I love Star Wars.
Unfortunately, I do not know if I have the right to say that I am a fan. I was actually raised a die-hard Trekkie, and my friends and I, at the tender age of 11, would argue fervently over which was better: Trek or Wars. Of course I watched the original Star Wars trilogy. I enjoyed it a lot. However, I always maintained that Star Trek was more interesting. Then, the infamous Star Wars prequel trilogy came out—and I disliked all of them except Revenge of the Sith. This only reinforced my opinion that Trek was the better of the two. Because, you know, Captain Janeway kicks serious butt, and Anakin is a whiny space brat/creepy stalker dude.
But you see, love changed all of that. I met my knight in shining armor (actually, it was a Yankees t-shirt), and we fell in love after arguing about The Silmarillion for a good hour or so. It was the fun sort of argument where we talked about the Sons of Hurin and whether or not Turin was an idiot. Then, the true battle began. Stuff got real. My newly minted boyfriend was a die-hard Star Wars fan.
Shock. Horror. Drama.
My father, upon learning this, cautioned me that mixed religion marriages always fail. However, I disregarded him, and embarked on my mission to make my boyfriend see the light—the holy, mighty, Star Trek light.
It sort of backfired.
It took seven years of marriage, but slowly, my faith in Star Trek was eroded. Still, I tried to cling to my tenuous belief, trusting the Great Roddenberry in the sky to renew my spirit. But then came along the thing which finally ensnared my stumbling feet in the briers of Star Wars fandom: Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels. It was innocent enough at first, my dabbling in the false religion—a Saturday morning replay of the episode “Empire Day.” I watched it and thought, “Interesting. I could watch more of this.” Of course, once something piques my interest, I have to pursue it, and pursue it I did. I had soon watched all of the Star Wars Rebels episodes available. I waited with giddy anticipation for each new episode, falling in love with each of the characters. The season one finale was amazing. I had seen the light—and it was awesome. I wanted more—but alas! There was no more. Season one was over, and we had to wait for season two. I was like a junkie in withdrawal.
So, my husband and I watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Netflix. I was hooked on Star Wars even more. I actually liked Anakin, because the show gave him some decent character development. (He’s still a creepy stalker dude, though. I will maintain that for all time.) I started branching out. I read the Kanan comic books, and I read Star Wars: A New Dawn. (Though I am not sure if you can really call that branching out when they were about characters from my new obsession of Star Wars Rebels.) When Episode VII came out, I raced to the theater. When Rogue One came out, I sat in the theater, too excited to eat my Junior Mints. And I loved it. I loved it all.
Now, I will never be as much of a Star Wars fan as my husband is. But I have come to the conclusion that I really, truly, love Star Wars. It’s for a simple reason: Star Wars is set in a deeply flawed universe.
I do not mean that the universe is full of plot holes or badly written. I mean the milieu is a galaxy filled with flaws. There is greed. There is political deception. There is a reflection of the true state of humanity that simply does not exist in Star Trek’s idealized Federation. So, because of all of these flaws, the stakes in the Star Wars milieu are much higher. In Star Trek, there are some high stakes now and then, but we are only ever given the viewpoint of the Federation. In the Star Wars universe, we are allowed to see both sides of things. The politics are more complex in Star Wars, too. The politics are interesting—I didn’t mind them so much in the prequels. (It was everything else that annoyed me.)
In short, while Star Trek has exciting episodes and great conflict and occasionally deep philosophy, the milieu is boring compared to Star Wars. Plus, I love the spiritual element of the Force and the more fantasy-oriented ways of the Jedi. There is no way to deny that laser swords are just plain cooler than a compression phaser rifle. I will always love both of these franchises, but I’m afraid (or happy) to say that Star Wars finally won. So, as I said, I am not sure if I truly get to call myself a fan. I’m more of a turncoat, really. A johnny-come-lately.
Nevertheless, I love Star Wars. And I am going to celebrate the month of May by featuring a review of something Star Wars related every Tuesday. I’ll also be posting original Science Fiction themed flash fiction stories on Fridays to keep things in the Sci-fi spirit.
So which is better, Star Wars or Star Trek? Sound off your opinions in the comments.