Star Trek is better than Star Wars. How it took me 23 years of favoring Star Wars to come to this conclusion.
The concept of my column, Come @ Me, Bro, is to present a strong, unpopular opinion that I actually believe. All the opinions are not made up just to incite angry discord. Unlike Twitter users who tweet an unpopular opinion only to say, “Don’t @ Me,” I actually want to hear from you! Whether you agree, or more likely, disagree with my statements. This week; this Star Wars fan has finally decided Star Trek is the superior franchise!
Marvel vs DC. Nintendo vs PlayStation vs Xbox. Console vs PC.
Star Trek vs Star Wars.
People like to take the side of one and hate the other. This column is not that. I have believed for years in the “why not all of it?” philosophy. No, you don’t have to like everything, but just because you prefer Marvel you don’t have to hate DC. The same can be said of the rivalry between Star Trek and Star Wars. As a kid, you feel you need to take a side. But in college I learned you are allowed to like it all.
Still, one like myself still has preferences. I prefer Nintendo, Consoles, and Marvel. And I’ve liked Star Wars far more than Star Trek for 23 years.
This is the story of how recent projects from both sides, adult taste, and possibly Covid-19 pushed me from loving Star Wars to preferring Star Trek. Perfect topic for my column coming out the day before The Mandalorian Season 2, right? Engage!
The Rise and Fall Of The Star Wars Empire
I was a late bloomer to Star Wars compared to others my age, not seeing the films until the 1997 release of The Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition in theatres. Though my fellow LRM contributor Kyle gives me sh** for this, it does mean my first time was in theatres. Boo-yah!
The original Star Wars trilogy was, and still is, everything, especially when you’re 7 years-old. Even now, at 32, it may not be my favorite trilogy of any franchise, but these are still films I can return to again and again. Now, depending when you were born will effect your choice in Star Wars trilogies. Yes, you could argue the original trilogy had the best scripts, actors, and directors, but part of why geeks my age and those who are older prefer the OT is nostalgia. Just as one’s favorite 007 could be determined on when they grew up, the same goes for the Star Wars trilogies.
When I was in my early twenties managing kids in their late teens at a movie theatre, most preferred the prequel trilogy. That was their Star Wars. Many had seen the OT, but it felt old and outdated to them. At age 31, I managed a new “generation” of teens, and they preferred both the sequel trilogy and animated programs like The Clone Wars. For them, the OT was even more outdated, with a larger percent in 2019 not even willing to watch the OT because it looked like ancient history.
RELATED – Disney Is RIGHT To Shift Gears To Disney+! | COME @ ME, BRO
I, of course, though being a child when Star Wars: Episode I came out, loved the OT. In 1999, it was exciting to have new Star Wars, but every time I have viewed them since, I dislike them more. I will hopefully never watch them again, as I promised myself that last year. Disney’s Star Wars was an improvement, but again, the more I re-watch their films the more I see the cracks and dislike them. I’ve never watched the animated series, because I hate the animation style, and The Mandalorian is pretty good, but not great. I like it more than any other Star Wars since the 80’s, but that’s not quite great praise.
The point is, Star Wars projects have been dropping in quality, while the Star Trek projects from Paramount and CBS are great. At this point, there are far more great hours and series/movies of Star Trek that exist than Star Wars.
Where No Nick Doll Has Gone Before…
While I have been a fan of Star Wars since 1997, it took me about another ten years to appreciate Star Trek. In college, I checked out Star Trek: The Original Series from my University’s impressive DVD collection. I didn’t like it.
Then in 2009, everything changed with the release of JJ Abram’s Star Trek. Is it the best Star Trek content I’ve seen? No. But it served as a gateway drug that brought me into the galaxy of Star Trek. Sort of like those teens of today who won’t watch the Original Trilogy. I had to see the flashy version to get into the classics.
I still stand by all the Star Trek films in the Kelvin Timeline, but I’ve learned to love quite a few other Trek shows more.
