Bill Nye has three ready answers to the oft-repeated question: Which is better, “Star Trek” or “Star Wars”?
In the wake of the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” global blockbuster performance, recently earning the fastest $1 billion in Hollywood history, Bill Nye’s interview with the “Rolling Stone” has become even more relevant to the raging discussion.
Bill Nye, of course, is the “science guy,” and being the science guy means he’ll stand by his science guns no matter what. But what exactly makes “Star Trek” better? Bill offers these three reasons, which we simply try to flesh out.
1. “Star Wars” is more about family conflict than about anything else. Characters have enduring father issues, and these deep-seated conflicts propel the story forward. Also for this reason, Star Wars is essentially Shakespearean, only made seemingly “scientific” with the use of laser guns and light sabers and space travel. But what it is really is about king and princes and nobility. “Star Trek” doesn’t have that.
2. “The Force” is more magic than science fiction. The Force is more supernatural, something that resonates with faithful believers of religion. It’s an invisible thing that has superpowers, and its nature is often tied up with a lot of plot holes that the more avid fans of Star Wars have identified. How do you harness the Force? How long does it take to master it? What exactly can it do, and up to what extent? Every episode of Star Wars seems to offer a different, sometimes conflicting answer.
3. “Star Trek” has a more optimistic view about a future involving science. While Star Wars have flying ships and intergalactic travel and blowing up entire planets at the press of an awesome Death Star button, the dynamics or science is never explained. On the other hand, in Star Trek, the science is always a key part of the fiction, its plot always based on what mankind knows about physics at the moment. And more importantly, Star Trek is more optimistic: it is based on real physics.
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