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Sci-Fi Star Wars Prequels Entertainment Idle

William Shatner On Star Trek Vs. Star Wars 511

Posted by samzenpus
from the phaser-versus-saber dept.
tekgoblin writes "Star Trek Vs Star Wars has always been a hot topic of debate in the nerd world, I honestly don't think there is any comparison between the two. William Shatner voices his opinion on the matter as well and he says they are completely different too. I just don't understand where people get that Star Trek and Star Wars are similar in any way. Lets see what Shatner had to say on the matter."
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William Shatner On Star Trek Vs. Star Wars

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  • by black3d (1648913) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:35AM (#37440234)

    Has always seemed much more nerd accessible - like being a nerd is almost a pre-requisite to enjoying it. Star Wars is too.. main-stream action. >

    • Re:Star Trek (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:40AM (#37440336) Homepage Journal

      You'd be surprised how many non-nerds are Star Trek fans. However, you won't find them at the conventions or in Star Trek costumes. You'll find them at your corner bar or any construction site.

      • I was at an amusement park years ago standing in line for a roller coaster. In front of me was a dad and a teenage son that appeared to be more or less your typical rednecks. Nascar shirts, kid had a rat tail, heavily accented, etc. They were having one hell of a nerdy conversation about a recent episode of TNG. Can't judge a book by its cover (ok, sometimes you can)...

    • Star Wars is too.. main-stream action.

      Yeah. But then this happened [youtube.com].

    • Server... can't... handle... the load!

    • I would say that Star Trek is classic science fiction, while star wars is a space western . . . the action flick rather than an examination of the human condition.
    • by ideonexus (1257332) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:45AM (#37441386) Homepage Journal

      Star Wars has only seemed moderately science fiction to me. It's more like Dungeons & Dragons with technology filling in for the magic since the technology is never given scientific explanation. The heroes of Star Wars are all archetypal fantasy characters: knights, princesses, rogues, mercenaries, and the obligatory "chosen one." The whole thing romanticizes the Royalty America and France had revolutions to overcome [ideonexus.com], with its cynical portrayal of the Republic and idealization of the princess. Star Wars' overall take on humanity is cynical, where, despite living in galaxy filled with technology resembling magic, people are just as unenlightened and motivated by baser desires as they are today.

      Good science fiction asks questions that pertain to the human condition and every single episode of Star Trek sets out to tackle the hard philosophical questions. Star Trek takes a positive perspective of humanity's future, with upstanding characters who seek intelligent solutions to social and technological dilemmas presented to them. The humans in Star Trek are the role-models for other species. Earth is the center of the Federation of Planets, the center of a working democratic United Nations on a galactic scale, complete with a Prime Directive to prevent a repeat of Earth's colonialist mistakes. Star Trek gets accused of being "Philosopher Kings in Space" or of presenting an idealistic vision of Communism, but these can also be seen as criticisms of the character's intellectualism and their personal virtue of serving the greater good, as academia is called elitist and humanism accused of socialism in today's society. The fact that we can even have such a debate about the sociopolitical dimensions of Star Trek make it a million-bazillion-times more nerdy than Star Wars' blaster and saber show.

      Star Wars is fantasy, Star Trek is SF, and I can rant on and on and on [ideonexus.com] about the differences between the two and why SF is vastly superior in every dimension, with the exception of fantasy making better escapist fare for when you want to turn off your brain for a few hours.

  • Jim would beat the fsck out of Solo with both hands tied behind his back.

    No comparison.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Yeah, but what if Solo didn't have both hands tied behind his back? Of course, it would be a boring fight, those guys are REALLY old.

      A wookie would tear a Klingon's arms off if the wookie lost a chess game to him. That is, if you could find a chess-playing Klingon (Worf, maybe, but I doubt even Worf would have the patience for chess).

      Spock vs Obi Wan would be an interesting matchup.

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Spock vs Obi Wan would be an interesting matchup.

