Star Trek vs Star Wars: 10 Remarkable Reasons Trekkies are Right

Star Trek vs Star Wars. Which is better? I can give you ten reasons why the answer is Star Trek. But first, I want to make one thing very clear. This is my opinion. But because I have a better understanding of what Star Trek actually is, my opinion is correct.

For those of you already pissed-off by the statement “Star Trek is better,” I want you to do something for me. Comment on this story and give us one solid reason why Star Wars is better. I can take it. Let’s talk about it.

Star Trek vs Star Wars: Why I Know Best

Star Trek was born in 1966. I was born in 1962. I remember seeing it on TV when I was about five years old. It hooked me immediately. I remember watching one particular scene, with an extremely strange-looking man (Spock) floating in some kind of chamber. I was scared and fascinated. My parents told me to go to bed because “this show is too old for you.”

I never forgot the feeling I got from that show. It was mysterious, a little scary, but super exciting. There was nothing like it on TV at the time. It was a “strange, new world.” When Star Trek went into reruns, I was all over it. It continued to make me feel like I felt back when I was little—like I was exploring right along with them. I was also deeply in love with Spock and always will be.

I remember seeing Star Wars too – when it first came out in 1977. Technically, that was Episode IV – A New Hope. It was really cool, visually. And Harrison Ford was hot. I did like those first three movies a lot. But it wasn’t Star Trek. Star Trek was special. It was, and still is, better.

“Better” Means Nerdier

Both Star Wars and Star Trek are firmly tied into our cultural subconscious. Both are worthy of great praise. But Star Trek is the nerdier of the two. This website is called Nerd Night News. I am here as a voice of nerdness. Thus, my criteria for the following 10 reasons why Star Trek is better than Star Wars is based on how each exemplifies the qualities of nerdness.

Star Trek vs. Star Wars – 10 Reasons Star Trek Wins

#1 Star Trek was the first nerd fandom

You all know what a fandom is. Trekkies, or Trekkers, were the first. The first sighting of a Trekker can be traced back to a letter dated March of 1967, in which a woman declared herself to be a member of the Star Trek Underground Watcher’s Society. Then the first Star Trek fanzine came out in September of 1967. And then the first unofficial fan convention happened in 1969. But when the show was canceled (and came back in syndication), things really took off. The First International Star Trek Convention” took place in 1972, when Luke Skywalker was still in diapers.

#2 Star Wars is too cute

Star Wars has way too much cute stuff in it. There are cute robots and fuzzy wookies and super cute and fuzzy Ewoks. There are even cute aliens. The only cute fuzzy things in Star Trek were tribbles. You have to be careful with “cute” when it comes to nerdness. Too much cute and you vear into the mainstream.  

#3 Star Trek’s outfits are epic nerd

Star Wars: Episode IV Cast
Star Trek Cast

Take a look. Do I need to say more? Obviously, the real nerds are wearing the Star Fleet uniforms.

#4 Star Wars has too many special effects

Too often in Star Wars, computer-generated special effects pull your attention away from the story. In the later movies, it got almost ridiculous. When story loses out to “cool effects,” the story is diminished. Nerds understand this. Excellent special effects appeal to the masses. Anything that appeals to the masses is contrary to nerd code.

#5 Star Trek has the winners

Nerds love heroes, especially ones that win. Both Star Trek and Star Wars have their share of heroes, but in Star Trek, the heroes (almost) always save the day. In Star Wars, the bad guys win (almost) half the time. While both deal with philosophical stuff—life, death, etc.—Star Trek’s overall take on humankind and its future is positive. 

#6 Star Wars is a love story

Nerds like love, they really do. But it is not their main area of expertise. They would rather talk about whether Spock or Data was the best second-in-command than the love affair between way-too-many people in Star Wars. The love stories in Star Trek are manageable and take a backseat to the action. But love is a driving force in Star Wars. Ick.

#7 Star Trek’s Mission is a Nerd’s Mission

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

That sounds an awful lot like the definition of a nerd, right? We explore strange new worlds and seek to learn as much as we can about them, right? Same mission.

#8 The Cantina Scene

The cantina scene in the first Star Wars movie is simply too well done to be truly nerdy. It has the perfect music, the best gathering of aliens ever, and Harrison Ford. It is epic and it is cool. But it is too cool for nerds.

#9 Star Wars is Too Popular

This is perhaps the most obvious reason why Star Trek is better than Star Wars. Star Wars reached its fantasy sci-fi-self out into the big, mainstream world and caught a lot of people.

Too much popularity is the downfall for anything truly nerdy. Nerds are nerds because they like non-mainstream stuff. Yes, nerdness itself is becoming… popular. But it’s not too far gone yet. This is why we need to remember where our roots lie and proudly proclaim the fact that Star Trek is better than Star Wars.

#10 Star Trek has Spock

This final reason why Star Trek is better than Star Wars needs no explanation. I challenge anyone to find a greater nerd in the entire history of nerdness than Spock. 

In conclusionStar Trek vs Star Wars

I am a nerd. An old nerd. I was around when “nerds” were born. So I understand them. I am sure that, between the two, Star Trek best exemplifies the nerd code and is thus better than Star Wars.

If you disagree, leave us a comment and tell us why. If you agree, you can also leave a comment. Trekkies unite!

PS. I must confess that, on one point, Star Wars clearly takes the cake for nerdness. They have the toys. 

Star Wars wins the prize for best nerd toys.

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2 Comments

  1. I think there are different “types” of nerds. I grew up on Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and D&D, and consider myself a huge nerd, but not a huge fan of sci-fi. I guess I’m more of a fantasy nerd, and it feels a little like comparing apples to orangutans, but here’s the perspective of a Star Wars nerd:

    Any fantasy series will lose this contest when you make the assumption that nerdiness favors sci-fi over fantasy. But from a literary perspective (which sounds pretty frickin’ nerdy to me), Star Wars is the clear winner. It is the textbook definition of the hero’s journey because George Lucas based the story off of Joseph Campbell’s research into the monomyth in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. Star Wars follows the story structure that has proven throughout millennia to resonate with the human condition, and for that reason it is immensely popular (which is for some reason listed as a downside in the Star Wars VS Star Trek article). Granted, being popular does not necessarily make something good (e.g.: Moby Dick, Twilight, SpongeBob), but being good will often make something popular (e.g.: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Stranger Things).

    Personally, I feel like a good story is more valuable than believability, and sci-fi’s goal (and, by extension, Star Trek’s) is always to achieve plausibility. Lucas’ goal was to tell a good story. They both achieved their goals, without question, I just think one is more noble than the other, but again, I’m comparing apples to orangutans, so who am I to say?

    1. Thank you very much for commenting. You are … not wrong!
      But I don’t understand the whole “Sci-Fi” thing?? what makes one thing Sci Fi and the other fantasy?? Are you saying Star Wars is fantasy not Sci-Fi?

      I took a class on Medieval Literature and all about Campbell and was told Star Trek was the first modern day heroes saga!
      I can see that Star Trek is not “fantasy” – but surely Star Wars has plenty of Sci-Fi.
      (Honestly, I don’t know the technical difference between the two. I hope someone else out there can enlighten me)
      Thanks again!!

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