Don’t worry – this won’t be a post on why Star Wars is better than Star Trek or pros and cons of each series. I am not well versed enough in Star Trek to even dream of writing a post like that. But now seems as good a time as any to write about the fan base of both, what with J.J. Abrams coming on board.
I used to be the person who thought that Star Trek and Star Wars couldn’t coexist. The funny thing is, I don’t even know why I thought that, it’s just that I must have heard or read somewhere, that if you were an extreme fan of one, you can’t be a fan of another. It’s similar to the Red Sox and the Yankees. If you come from Boston (which I do) and you say you root for the Yankees…well, it’s basically signing off on your own execution. Similarly, I definitely went through a stage where not only would I get insulted if you confused Star Wars and Star Trek, I would vehemently argue with any Trekkie about why Star Wars is so much better. Ten times better. A gazillion times better.
Fan groups like to be exclusive. We like to think we know everything about whatever subject and that no one knows about it as we do. So when we feel we know everything on Star Wars and it’s (clearly) the best sci-fi franchise out there, I think we take it personally when someone is arguing that their franchise is better. If anything, we should be able to relate completely because the love we feel for Star Wars is equivalent to the love Trekkies feel for Star Trek. Of course we want to immediately argue that our love is stronger and that Star Wars is better, but that is not what I’m saying. Any love that I feel as someone who works on costumes, attends conventions, and (for God’s sake!) writes a blog on Star Wars, is just as equal to a Trekkie who does the same things. Why must we be enemies? If anything, being able to relate and empathize usually brings people closer together.
I’ve relaxed my views on Star Wars vs. Star Trek over the years only because I have lately begun to think that crazy fans of either Star Trek or Star Wars do not help draw in new fans nor does it help get rid of the stereotype of “loser/geek/dork”. Wanting others to be open minded about what we like, means also being open minded to other fans, no matter where their allegiance lies.
Both series have individual merit to them. I can’t really argue for Star Trek, but I know from what I’ve seen that it’s a well done series and their movies are also pretty good. What I’m trying to say is that if we all calm down a little bit and take a deep breath – we see that it’s not the end of the world if we are at a convention and standing in line next to a Trekkie.
I guess I’m most confused about how/when/why this rivalry started. Star Trek was here first, so they have points for that. And before 1977, they were the only sci-fi franchise that had the word “Star” in it and had a huge fan base so they really didn’t have that much competition. And when Star Wars came out, not only does the title look like it’s copycatting, but now they have to defend their home turf of the greatest sci-fi story. Perhaps they went on the defensive and that’s how it all started. Honestly – this is all speculation because I wasn’t alive then, so if anyone really knows how it this rivalry began, please let me know.
I feel like it’s gotten out of hand at times. While writing this post, I decided to take a look out on the internet and see what else has written about Star Wars and Star Trek. There are SO many blogs, articles, and forums discussion the matter. It seems like a waste of time and energy in my opinion. By writing on how one is better than the other, we just feed into this unneeded angst and hatred between the two groups and create ammunition.
So I beseech the fan world: can we all be friends? Both franchises, when we come down to it, are pretty different…if not, why would we be arguing and pointing out all the differences? And if they’re so different, isn’t there enough room for everyone?