        Getting those two to hostilities would involve some serious mental gymnastics...

        • by Rogerborg (306625)

          Spock vs Obi Wan would be an interesting matchup. Getting those two to hostilities would involve some serious mental gymnastics...

          Get Obi Wan to try and convince Spock that midichlorians exist. It'll end in bloodshed, red or green.

          • by X0563511 (793323)

            I'd bet Spock would be more receptive than you think. After all, all Obi Wan has to do is prove it by levitating something.

      • by ByOhTek (1181381)

        I'd say:

        Solo would kill Kirk
        I disagree, a Klingon would probably beat a wookie, albeit barely.
        Obi Wan would only be defeated by Spock if caught by surprise, so it'd either be quick and uninteresting (Spock Wins), or quick and interesting (for those who like "interesting" deaths).

    • by Tridus (79566) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:53AM (#37440526) Homepage

      Jim would win because the newly edited Solo would wait for him to shoot first. :P

      Fuck you, George Lucas.

    • Well it's not like Solo would shoot him.

  • Phaser control is for communists.

  • William Shatner thinks the work he's done far outweighs the work of, say, Harrison Ford.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Shatner was always a much bigger star in the universe he lives in, versus the universe the rest of us live in.

    • He's right.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      William Shatner certainly outweighs Harrison Ford. By about 80 lbs, I'd guess.
    • by slapout (93640)

      Esp when you add in the weight of all those hair pieces...

  • I'm deeply saddened that I can't get my kids to watch either.

    Well, they like the Clone Wars CGI/cartoon, but I don't think that counts.

    Where have I gone wrong?!

    (OTOH, the son developed an early interest in astronomy from watching the Titanic II get sucked into a black hole in Futurama, but had to cut him off of that because of most of the other age-inappropriate content :-/ )

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Your dad was probably equally sad he couldn't get you to watch Gunsmoke or Big Valley. Welcome to the generational divide.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      There's age-inappropriate content in Futurama? Where?

  • it's simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by burris (122191) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:44AM (#37440392)

    Outsiders don't care about the differences in the movie/show, they just see that the fans are all the same. Just like people who aren't hippies don't see any difference between the Grateful Dead and Phish, or people that aren't Christians don't care too much about the difference between Protestantism and Catholicism, or Shiites vs. Sunnis, or Republicans vs. Democrats, or furries vs. panty sniffers (oh crap did I go too far?)

    • by Trepidity (597)

      Also, the names are sort of similar, so it's easy to get confused between the "Star something thing" if you don't pay much attention to these things.

    • by Chelloveck (14643)
      Remember, furries exist to give trekkies someone to look down on.
  • One of them is a series of sci-fi films (with a few TV series, book and comic spin-offs), the other is a TV series (with a few TV series, book, comic and film spin-offs). Both enjoyable to fans of the science fiction genre. Both significantly different from each other as to make them worthy in their own rights.

    I like roast chicken and prawn curry. I don't feel the need to establish one as superior.
    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      I don't feel the need to establish one as superior.

      That's just the sort of peacenik pinko-drivel I'd expect to hear from a Bablyon 5 fan. J'accuse.

      Correction: one of them is a series of SF films, the other is a documentary.

      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Does your bad use of french have some slang meaning? Because it doesn' make any sense in french.
  • but here's the youtube link to the actual interview

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BYNdTHjstI [youtube.com]

  • Evolve vs. Devolve (Score:5, Interesting)

    by koelpien (639319) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:54AM (#37440536)
    Star Wars devolves, Star Trek evolves. Look at that stupid "Clone Wars." My nine-year-old couldn't care less. Sad.
    • I tried to watch that one as I quite enjoyed the 2D animated shorts by Genndy Tartakovsky, but I found the character designs were incredibly off putting.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Star Trek was science fiction. Star wars was science fantasy. If you don't know the difference you have to pay more attention.

