of Planets, and the tear-jerking ending, will tug at your heartstrings.

However, despite this one shining moment, I feel that Star Wars triumphs over Star Trek in many aspects. For one, Star Wars, with its classic themes of coming-of-age, compassion and heroism, manages to hold up fairly well today. The hero’s journey will never get old; everyone can see themselves in this story and that is definitely true for Star Wars, with its lovable trio of heroes and hilarious sidekicks.

For another, its settings, props and costumes manage to stay iconic and creative without falling into the trap of loudly blaring its origins from a past era. From the droids to the always-dying stormtroopers, Star Wars’ visual element is a template that has and continues to inspire up-and-coming writers to create their own worlds.

Star Wars also effortlessly manages what Star Trek seems to struggle to do: create characters who feel real. Sure, it’s hard to forget Mr. Spock’s ridiculous pointy ears, but who is Spock other than a template for a cold, alien commentator on the action? To me, Star Trek’s characters felt more like stereotypes than real people, despite the fact that TV shows have more time for character development due to the amount of episodes.

Star Wars, meanwhile, creates characters who are both classic archetypes and instantly memorable. Luke, in particular, gets wonderful character development; although it comes a bit too quickly, his journey from whiny farmboy to all-loving hero is admirable and relatable. Even C-3P0 gets a bit of character developmenthe goes from a funny, cowardly sidekick to a droid who is capable of saving the gang when he needs to. Better yet, with quotable dialogue, well-staged scenes and acting that is a perfect blend of both serious and silly, Star Wars’ characters are ones who are easy to fall in love with.

So, while Star Trek may continue on for reasons I have yet to understand, I feel it’s clear to see that Star Wars is the winner in this ancient battle of the franchises. If you haven’t seen either one, see Star Wars; you won’t regret it.

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Star Wars Vs Star Trek