The Great “Star Wars vs. Star Trek” Debate

I saw a video on YouTube today, showing an immagined confrontation between a Star Wars battle fleet, and the Starship Enterprise.  It’s called, simply, “Star Trek vs. Star Wars”, and I’ve embedded it here:

 

This seems like a pretty realistic comparison of the relative power levels between Star Wars technology and Star Trek.  Although a Super Star Destroyer is hundreds of times larger than the Enterprise, Star Wars is a Fusion-reactor level technology, whereas Star Trek is Matter-Antimatter.

Also, except for Hyperspace (where, incidentally, Star Wars ships fly essentially blind) and The Force, everything in Star Wars is limited to the speed of light, including that Megalaser.  However, Star trek’s sensors and comm operate at Subspace speeds, and the Enterprise can easily detect, evade, and/or outrun any laser- or particle-based weapon.

Still, with the ammount of power generated by that moon-sized fusion reactor, it was wise for the Enterprise to get outta dodge–even Star Trek shields couldn’t have taken that massive charge!

So … believable or not–and I think both series rely quite alot on our ability to suspend our disbelief–I think this little battle between good and evil makes sense.

Which brings me to another old Star Wars memory of mine, from back in the days when I played the Star Wars Role-playing game.  That was the original D-6 version originally published by West End Games.  I had a young Jedi-wannabe by the name of Marlin Lazon.  Back in the day, Biggs, Luke, and I were the Begger’s Canyon Trio.  We used to compete to see who was the hottest, fastest, CRAZIEST pilot on Tatoine!–at least, until Biggs left for the academy.   You know that reunion with Biggs and Luke in the movie?   That happend about half an hour before I got there and we celebrated old times with a little tete-a-tete.

Well, things change fast in the Star Wars Extended Universe.  While Luke’s family was purchasing a pair of used droids, me and the guys who would become my adventuring group came across information that the Empire was about to waylay Admiral Antillies and his diplomatic mission to Alderaan.  (We had no idea about any Death Star … that was Luke’s part of history.)  However, we quickly set out for Mos Eisley to smuggle the information to a place called Yavin, which our freighter contact told us could best make use of the information.

Walking into the Mos Eisley Cantina, the aforementioned freighter captain came face-to-blaster-barrel with a small-time bounty hunter named Gredo.  “Going somewhere, captain?” our gamemaster intoned, in a PERFECT imitation of the Star Wars character’s tone and inflection.  Complaining that he didn’t have the money, our captain suggested that he was only a small-time smuggler, and suggested Gredo might go after “one of the big guys?  Like Solo?”  Just then, into the bar walked Han Solo himself.  Gredo smiled, pulling the blaster out of the freighter captain’s face.  “Excuse me,” he said–also in the Star Wars “Gredo-talk”–and marched to his place in the cannon of Star Wars history.

Now, we all know the “story” of the confrontation between Gredo and Han (Yes, HAN FIRED FIRST!  In an era of charged-energy weapons, he would have been STUPID to let that bounty hunter live long enough to squeze the trigger first!)  And I’ll never forget the reunion of the Beggers’ Canyon Three–the last time I saw my friend Biggs alive.  Too bad I couldn’t have flown in Luke’s squadron; I’ll always wonder if Biggs would have survived.  But then, I was a Y-wing pilot, and flying in a different squadron–one of the squadrons George Lucas added for the Special Edition version.  In fact, you can actually hear my character in one of the Death Star scenes!  I swear, I spoke some of those exact phrases in the battle, years before the Special Edition film was made!  It was simply uncanny!  But what really holds this memory firmly in my mind, and what my fellow gamer will live with for the rest of the Extended Universe, is that it was his character that ultimately got poor Gredo killed.

We would go on to influence things in the background.  I and my collegues defeated a team of would-be sith, and destroyed an early version of the Sun-Crusher.  I found I could almost pass for a dark-sider, with my black-hulled astromech, simply by sitting in a scene and saying nothing … until I spoke softly and emotionlessly, “Shall I prepare your shuttle .. master?”  Even the “Sith-dudes” got chills!  Plus, I eventually started a collection of battle droids.  I discovered that R4 had enough internal memory to control about a dozen of those otherwise mindless blasters-with-feet, and could provide a good cover screen for a group of advancing Jedi and their supporters.

And, unlike Darth Maul or Anakin Skywalker, I didn’t fight with multiple ‘saber blades.  I found an oversized energy crystal, and I built a massive two-handed saber with a blade that could extend from two meters to over three meters long!  The blade was ten centimeters across!  This was before the Wizards of the Coast D-20 version of the game that offered rules for that kind of thing!