    • I wouldn't even call Star Wars science fantasy, it's fantasy. Scotty on the other hand didn't become chief engineer because he was the son of the king of engineers.

    • Star Trek was science fiction. Star wars was science fantasy. If you don't know the difference you have to pay more attention.

      No, they are both science fantasy.

    • by Shadowmist (57488) on Monday September 19, 2011 @11:59AM (#37443154)

      Star Trek was science fiction. Star wars was science fantasy. If you don't know the difference you have to pay more attention.

      Actually with all the wish fulfillment tech in Star Trek and things that simply just don't make sense, it's just as much science fantasy.... it just doesn't own up to it.

  • by chebucto (992517) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:59AM (#37440616) Homepage

    The Imperial ships are much larger, but they have no shields. After a couple of dozen quantum torpedoes, they'd be burning wreckage. Heck, a runabout could just transport a torpedo into the bridge of a star destroyer and it'd be toast.

    Their laser cannons might pack a punch, too, but all the federation ships would have to do is remodulate the shield frequencies, and they'd be useless.

    • by Talderas (1212466)

      Did you completely forget the scene in Episode VI where the snubfighters blow up the shield generator on the Executor after which an A-Wing plows through the bridge causing it to crash into the Death Star? Those spheres on all star destroyers are their shield generators.

    • Imperial ships do have shields. From the script of Return of the Jedi, the following occurs just after Rebel fighters destroy the geodesic sphere-looking things atop the Executor's bridge:

      128 INT VADER'S STAR DESTROYER - BRIDGE

      Admiral Piett and a commander stand at the window, looking out to the battle. They look concerned.

      CONTROLLER
      Sir, we've lost our bridge deflector shield.

      PIETT
      Intensify the forward batteries. I don't want anything to get through.

      The commander is looking out of the window where a damaged Rebel fighter is out of control and heading directly toward the bridge.

      PIETT
      Intensify forward firepower!

      COMMANDER
      It's too late!

      The Rebel pilot screams as his ship hits the Star Destroyer, causing a huge explosion. The giant battle ship loses control, crashes into the Death Star, and explodes.

      The big difference between the two is that Star Trek has very little in the way of fighter craft. There isn't much in the way of Star Trek canon to establish whether ships in that universe would have difficulty going up against a squadron of fighters, but Voyager got the crap kicked out of it by a few dozen supposedly ob

      • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:52AM (#37441502) Homepage Journal

        The federation used fighters in DS9 when they attacked Cardasia during the Dominon war. The big question I see is numbers. The Federation is pretty small when compared with the Empire. As to Voyager well it was way past refit and had not had any yard service re resupply for years. It was running on rubber bands and paper clips by that time.
        And I can not believe that we are having this conversation.

    • Reminds me of this classic ST VS SW mashup [youtube.com] Enterprise VS Star Destroyer. : )
  • not that difficult (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:01AM (#37440634) Homepage

    "I just don't understand where people get that Star Trek and Star Wars are similar in any way."

    They are both Hollywood entertainment franchises that became very popular in the 1970s*, featuring space ships and other advanced technology, settings in space and on other planets, and titles that fit the pattern "Star ????" If you can't see how they're similar, you're trying too hard not to.

    *Yes, I know when Star Trek debuted; read that sentence more carefully.

    • George Lucas even said so in 1979. He did the equivalent of focus group testing and market analysis. His real genius wasn't the story that was the first Star Wars, it was in making sure he controlled the merchandise and sequels. It has always been about the money, the story was a means to the end.

      Hence Star Trek and Star Wars are wholly different regardless of that first word, that simply sets the place.

  • Difference in fans (Score:5, Interesting)

    by doconnor (134648) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:02AM (#37440658) Homepage

    One thing I've noticed is that most big Star Trek fan also enjoy Star Wars, while big Star Wars fans often strongly dislike and berate Star Trek. I guess the different philosophies attracts different types of fans.

    An example can be seen in Fanboys where the Star Wars fan beat up some Star Trek fans for no reason.

