The Great Debates: Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek Vs Star Wars

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Undeniably these two franchises are the biggest sci-fi franchises in pop culture history. Both heavily involve space travel and sci-fi concepts, and the fact that the both have the word “Star” in their names invited comparisons right from the beginning. This is truly a debate that’s been around for decades, and with the opening of a new chapter in one of the sagas this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to revisit it.

Click through to read the tale of the tape!!

Star Trek

Gene_RoddenberryCreator: Gene Roddenberry

First Year of Existence: 1966 (TV)

First Movie: “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” 1979

Television Series: 5: The Original Series (1966–1969), The Next Generation (1987–1994), Deep Space Nine (1993–1999), Voyager (1995–2001), Enterprise (2001–2005)

Animated Series: 1: Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973–1974)

star_trek_ii_the_wrath_of_khan_ver2Total Number of Movies: 12: “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979), “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982), “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984), “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986), “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (1989), “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” (1991), “Star Trek: Generations” (1994),  “Star Trek: First Contact” (1996), “Star Trek: Insurrection” (1998), “Star Trek: Nemesis” (2002), “Star Trek” (2009), “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (2013)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross of Films: $1,495,393,272

Video Games: 76

star trek tosStar Trek is a franchise that has seen several successful iterations, both on tv and in film. It has spanned nearly fifty years (47), and is still going strong. The torch has passed from show to show and cast to cast, and because of that, it’s still earning itself new generations of fans.

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Star Wars

George-LucasCreator: George Lucas

First Year of Existence: 1977

First Movie: “Star Wars” 1977

Television Series: None

Animated Series: 4: Star Wars: Droids (1985-1986), Star Wars: Ewoks (1985-1986), Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003-2005), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-current)
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empire_strikes_back_ver2Total Number of Movies: 7 “Star Wars” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), “Return of the Jedi” (1983), “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” (1999), “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” (2002), “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” (2005), “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (Animated, 2008)
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Cumulative Worldwide Gross of Films: $4,382,359,868
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Video Games: Over 100

star-wars-castThe “Star Wars” franchise is viewed (at this point) as two distinct trilogies. The original trilogy, which is a widely beloved, pop culture cornerstone, and the “prequels”, which, although financially successful, are widely reviled by most fans. With the sale of Lucasarts to Disney, however, fans literally have “A New Hope”.

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So there you have it folks! Some of the measurables in these two enormous franchises!

Which will you pick? Will it be a galaxy far, far away, or will you boldly go where no man has gone before? The choice is yours!

Let’s hear it!

STvSWHUU

164 thoughts on “The Great Debates: Star Trek or Star Wars?

  1. I’ve always been an equal fan of both, growing up with both, and never feeling the push/pull between the two as I hear other people have felt. I feel that the poll leaves off the option of choosing both equally. I can’t be the only person out there that feels this way about the two universes.

  2. For me, Star Wars will always win. I have immense respect for Star Trek, and really do love the series, but Star Wars was the first thing to really show me the magic of film. It imprinted itself on me when I was barely 5, and has been a huge part of my life since then. That’s why it will always win for me. :)

    • Star Wars blew my mind, and for a long time, I scoffed at the comparisons between the two. Not that I didnt love Trek, I did. But Star Wars was incomparable.

      Unfortunately, the Star Wars franchise suffered greatly under Lucas, and Star Trek has continued to grow and grow… it’s a much closer call nowadays than I ever would have thought back then! :o

    • Yeah? Im not so sure it could sway me that much one way or the other. Most of my love for Trek is rooted in the original cast’s work…

      Still though, if they put together two great new movies its definitely a nice feather in the franchise’s cap!! :D

    • Thanks T9M! :D Never ever, huh? I used to feel that way. Then Lucas went off the deep end, and Trek kept going and going. Now, its a tossup in my book. As much as I love the originally trilogy, I have to count the prequels too, and theyre awful :(

      • Prequels? What prequels? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Lol. (I kind of find it pretty easy to pretend those don’t exist) ;-)

  3. It’s a tough call, Star Wars I think has the highest highs but also the lowest lows, while Star Trek has had a long running series of sometimes great, sometimes mediocre, but rarely terrible stuff. I think both still have a lot of steam left in them and time will tell if one of them goes the way of the dodo, or if they keep their hooks in the American psyche for years and years to come.

