A longtime Star Trek fan talks about his jealousy of Star Wars’ place in society.
Today is Star Wars Day. May the fourth. Get it? I like Star Wars. I think it’s fine. I’ve seen most the movies multiple times and I find them generally agreeable. I saw my first one when I was five years old at a friends house. It was Empire Strikes back, which is now my favorite, but at the time it was just the only one I’d seen. I thought it was neat. At the same time, I didn’t end up seeing the rest until I was fifteen.
I wasn’t really sorry I waited because even though they’re generally good those movies never really grabbed me. When The Phantom Menace was set to be released me and my friend Brandon made a deal to see them on repeat. We were going to meet up after school and watch as many screenings as we could before the theater closed. Just keep on going back in and watching them over and over. I watched it once and had more than enough. He kept on seeing them. I just went home.
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I saw my first episode of TNG when I was twelve and was immediately hooked. No waiting ten years afterward to watch more Trek. I didn’t even wait ten days. I watched the next episode I could and every single one I could after. My mission from that moment on was to watch all the Star Trek I could get my eyes on.
As a Trek guy, I’ve always been a little resentful of all the place that Star Wars takes up in the cultural landscape. I resent how Star Wars is considered the “cool” sci-fi franchise (I resent that it’s even considered sci-fi for that matter). I enjoyed that the Star Wars reboots were treated with such reverence. But I was also upset that the initial trailer for The Force Awakens seemed to be made with more care and attention to detail than Into Darkness. I’m happy for diehard Star Wars fans, but I’m also a little jealous.
I mean for Pete’s sake this is Star Trek. One of the most enduring and beloved franchises of all time. It’s not like it’s some low rent crap franchise like Stargate or seaQuest DSV.
The Star Wars reboots are treated with kid gloves because nobody could ever dare to upset the legions of Star Wars fans, whereas the Star Trek reboots, at times, seemed to be nothing more than a lengthy and pricey audition to get handed the reins to the Star Wars franchise. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate Star Trek 2009 or Beyond but I felt something was missing both times. I’m resentful. I mean for Pete’s sake this is Star Trek. One of the most enduring and beloved franchises of all time. It’s not like it’s some low rent crap franchise like Stargate or seaQuest DSV.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m hopeful about all the news coming out about Discovery and looking forward to the new movies. I just wish the studios treated the Star Trek franchise and its fans the same way that they do Star Wars and its fans. Where each new movie and property has to live up to impossibly high standards because of the place it holds in our collective hearts. Not something to be constantly retooled so that it might attract a different (read: better) fanbase because the existing fans that have been sustaining it all these years don’t know what makes it great. So for every person who wishes me a happy Star Wars Day, I’ll be throwing up the Vulcan salute and telling them to live long and prosper.