    • by rgviza (1303161) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:09AM (#37440748)
      yea but fanboys is a movie. fictional examples don't count.
      • by doconnor (134648)

        Fanboys is a movie, but presumably it was written by and for Star Wars fans in order to reflect, if only as a parody, their actual attitudes. Although I understand movie had a very troubled history.

        I know of other nonfictional examples, like one of the people who I went to high school with.

    • by N0Man74 (1620447)

      One thing I've noticed is that most big Star Trek fan also enjoy Star Wars, while big Star Wars fans often strongly dislike and berate Star Trek. I guess the different philosophies attracts different types of fans.

      An example can be seen in Fanboys where the Star Wars fan beat up some Star Trek fans for no reason.

      I grew up as more of a Star Wars fan. Star Wars was the first movie I remember seeing as a child. Years later, Return of the Jedi was the very first movie that my parents allowed me to see by myself. However, I also watched reruns of Star Trek: ToS as a kid.

      I have never understood why people had to pick between which show was better, or even which Star Trek captain was best. I enjoyed them all.

      I guess I'm Bi-Starrial.

      • by sorak (246725)

        Since both of them take radically different views of advanced technologies, people might argue over which is more realistic. I have seen people who take it far beyond that, but my big fanboy moment came from "Farscape", when they reveal that first contact had pretty much made earth more violent. Countries saw technologies that could destroy entire continents and began to fight over who could, and (considering the post 9/11 world) who could not have access to those technologies. Compare this to the star trek

    • by sootman (158191)

      > One thing I've noticed is that most big Star Trek
      > fan also enjoy Star Wars, while big Star Wars
      > fans often strongly dislike and berate Star Trek.
      > I guess the different philosophies attracts
      > different types of fans.

      And I've always found that Trek fans think their series is better (more serious sci-fi, deeper social issues, etc.) and look down their noses at Star Wars which is "just" space opera.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        And I've always found that Trek fans think their series is better (more serious sci-fi, deeper social issues, etc.) and look down their noses at Star Wars which is "just" space opera.

        Well, they're right about more serious sci-fi (for what little it is worth) but I don't know about deeper social issues. I guess if you're comparing against the full body of work including the cartoons and the ewok christmas special, then it's certainly all true. On the other hand, the Star Wars trilogy deals with the eternal struggle between chaos and order, which is the underlying driver behind nearly all social issues.

        Star Wars may be a space opera, but Star Trek is a space soap opera, interspersed with

    • by Pionar (620916)

      No reason? Nobody calls Han Solo a bitch.

    • by hey! (33014)

      What you haven't ever seen sibling rivalry before?

      You've got older brother Trek who's actually had a rather checkered career but everyone thinks is brilliant. Then young Wars comes along and despite making tons more money doesn't get any respect. Trek shows up for the family reunion and everybody oohs and aahs over his Prius. Then Wars drives up in his Lamborghini and everyone immediately thinks, "loser".

      No matter how badly Trek screws up, people still respect him and want to do graduate school theses on h

  • Shatner is Trolling (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nonsensical (1237544) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:04AM (#37440688)
    It comes across as Shatner trolling the audience, which for those who recognize it for that, is hilarious.
  • by SocietyoftheFist (316444) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:14AM (#37440818)

    That is what I took away from it.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:16AM (#37440852)

    I just don't understand where people get that Star Trek and Star Wars are similar in any way.

    I just don't understand why anyone cares anymore. The first two SW films were good, but from ROTJ onward, who cares? ST began to lose steam during DS9's run. Maybe the rebooted ST movie series will pan out, and maybe the Old Republic MMO will make SW interesting again. Who knows? I just never got the *obsession* with either franchise. I liked them, still watch an episode of TOS or TNG now and then, but to go on and on about it, debating one made up science over another made up science, I just don't even.

