Neil deGrasse Tyson: Why 'Star Trek' beats 'Star Wars'

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains his "meh" attitude toward "Star Wars" and why he would rather be Captain Kirk than Captain Picard.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson does his best Vulcan impression. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Whether he's talking about the weight of 300 billion elephants or battling Bill Nye the Science Guy for geek supremacy, famous astrophysicist and Star Talk Radio host Neil deGrasse Tyson is someone I pay attention to. I'm interested in his opinion and give it more weight than a lot of other people's. When he tackled one of the greatest sci-fi rivalries of all time, I perked up. "Star Trek" or "Star Wars"?

It's no secret Tyson is a major Trekkie, but his bountiful space love doesn't stretch to encompass "Star Wars" quite so much. Now we know why. "I never got into 'Star Wars,'" he admits in an interview with Business Insider (see embedded clip). "They made no attempt to portray real physics. At all."

Tyson describes himself as "old-school 'Star Trek.'" He gets into why he prefers Captain Kirk to Captain Picard. "I like the way he could make a decision on the seat of his pants, and everything about his mind, body, and soul knew that was the right decision," says Tyson.

Don't worry. Tyson isn't hating on "Star Wars." He's just expressing a preference. He does give "Star Wars" props for its portrayal of a double-star sunset. "Most stars you see in the night sky are double and triple stars," he explains.

We'll never be able to settle which sci-fi franchise reigns supreme, but it will always be fun to argue about it. It's a good thing the universe is big enough to encompass them both.

 

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