  4. oooooooooooo Tough one but I would have to go with Star Trek based on a decider of just how good the TV series where, consistently – TNG, DSN and Voyager. The movies of both franchises have their issues but some are obvious all time classics. Great question!

    • Trek absolutely needs the TV series in play in order to overcome Star Wars, IMO. Even if you offset the greatness of the original trilogy with the crappiness of the prequels, the end result outweighs the Star Trek movie franchise, still. Thats how great those first three Star Wars flicks were.
      But add in the TV series? Which were awesome? Now you’ve got a whollllllllllle nother story ;)

      • Totally agree and that’s where it just tips it for me, the TV of Trek makes it a better franchise overall, just for me but man is it close; but the movies in Star Wars are still overall superior and the prequels had enough highlights and Episode 3 was very good in my view. The original 3 were immense which is a given in movies of course. The strength of the exceptional Star Trek TV brings balance back to the force in this battle!

  5. I love both, and I was more a fan of Star Wars when I was younger. It was more action packed. Growing up in the TNG era, Trek was kinda dry.

    Since then, though, Trek stepped up its game in the action department. TNG brought in the Borg. DS9 gave us the Dominion War. And, of course, the JJTrek. (The TNG movies were heavy on the action, too, but that was totally wrong for the more cerebral cast.)

    So, for me, Trek. The universe is more consistent. The political factions are facsinating. And there’s just more to discover. For its galaxy wide setting, Star Wars is just basically the same few recycled settings. It never save us a sea of changelings or weirdo aliens from fluidic space or wormholes or zombie Borg ships.

    • Thats a great argument Santo, it really is. I was more a fan of Star Wars, too. At one point, my room was a Star Wars shrine… 8O Though, I really liked TNG when it hit.

      You’re right, Trek has stepped up its game over the years (though I wish the JJ Treks would put some science fiction moralization back into the series) while Star Wars has hurt itself with the prequels and alienating the fan base.

      We’ll see what happens once Disney starts shoving new movies down our throat every year! 8O

      • The problem is that once you get cerebral… you get Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It’s sorta something that’s not made for summer movie blockbusters. Which is why there’s really only one solution: let JJTrek run in theaters, but also bring back a new Star Trek TV show. :)

  6. Bahh!! If you had asked this a couple weeks ago I would have said Wars hands down but going back through all of the original Trek movies recently has made me love them even more. I’m definitely leaning towards Trek more right now, because that’s what I’ve been watching and looking forward to with Into Darkness and all, but two years from now the same will be true of Wars so….
    what the hell I’ll go with Trek. Live long and prosper.

    • I’ve seen your reviews, and it’s been killing me not to be able to get to them. I’ll try to swing back. I love those movies too… just been a bit busy 8O

      Meanwhile, it’s a close call. The results so far bear that out!

  7. I know I picked the right one since I went with the underdog before I even realized Trek was the underdog. I have a good feeling about this :)

  8. Star Wars, no contest. I am not a Star Trek fan at all. In fact, the first Abrams movie is the first think Star Trek I’ve ever been able to sit through and actually enjoy without ever growing bored (so I’m really looking forward to the sequel!) Hell, the fact that the latest Star Trek was essentially a Star Wars film in disguise probably has a lot to do with why I enjoyed it, lol.

    Star Wars, on the other hand, has never had this problem. The series just has such a certain charm to it that I can’t help but enjoy, and constantly find myself returning to.

    • Wow man, no Trek love at ALL? :( That’s sad, not even the tv shows? They’re great!

      I hate when people say the new Trek films are Star Wars movies. Why? Cause they have action sequences :roll: Cant wait to say that the new Star Wars films are essentially just Star Trek movies (once Abrams takes the helm) LOL

      • Well, I mean, if they DO turn out just being Star Trek movies in disguise, then I’ll certainly make that claim as well. :P

  9. This is pretty much an impossible question because of a difference in output of the two franchises. Star Wars has had many books and a recent animated TV series, but it’s still dwarfed by Star Trek in the visual medium. In terms of a high point, nothing beats Star Wars and Empire for me. Overall, however, I have to put Star Trek higher, particularly with its original cast.

