Last week when Star Trek Beyond hit theaters, there was an article being spread around that said there wasn’t room for Trek anymore now that we’re getting Star Wars every year. This is completely wrong, just on the basis that Star Trek and Star Wars are two completely different things.
The type of person who thinks this just sees the “Star” in both titles and believes the two franchises are similar because they’re set in space.
Star Wars is space fantasy. It has knights with laser swords, castles, palaces, and princesses. It’s set in a galaxy far, far away and a long time ago. It’s a very different type of storytelling than Star Trek, as the focus is more on epic space opera than smaller personal stories.
Star Trek is pure science fiction. It’s set in our galaxy, in our distant future. It tells more thoughtful and philosophical stories addressing real-life issues in a way that is more easily digestible to normal viewers.
The way the two franchises tell their stories is also different. Star Wars features scoundrels, knights, royalty, soldiers, and robots in a fantastical universe. Star Trek (at least since Nicholas Meyer) has been “Horatio Hornblower in Space” where they are naval vessels exploring our galaxy.
And yes, I am aware that it was Star Wars that pushed Paramount to make Star Trek: The Motion Picture. But the funny thing is that TMP is actually the most ‘Star Trek’ of any of the movies, with Star Trek Beyond also coming very close to that standard.
For those who haven’t seen it yet, Star Trek Beyond is the absolute best of the Kelvin Timeline reboot movies. It’s set three years into the five year mission, and the characters have become the family Trek fans are familiar with. They’re on the first-name basis we remember from the original cast movies, and the whole thing feels like a classic Original Series episode only with a huge budget and none of the camp. If you’re a Star Trek fan, you have to see it. It’s excellent.
So both Star Trek and Star Wars, despite the sharing the first word in their titles, couldn’t be more different. There’s obviously overlap in the fans of both, but there’s so much different between the two series that there’s definitely room for both even with the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm and the coming of yearly Star Wars movies.