In my opinion Star Wars is much more sophisticated and detailed than Star Trek. The more laid back Star Trek fans known as Trekkies will disagree, while the rabid Star Trek group called Trekkers would set their phasers on kill. I intend to discuss the major ideas and technology of Star Wars and Star Trek in this essay. Personally Star Wars is the better concept, millions of other fans that have been touched by the Star Wars myth around the world will agree.
Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek as a kind of socialist morality play that hit the airwaves in the late sixties and ran for three years. It was cancelled by Paramount after three years and has been in syndication ever since. Star Trek is a fascist world run by the Federation, no money is needed by the crew, everything is provided. It is a dull, government run police state. The ultimate humanist new world order, paradise created after nuclear war had destroyed much of our world around 2000. The world of Star Trek is the Phoenix myth, out of the ashes of nuclear war comes the elite socialist paradise of the Federation Captain Kirk and the Star Ship Enterprise, along with all the spinoffs, Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyageur and new film adventures have kept these ideas going. Gene Rodenberry was the official historian to the Los Angeles police department before he wrote Star Trek. The L.A. police of the time and even today are feared for their police state style tactics. Star Trek was always on the verge of being laughable, long underwear style costumes, and fake monsters, and plaster planets. This changed with Star Trek the Motion Picture made by Paramount after Star Wars hit big. Trekkies might whine about the superiority and "science" of the Star Trek but before Star Wars they were reduced to watching Captain Kirk wrestling with bad latex monsters. Star Wars pushed the limit of the special effects world and allowed a whole new technology to be created for filmmaking. The Star Trek movies models and effects were designed and built by Industrial Light and Magic, a company started by a guy named George Lucas
George Lucas today is a bearded messiah of every kid that ever saw Star Wars and flew a model rocket X-wing fighter. Star Wars was not only the ultimate kids film or modern fairy tale the Lucas called it. It was and is the inspiration for thousands of filmmakers, artists, model makers, and weapons designers. Have you ever seen a stealth fighter at an airshow up close? The pilot is dressed like Darth Vader in flat black with dark leather gloves. A special helmet covers his head. He sits surrounded by a triangular viewscreen in the center of the cockpit. The stealth fighter can easily fit into the Star Wars universe. Kids realized that Star Wars was more than a movie when they bought the X-wing, Tie fighter model kits, and watched on television grown special effects men playing with the same 'models' on Star Wars. Thousands of artists and would be filmmakers in out of the way towns with no film production facilities realized that movies could literally be made in their garages. Star Wars was and is powerful because George Lucas pulled all the old myths out of the past and gave them to the world of the late seventies. Star Wars begins with a long time ago in a galaxy far far away The seventies was the late offspring of the ancient astronauts or we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrials concept. Pyramids and mysterious ruins are all over the Star Wars universe. Luke Skywalker is the main character through who we experience the Star Wars universe. A young man on the verge of becoming a man, who gets involved with a wizard Obi Wan Kenobi, a princess, and even a rogue, smuggler space pirate Han Solo. The fight is a classic rebellion of poor fighters surrounded by an Empire of evil storm troopers and a planet killer, -the death star. Everything in Star Wars looks used, and is old, like our own world. The technology in Star Wars is functional. Star Trek is a world of plastic consumerism gone bad. Everything is perfect. Star Wars is a world of good and evil. People die in bar room fights. Greed and corruption are rampant. Star Wars religion is the force -like our own world most people do not believe in spirit or miracles. Obi Wan Kenobi is laughed at by Han Solo over his Jedi night beliefs. Han Solo even says that he's been from one end of the galaxy to the other and had never seen the force Mind control and movement of objects through the force are also in Star Wars. Our own world today has the same skepticism towards miracles and ESP. Like the Evil Empire in Star Wars, our world would like us only to believe in death and taxes. Dreams do not come true. Well, George Lucas is a living testament that they do. An independent filmmaker that is a one man industry. With Lucasarts involved with computer effects, toys, and computer software George Lucas is going into the new millenium with the next three Star Wars movies. Episode one the Phantom Menace has as many critics as it does fans but it will change filmmaking Film is expensive because the medium of film is expensive A small 16mm film can be made by first time directors for $250, 000 USA, barely. For the next two Star Wars movies Lucas will shoot digitally, everything will be shot with the equivalent of home video cameras, and edited on computer Already the technology is being adapted by independent filmmakers. Hollywood has always been an exclusive club because developing and cutting celluloid film is expensive, lab costs regularly bankrupt first time directors and small production companies. With the new digital technologies film will become art. It will be cheap enough for filmmakers to shoot feature films, as artists, writer, painters and sculptors work today. You don't need a million dollars to tell your story. George Lucas tells would be directors to get a hi8 video camera, a computer and some actors and shoot a film. If you do it yourself it's yours -not some lawyers, banks or greedy producer.