There has probably never been a debate to spill more nerd blood than Star Wars vs. Star Trek, and it shows no signs of slowing down. We decided to let two of our writers take a stab at this long-running battle between the two champions of science fiction. Defending Star Wars, we have Angelo D'Argenio, and Patriel Manning is defending the honor of Star Trek. Which will come out on top, a galaxy far, far away or the final frontier?
Let us know who you think won the debate in the comments section.
Angelo "Wookie Defender" D'Argenio:
Let's get one thing straight. When it comes down to the question of Star Wars vs. Star Trek, I actually like both of them. I like my Han Solos just as much as I like my Jean-Luc Picards. But when you are talking about which franchise is more awesome, especially in the video game world, how could you choose anything but Star Wars?
Let's look at this rationally, shall we? Star Trek is a gripping series about a science/exploration vessel that is tasked with probing the deepest reaches of space in order to further our understanding of the universe. That's cool. But Star Wars is a tale of psychic/magic samurai fighting a war against an evil empire in space. I mean, come on!
I could rant all day about how lightsabers are cooler than phasers and how the Death Star is cooler than the Enterprise, but I'm not going to do that. After all, "cool" is a purely subjective word. Instead, let's look at something we actually have an objective measurement for: spinoff properties.
Cheat Code Central is a video game website, so let's look at video games first. Star Trek, if you can believe Wikipedia, has 66 games, if you count spin-offs, rip-offs, and you don't filter out the repeats and multi-console ports. By the same criteria, Star Wars has 142 games. That alone is enough to prove that Star Wars is the more popular property.
But popularity doesn't necessarily equate with greatness, as the Transformers movies are so adamant about proving over and over. So let's look at how memorable these video games were. Name any Star Trek game. Quite frankly, if I were to count them on one hand, I would run out of memorable Star Trek games long before I ran out of fingers. There were a couple for the SNES or something, but that's about all I can possibly remember.
Now start thinking of some classic Star Wars video games you enjoyed. Remember the old Star Wars arcade game in all its wire-framey goodness? If not, maybe you are too young. In that case, you probably remember the "new" old Star Wars arcade game with the flight stick that re-enacted some of the best scenes form the first three movies. Then you would also remember how difficult it was to have lightsaber battles with flight stick controls.
Still not ringing a bell? Well, maybe you didn't spend a whole lot of time in the arcades. So let's talk about consoles and PCs. Perhaps you remember the original SNES games with their multi-character platforming stages. Maybe you remember Podracing from the N64 era, as glitchy as it may have been. Surely you at least remember X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, Star Wars Battlefront, Knights of the Old Republic, or Masters of Teräs Käsi?
OK, let's pretend that in some strange and bizarre alternate universe you don't remember any of those games I just mentioned. It's impossible to not take notice of The Old Republic, the new MMO that is coming out soon. People are saying SW:TOR is going to compete with—and possibly even beat—World of Warcraft. Where is the genre-defining, market-shattering, multi-million dollar MMO production for Star Trek?
Honestly, it doesn't stop at video games. Star Wars has had numerous card games, board games, role-playing games, TV spinoffs, and, of course, the movies. Star Wars had three awesome movies. (That's right, just three.)
It doesn't matter which story elements you prefer, Star Wars is just bigger. It's had more successful properties with bigger fan followings, and it continues to put out awesome new titles even today. Star Trek is really just living off of its own nostalgia at this point. It's dead, Jim.
(OK, fine, Star Wars brought us Jar Jar, the worst—and possibly most racist—sci-fi character to have ever been created. This Gungan idiot single-handedly destroyed the Star Wars prequels. But you know what? Star Trek had that George Clooney lookalike. Don't act as if he wasn't terrible in his own right!)