Live long and suck it
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
I grew up on Star Wars. I’ve watched every movie countless times, played every Lego Star Wars game, and seen almost all the movies in theatres, even The Force Awakens. I get why so many people like the franchise because I’ve lived it and breathed it. However, when it comes to storylines, characters, plot development, and as a science fiction franchise, Star Wars does not hold a candle to Star Trek.
Star Trek has complex plotlines that deal with important and eternally relevant issues. Racism, sexism, war crimes, biraciality, sexuality; Star Trek has covered it all. It also explores important themes and ideas concerning race relations, the role of technology in society, and philosophical questions. It was incredibly progressive for its time, having started in 1966. It features characters from all different races (especially alien ones) working together and it featured the first interracial kiss ever shown on television. Star Trek also has created story tropes, characters, and scenes that are still referenced today.
Meanwhile, Star Wars focuses on the banal theme of good versus evil. Its galaxy has not changed since the first movie. It has… cool fighting scenes and the Force?
Star Wars has more commercial success by a longshot, but commercial success does not necessarily mean that it’s good. Star Trek is not as popular, but its stories and its characters have stood the test of time. Star Trek is the pioneer of science fiction and intergalactic turf wars; Star Wars probably never would have been made had it not been for Star Trek.
I wouldn’t even call Star Wars a science fiction film because there’s no science that is shown besides spaceships and laser swords. It’s more of an action/fantasy that takes place in space. On the other hand, Star Trek predicts how society will change with technological and social progress and questions the complexities that come with it.
Star Wars was an iconic film of its time. Its production and cinematography surpassed anything that had been previously done. Because of its impact at the time, it’s nostalgic for a lot of people, and I believe this nostalgia is the only thing it’s got going for it. Its plot isn’t particularly amazing, and its characters are shallow and superficial. Furthermore, Star Wars has like three good movies—that’s it. Everyone knows the films they made after the originals were terrible. The only reason new Star Wars movies keep being made is because the franchise is so big that producers know people will see it regardless if it is garbage or not. Star Trek, on the other hand, has numerous successful television shows and films as well as a couple of popular movie remakes, and it’s highly regarded as one of the best television shows of all time.
I can appreciate Star Wars as a film, but in terms of science fiction, Star Trek lives long and prospers. Finally, Star Trek may not have the same commercial success as Star Wars, but at least it never had a Jar-Jar Binks.