    • Its a tough debate, Dan, no doubt. That’s why its worthy of kicking around, here! :D Star Trek is a worthy choice, the original cast was incredible, I’m a big fan as well. I love TNG but never latched on to their movies so much. :(

      Thanks for choosing up a side, here Dan!

  10. While I am a fan of both, this is not even a debate for me. Star Trek all the way. The utopia, science, culture, history, all of it works for me. Star Wars on the other hand only has 2 good movies, 1 average movie, and 3 terrible movies. Not good odds.

    • Nah, cmon, Return of the Jedi was a really good movie. That was pretty epic…

      Not to disagree with your overall choice, in fact I love how you bring in those Pre-JJ Abrams Trek values.

  11. Ya know, I thought this would be an easy choice but when I thought about it, it was much harder. Of the older stuff, it’s Star Wars all the way but I enjoyed both of the Abrams Trek movies more than any of the Star Wars prequels. Star Wars though for me. Just.

    • Good to hear you liked the new Trek movie, I steer clear of reviews until I’ve had a chance to do my own…

      The calibre of the Abrams movies HAS been doing a lot to narrow the gap in people’s minds, there’s no doubt.

      I can understand your reasoning 100%!

  12. I’d like to say Star Wars as I have fond memories of the initial 3 films, but Lucas shot himself and the franchise in the foot with the so-so prequels while Star Trek films have always been good for the most part with the last film being a nice shot in the arm and looks like so will the new one.

    STAR TREK
    Live long and prosper.

    • Live Long and Prosper, S.

      Lucas inverted Spock’s needs of the many maxim. LOL To him the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many ;) I hated the way he treated the CGI redos, changing the titles of the movies, not offering the originals on blu, On and on and on.

      His mistreatment definitely changed the way I feel about Star Wars :(

  13. When I was younger, Star Wars would win in a heartbeat. I watched those movies relentlessly. But now I can’t ignore the sheer weight of content that Star Trek brings to the intergalactic table. And Star Trek at its worst is better than Star Wars at its worst, although that’s probably not fair because most things are better than those prequels!

    I do look forward to the new Star Wars film, though. At least at this point there’s still some hope that a new creative team can resurrect what we all fell in love with.

    • By Star Trek at its worst, I’m assuming you mean the Star Trek: Voyager episode, “Threshhold”, where Janeway and Paris travel faster than Warp 10, transform into super-evolved salamanders, and have babies. Which, compared to the Star Wars prequels, is at least fascinating in the amount of cray-cray on display. :)

      • Yup. It’s considered one of the worst episodes of Trek of all time. (Tied, I think, with the Enterprise episode where Captain Archer gets pissed at everyone because of his sick dog.) I didn’t even get to the part where Tom Paris is teleporting everywhere because he has super-Warp powers, and his body parts keep falling off because of his transformation into a salamander.

        In a weird way, it’s actually a little watchable because of how bad it is. Kinda like those movies in MST3K.

        (The coda with the Janeway-Paris babies is insane. They release the little tadpole things into the wild. They’re your kids, you morons!)

      • Hahahaha! That one sounds vaguely familiar, I must have seen it during the original run and forgotten about it. It sounds like exactly the kind of WTF that I enjoy; I look forward to revisiting it! I’ll take salamander babies over Obi-Wan riding a dinosaur any day.

    • Agreed Will, straight across the boards. I cant wait for the new movies to erase the bad taste of the prequels being the most recent “Star Wars” offering.

      Trek has SO much content! Its insane. Twice the number of movies, plus, of course the tv shows!! 8O

      • I’m not terribly fond of JJ Abrams (I did like the first new Trek), but if the new Star Wars can erase that bad taste, my inner child will be doing back flips. I’m wary with the “new movie every year” plan, though. I think kids growing up as they come out will be going bonkers, but I fear us adults might be more lukewarm. Hopefully not! I want to be proven wrong.

  14. My mom was a Trekkie, and for that reason I was/am a Star Wars fan, hahaha. Though it wouldn’t take much to sway my allegiance. Judging from the 2009 “Star Trek” and what I’ve heard of “Into Darkness”, that scale may be slowly tipping. But, for now, the force is with me.

    • Ha! Leading a little familial rebellion of your own, huh? :D

      I think the new movies are tipping the scales for a lot of people. Personally I still prefer the original stuff, i terms of Trek. I grea up with the original cast, I doubt I’ll ever lose affection for them! :D

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