JJ’s movie taught me to love Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest the crew of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701. After seeing them portrayed by Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban, I wanted more. So, I returned to TOS… and loved it. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley were even better. Loving these characters so much finally helped me overcome the elements of the show that felt cheesy and dated when I tried to watch the show just years before. Just like Luke, Han, and Leia, these characters became endearing to me, and I held my breath whenever they were in danger.
RELATED – Star Trek: Discovery Renewed For 4th Season
Finishing TOS, I was hungry for more. First, I watched all the films with the original casts. Just like with Star Wars, there were high points and low points. Having never seen The Next Generation, I jumped to those films, which were just as inconsistent. Years later, I realize why. Though I wish Star Trek 4 was still being made, Star Trek works better as a series. Star Wars is all about flashy action, with mild character development. In fact, change the characters too much, like making Luke a hermit, and fans freak out! Yes, recent Trek like Discovery and Picard becomes more action oriented, but giving you hours to love these characters allows them to follow their development, endearing them even more than Star Wars characters, even if you get a completely new set of characters every series.
After I finished every film, my fandom really didn’t grow. Each Kelvin Timeline movie got me excited, but I hadn’t checked out the other series. Then Covid-19 happened. Followed by being laid off.
With time on my hands, and my parent’s CBS All Access account, I watched Picard as it aired. I loved it, still having never seen TNG. I didn’t watch any Star Trek again for months, aside from checking out the first two episodes of Lower Decks. Finally, last week I started, and caught all the way up on Discovery. It was a revelation, looking every bit as good as the recent films and introducing me to a new crew to love. It was twisty, action packed, and flashy, which I realize most true fans really don’t like about recent Star Trek.
Related – Disney Plus Releases Season 1 Recap Of ‘The Mandalorian’
The finale of Season 2 was so massive, it seemed to outdo any finale in a Star Wars film. It was what the final act of Rise of Skywalker was trying to be.
Last night I finished Lower Decks, a whole different type of Star Trek going where Star Wars can’t. Under Disney, there will never be an adult oriented animated show that both parodies the clichés of Star Trek while paying homage to some of the many series greatest moments. With extreme language and violence, of course.
I’m absolutely hooked. While watching the finale to season two of Discovery, it was that moment I realized I enjoyed Star Trek more than Star Wars. As Star Wars dips in quality, for me at least, Star Trek is as good as ever.
And the best is yet to come! I have a pandemic’s worth of Star Trek left to watch, including fan favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation. I also still have The Animated Series, Deep Space 9, Voyager, and Enterprise to watch.
Call me a bad fan to enjoy the flashier stuff first, but to me again it feels like Picard and Discovery are a gateway drug leading me to even greater Star Trek.
Star Trek is simply better, in this fan’s eyes. But like I said, loving Trek doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy Star Wars.
Though I look forward to The Mandalorian‘s weekly episodes, I am far more excited to see where the next few weeks take the crew of the Discovery. Star Trek has simply been more consistent than Star Wars, and at times can be even more impressive, while still working best as a TV show. The characters have more depth than anyone in the Star Wars universe, and the franchise is willing to step outside the 60 year period all Star Wars adventures are trapped in.
We also see far more planets, and journey across the galaxy, not just sticking to what fans know from the originals. There is far more Trek left for me to explore, new faces to love, while Star Wars continues to focus on characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, rather than giving us something new. Star Wars is limited in tone, while Trek can experiment with projects like Lower Decks.
Perhaps as all this dragged me to Star Trek like a tractor-beam, Star Wars will eventually improve and steal back my heart.
COME @ ME, BRO!
Now, the fun part. This should be interesting. Am I a fool for switching sides? Is it wrong to love Star Trek? Do you agree that Star Trek outperforms Star Wars overall?
You know what I think, so I want you to Come @ Me, Bro! Let’s do this in the comments below!
Live Long and Prosper.