  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:18AM (#37440886)

    Star Wars is not Science fiction, it's Arthurian Legend. Star Trek is about a possible future of our world/universe and the progress of secular Humanity, and the triumph of reason and science.

    Star Wars is like a King Aurthur's knights of the round table, or spiritualist story about good vs. evil, just set in space. It discusses a quasi-religious struggle between right and wrong, and the struggle of rightful Camelot style kings vs. vicious tyrants. It is a fairy tale, or fable.

  • by Bob-taro (996889) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:26AM (#37441010)

    FTA:

    The perfect union between Star Trek and Star Wars would be if Captain Kirk and Princess Leia were to ran off together pursued by Chewbakka.

    So in conclusion ... Bill Shatner was high?

  • Star Trek and Star Wars start with "Star".

  • by Sasayaki (1096761) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:35AM (#37441218)

    Honestly, I think the biggest difference between the two universes was that Star Trek, DS9 excluded and not in a bad way, was generally about hope. That's really the central, core tenant of the show.

    In the future, all these worries and burdens and injustices we have now will be behind us. For example, it said (in the 60's) that if you're a woman, there's a place for you on the bridge, just like everyone else. If you're black, eventually nobody will care. If you're blind, you can still be chief engineer of a Starship.

    I think this is why Trek appeals so much to the GLBT crowd. The idea -- the hope -- that in the future, life will be governed by tolerance and reason. That there's a place for everyone and replicated food means nobody goes hungry.

    Star Wars represents, I think, a more grim picture of the future (again, not in a bad way). There's injustice and authoritarianism everywhere. People will kill you for old debts, for being a member of an almost extinct religion, or for opposing the state. There are wars spanning across solar systems. There is money, corruption, politics, and weapons of mass destruction.

    For people who prefer this world, I can imagine why it's appealing. It's adventurous, engaging and realistic; as we can see in the modern day Republican party people don't abandon their preconceptions and hatreds just because technology marches on. In Trek there's no money, but honestly people want to make a buck; the basic idea of currency has been with us for so long we rightly can't imagine a world without it.

    So what do I prefer?

    I love them both, because I agree with William. They are different, and they give a totally separate picture of the future.

    I'm currently writing a sci-fi book myself (shameless self promotion here [lacunaverse.com]the prologue and whole first act is CC-BY-NC-SA so feel free to read it, remix it, share it around if you want) and these are the issues I think about. For example, one of the long-running issues I've had with Trek is... If everything's so egalitarian and racism is a thing of the past, then where are all the Chinese people (1\4 of the world's population)? Instead of the 'token asian', shouldn't each ship have a token white guy?

    Accordingly, the majority of the crew of the ships in Lacuna are Chinese. Unlike Trek, people didn't give up their nationalities in this future; and nationalities tend to clump together when all mixed up, like oil and water. Old terrestrial grudges show up occasionally too, something that Trek was only able to explore in allegory.

    Sci-fi is such a fun and vibrant setting to write in, in particular because of this tradeoff of hope vs realism. The reimagined BSG, for example, took that far to the extreme of realism and was brilliant; Trek took it the other way. Star Wars is somewhere in the middle.

  • Who's worse, William Shatner or Mark Hamill?

    IMHO, Hamill, no contest. Shatner is at least fun-bad. Hamill is like "Who let this no-talent hack in front of a camera?"

    Okay, Hamill got better in the later years with pretty good voice acting, but back then he just sucked.

  • by metlin (258108) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:38AM (#37441262) Journal

    "It's dead, Jim".

  • Isn't the key difference that Star Wars happened a "long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" and Star Trek happens several centuries into the future and mostly in our galaxy?

  • I haven't read Shatner's comments yet, but there is one main difference that comes to mind immediately to me: Star Wars happened in a 'Long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...' and at best could be taken to be our ancestors, while Star Trek happens several centuries in the future in /our/ galaxy, and is explicitly based on events that involve our descendants. So...not only are they entirely different fictional universes, the stories themselves actually happen in times and places that are temporally and

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