23 reasons Star Wars is better than Star Trek

Commentary: Strong arguments can be made for both sides of the long-running Star-Trek-or-Star-Wars debate. Here, we present some points Captain Kirk won't like.

Fox Van Allen
1 of 24 Disney Plus

Wars vs. Trek

Both Star Wars and Star Trek have legions of devoted fans passionately defending their favorite sci-fi series. So which is best? Click through the photos to see all the amazing and thrilling elements that make Star Wars the most epic sci-fi saga in the galaxy.

Don't worry Trekkies, we have your response right here.

2 of 24 20th Century Fox

Lightsaber battles

Don't get us wrong, the Klingon bat'leth is a deadly handheld weapon. But there's not a single instance of bat'leth combat with higher stakes than Darth Vader's lightsaber battles in Star Wars.

3 of 24 Douglas Kirkland/Corbis

Better alien design

Alien races in Star Wars are actual works of art, painstakingly crafted by some of the best artists and puppeteers of their time, including Muppets alum Frank Oz.

4 of 24 Viacom

Dog unicorns

Star Trek's alien races and species include space hippies, humans wearing face paint and glued-on textures, and this costumed dog.

5 of 24 Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis

John Williams' score

Star Trek may have a memorable theme song, but the music from Star Wars is absolutely iconic. From the epic-opening theme to the Mos Eisley Cantina Band jam to the Rebel Fanfare, every part of John Williams' Academy Award-winning score fits the action perfectly.

6 of 24 20th Century Fox

The better protagonist

Let's compare key protagonists Luke Skywalker and Captain Kirk for a moment, shall we?

Skywalker is a child of destiny tasked with saving, essentially, all of existence from both the Empire and his corrupted father. Kirk is on a government mission to explore the clumsiest allegories the universe has to offer.

7 of 24 20th Century Fox

We know Star Wars quotes by heart

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

"Use the Force, Luke."

"Do. Or do not. There is no try."

We could sit around delivering iconic lines from Star Wars all day long. It's just way more quotable than Star Trek.

8 of 24 Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

A great sense of humor

Star Wars isn't a comedy, but it has more than its share of great comedic moments.

"I love you."

"I know."

Star Trek has a handful of lighter moments, sure, but humor just isn't a part of its DNA.

9 of 24 20th Century Fox

Superior weaponry

Let's do a side-by-side weapon comparison: Han Solo walks around with a badass blaster at his side, and he's not afraid to use it in wretched hives of scum and villainy.

Captain Kirk uses a phaser that looks like a hot glue gun. Pew, pew.

10 of 24 Electronic Arts

Better video games

We've largely come to expect that movie- and TV-based video games will be terribad. And indeed, there are a slew of Star Trek titles that are unplayable affronts to the franchise.

For example, CNET sister site GameSpot said 2013's Star Trek The Video Game is a "mess of bugs, glitches, and thoroughly uninspired shooting."

Somehow, Star Wars has largely bucked the trend. Sure, there are stinkers here and there, but they're more than overshadowed by great games including the re-released Super Star Wars, Lego Star Wars, and the killer, new Star Wars Battlefront.

11 of 24 Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

Han Solo, aka 'the guy who shot first'

He's uber-cool, he's cocky and he gets to deliver the best lines. Is it any wonder smuggler-turned-hero Han Solo is one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars franchise?

Sorry, Captain Kirk, you don't have anything on this space ace.

12 of 24 20th Century Fox


The Star Trek universe is home to many high-speed vehicles, but few of them ever engage in exciting, high-speed chases.

"Return of the Jedi," meanwhile, features a dramatic Speeder getaway through the dense forests of Endor -- one of the best movie chase sequences of all time, period.

13 of 24 Ki Price/Corbis

Star Wars merch > Star Trek merch

New Star Wars toys don't just quietly appear on store shelves. No, the launch of new Star Wars toys are events where fans dress in costumes, attend midnight release parties and celebrate together.

Investment firm Piper Jaffray estimates that more than $3 billion worth of Star Wars merch will be sold in 2015, much of it scooped up during the Force Friday midnight launch in September. Check out a gallery of the coolest new Star Wars merch here.