Ah, the memories.  Sadly, that gaming group disbanded, and when I again joined a group that played Star Wars, it was the D-20 game, with a greatly reduced Force Powers system, and set nearly 20 years after the original trilogy.  I’m playing Marlin Lazon, Jr., the son of my original concept, and Gaath Dauk, a man who wants to rebuild the ancient Sith tradition, but without being rivals to the Jedi.  (Actually, Gaath’s signature phrase is, “Be GRATEFUL I am on your side!” to his two Jedi collegues.  “The only problem with the Jedi council is, they don’y even have a SITH!”)

It’s too bad, too.  We were already on our way to Bespin following a lead on information that the empire might be building another Death Star.  Had the original gaming group survived, you might have seen my character stalking through the Ewok Forest with Luke and Han in the Special Edition remake!  HONEST!  I really believe George Lucas had a spy monitoring our gaming group for ideas for his Star Wars remakes–after all, he DID put me in the battle of Yavin IV!

SASS has Spoken.

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2 Comments »

  1. Tulkas said

    The original Star Trek seemed to have quite an edge over Star Wars; the ship was capable of moving about the galaxy pretty quickly, the shields were almost impervious to just about anything (including nuclear weapons and the Doomsday machine), the ship could fight at hundreds of times lightspeed, its weapons moved at thousands of times lightspeed etc. Likewise, the science and action weren’t just for show, as the plot was pretty deep, and not simply based on stagnant mysticism. Even Khan and Kirk respected each other in a very fundamental way, as a show of passing of leadership from hierarchy to populism, as we were shown that the Enterprise crew would sooner die a slow death, one by one, than join even the most charismatic dictator; even Khan understood this, and he owed Kirk a great debt of gratitute, in a very deep message of hope for Earth’s future– Khan wasn’t portrayed as “evil,” simply obsolete. Meanwhile in contrast, Star Wars was based entirely on mysticism and cyclical history, where as one single dictator was able to bamboozle an entire galaxy– and millenia of democracy, ended with thunderous applause. And then it ended as quickly as it started, when a family squabble resolved– and the same family resumed the order of elite rulers.

    However, my problems with Star Trek, began with the movies: particularly “Wrath of Khan,” where it seemed that the writers pretty much threw away everything in the depth and canon, in order to try to compete with Star Wars– as proven when Khan became a raving one-dimensional villain, hoisted Chekov one-handed, just like Vader did with Captain Antilles. Here, it was proven that Star Wars space-flight is far superior to that of Star Trek, since the Falcon was able to come out of hyperspace at the exact point where Alderaan was supposed to be, and spotted the planet missing immediately, and knew it was destroyed– but meanwhile in Star Trek, the Reliant wasn’t even able to tell that an entire planet was missing from the Ceti star system, and the orbits were shifted along with everything else!
    Likewise, shields were so weak that they didn’t work in a nebula, sensors didn’t function, shields were pretty useless overall, etc– and, insult of insults, irony of ironies, Khan proved one-dimensional LITERALLY, as Kirk ended up beating him, by the brilliant move of going UP, and letting Khan pass him in the fog that was the plot.
    And it just went downhill from there: STIII simply reversed everything that STII accomplished, but traded in the Enterprise for a Klingon ship, of all things; then it became the USS GreenPeace saving the whales, finding God with space-hippies, and then finally they had Kirk SURRENDERING TO KLINGONS in order to SAVE A TREATY.
    And then they wonder how they got Picard to be such a wimp?

    So basically, you have Star Trek pre-TWOK and post-TWOK: i.e. mankind’s future based on science and moral depth, vs. preachy sensationalism and hooey.

    • sassman said

      Yes, they certainly did screw the pooch in a lot of ways with those movies. Of course, Reliant didn’t exactly screw up. There WAS a planet floating out there, right where CA-6 was supposed to be…it just happened to be the WRONG planet in Ceti-Alpha Six’s orbit…duh. Probably sensors on some remote outpost saw the explosion, and the scientists knew there was supposed to be a missing planet, and Kirk neglected to tell anyone that he left a dangerous 20th-century superbeing in that system, and the comedy of errors exploded from there.

      Then again, we’re living in an age where good acting is often pre-opted for sophisticated special effects.

      But then, it isn’t Gene Roddenbery we have to blame for that…it’s George Lucas.

      — the SASS Man

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