Editor’s Note: As part of a content writing experiment, this post was originally published on my pop culture and freelance writing site, The Broken Quill.
I’ve never really explored the differences between these two franchises from a fan’s point of view. Obviously, people know me as a staunch Star Wars fan and supporter, but I am also a fan of Star Trek.
It’s okay to be a fan of both, right? Well, some may say “no” you cannot be a fan of both. And I get that. But for the sake of this blog post, I’ll remain a super fan of Star Wars and someone who appreciates Star Trek.
The Differences Between Star Wars and Star Trek
There are dozens of ways that Star Wars and Star Trek are the same, but it’s more interesting to look at how they differ from each other.
Star Trek started off as a TV show all about travelling the universe and encountering different species while trying to keep the peace amongst the many races of the galaxy. While Star Wars does have elements of this, Star Wars is focused a lot more on particular characters and their stories (struggles) and how they impact one another. Star Wars is also very much a universe where the good and the evil clash often.
You could argue that Star Trek has its main characters to focus on as well, and in the cinematic universe, we have seen some of the main characters at different stages of their lives and careers. But for me, Star Trek really is all about Star Trekking, which kind of makes sense since it’s in the title of the show.
The Prominent Characters as Heroes
This area of both franchises definitely overlaps as we can see with each trilogy of the Star Wars films, a prominent “hero” is the primary focus. And in the case of Star Trek, while most members of the crew (in both the TV show and the films), could be considered “heroic”, the main hero per se, at least for me, is always the Captain, Commander or Admiral.
I think, therefore, that Star Wars and Star Trek definitely share this common theme but I would say that Star Wars has pushed the boundaries a little further in terms of character development of the heroic figure.
The Hero Becomes The Villain
I was wracking my brain trying to think of a time when the main character in Star Trek actually became the villain. And then I remembered Jean-Luc Picard actually became the villain when he was assimilated into the Borg.
So there are a lot of similarities between the two franchises, but I still think the defining feature of Star Trek is having characters able to “go where no one has gone before”. Travelling the universe will always be a very cool way to be employed. Although becoming a Jedi or a Sith is equally as appealing.
“Live Long and Prosper” versus “May The Force Be With You”
Yoda is definitely one of the trademark characters of the Star Wars franchise. And I would say as his equal, Spock carries a similar level of importance in the Star Trek universe (some Star Wars fans may see that as a blasphemy).
Both Yoda and Spock were highly trusted individuals of the “hero” figure characters in their respective franchises. Both were exceptionally important to the plot and development of said hero characters as well as being exceptionally wise, advising the best course of action when the hero had no idea where to turn.
For me, it’s quite clear how similar they are and how important they are to each franchise. And as characters, they are both “wise and knowledgeable” beings who support their heroes in any way they can.
This is a vast topic and one I’m probably going to have to revisit in another post, but for now, I’m going to use both of these famous sayings in one sentence!
Live Long and Prosper and May The Force Be With You!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments – Trekkie or Star Wars fan, I am keen to hear what you think!
Until my next post, keep writing, and I’ll catch you later!