14 of 24 Disney

Star Tours

Star Trek fans, what is your answer to Star Tours, the $32 million choose-your-own-adventure Disneyland ride starring R2D2, C-3PO and Paul "Pee Wee" Reubens?

The answer is there is no answer.

15 of 24 20th Century Fox


According to the American Film Institute, Darth Vader is the third greatest villain in movie history.

He has a compelling "turned to the dark side" backstory, he can choke a dude from 20 yards, he blows up entire planets, and -- if that's not enough -- he tries to corrupt his own son into joining his plan to overthrow the Emperor.

Star Trek's Khan is a terrific villain too; it's just that the threat of Vader and the Empire loom larger.

16 of 24 20th Century Fox

Magic is awesome

Despite being set in a high-tech world of holograms and lightsabers, much of the Star Wars plot is driven by magic, not science.

Star Wars is science fantasy, not science fiction, and we're totally OK with that. The less you know about the dark-side powers wielded by Palpatine and Vader, the more fearsome they appear.

17 of 24 20th Century Fox

Better special effects

You can always count on big-budget Star Wars movies to have big-budget special effects. Even in 1977, filmmakers built intricate scale models, utilized clever camera work and recruited Jim Henson's team to create lifelike alien puppets. Much still holds up today thanks to the old-school techniques used.

The original Star Trek series can't compete here; it just didn't have the budget. Modern-day J.J. Abrams' Star Trek won't hold up over time, either -- the CGI will look dated as hell in just a few more years.

18 of 24 20th Century Fox

Better plot twists

From Yoda's surprise status as a Jedi master to the revelation that Luke, Leia, and Darth Vader are part of one big family, the Star Wars franchise is loaded with huge, meaningful twists.

As for Star Trek twists? In the old-school version, twists involve holodeck malfunctions and surprise alien powers. The new school isn't much better: J.J. Abrams would end up apologizing for a bungled Khan reveal in "Star Trek: Into Darkness."

19 of 24 20th Century Fox


Admittedly, it's a controversial point: If you were born before 1975, you probably hate Ewoks. They were the Jar Jar Binks of their time.

But those of us who identify as children of the '80s are absolutely in love with Ewoks. They're small, cute and live in trees. But they also eat human flesh, take down AT-STs with primitive weapons, and know how to throw a victory party.

20 of 24 20th Century Fox

Billy Dee Williams

What's not to like about Billy Dee Williams and his Star Wars character Lando Calrissian? He gambles, smuggles, runs Cloud City, has a great redemption storyline, and can pilot the Millennium Falcon like nobody's business.

Oh, and we'll be damned if he doesn't look amazing in a cape. Star Trek characters only wish they had that level of swag. There's simply no comparable character in Star Trek. Lando is one-of-a-kind, and that's why we love him.

21 of 24

Chewie! Chewie! Chewie!

Chewbacca is arguably the best sidekick a smuggler-turned-hero could ever ask for. The Wookiee is fiercely loyal, stands 8 damn feet tall, and can handle a bowcaster like nobody's business.

We like Spock too, but has he ever thrown a couple of storm troopers off of Cloud City to save his best friend?

22 of 24 20th Century Fox

C-3PO and R2-D2

Data and the Borg have nothing on C-3PO and R2-D2: The Star Wars droids are the ones with all the personality and comedic timing. And they actually look like robots.

23 of 24 20th Century Fox

Compelling spacecraft

The USS Enterprise is beautiful on camera. But does it have the rugged charm of Solo's souped-up cargo ship? Does it have the maneuverability and dog-fighting capability of TIE Fighters? Is it the size of a class-four moon?

Star Wars spaceships are built for action, not exploration.

24 of 24 Kino Ortega/Demotix/Corbis

Boba Fett

Why do we love Boba Fett so much? Is it the mystery of his greater-than-life presence? The way he walks the line between good and evil, adhering to his own code of honorable badass-ery? His awesome scavenged armor look?

Star Trek just doesn't have Boba Fett in it. It will never have Bobb Fett in it. Hence, Star Wars must be better than Star Trek.

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