Star Trek and Star Wars are not in some desperate war with one another.
The Guardian’s Ben Child recently that with the current installment of shows and a new movie on the horizon, that Star Trek was in a position to overtake Star Wars in the battle for Star supremacy. It’s an interesting article, sure, but it’s not one that’s completely accurate. Sure, the two have been long-tied together for years, but to claim that Trek is going to overtake Wars is misguided and for one major reason;
They’re not competing with one another. Saying Star Trek and Star Wars is the same type of entertainment is like saying a burrito bowl and cholate lava cake are food. Sure, they’re both edible but they’re both made to serve wildly different needs. The burrito bowl is filled with veggies, fruits, proteins, and the like. A healthy-ish dish to get your daily dose of whatever.
The chocolate lava cake tastes great but offers nothing other than a dopamine hit.
This isn’t meant as a knock on Star Wars or to bolster Star Trek. Star Wars is a swashbuckling, fun-filled adventure story. While Star Trek is a morality tale. They’re both important, they’re both fun, they’re both great forms of entertainment.
They’re also both wildly different.
This is why so many people resent the newer Star Trek materials because everyone can clearly see that Bad Robot and Secret Hideout are doing everything they can to make Trek into a Wars-like spectacle.
Trek is a stage play set in space, while Wars is a pop concert.
Star Trek and Star Wars are not competing, so let’s stop pretending they are
In the grand scheme of things, Star Wars is the more profitable franchise. That’s not a knock on Star Trek at all. Trek and Wars cater to do different types of people, with Trek catering (or used to cater) to the die-hard science fiction fan who loved to explore new stories each and every week, while Wars cut out the societal conversations and instead went full-tilt into a space opera. It worked, the original franchise is still beloved nearly 40+ years later.
To simply put it once again, Star Trek and Star Wars cater to different types of fans or the same fan in different moods. Star Wars caters to fans of flashy and big spectacle types of stories, while Star Trek caters to a quieter and story-driven story, where what you learn is as important as anything else.
Neither is more important than one another, and neither is less important than one another. Trek is a bit more sophisticated, while Wars is a bit more fun. They both have their value in that regard and both should do as much as possible to stay out of the other’s lane.
We love them for what they are. We don’t want them to become one another.