I was raised on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Picard was my hero and I had a crush on Wesley. Give me a break on the whole Wesley thing, please. I was only 5. We had the episodes recorded off the tv onto VHS and my brother and I would watch favorite episodes over and over again. My all-time favorite Star Trek episode is definitely “Darmok.” I do have to admit, I also thought Star Wars was pretty cool too. I even got together with my friends and dressed up as characters to go to the theater to see movies when they were rereleased in the late 1990’s. While I am not in love with the latest Star Wars movies nor of the latest Star Trek movie, I think I can still say I am a fan of both.
When George Takei released his video calling out for Star Trek and Star Wars to unite on a common front against Twilight, I was impressed. Others were too, apparently. Even The Guardian covered the story. I know there has been this line drawn between Star Wars and Star Trek. Is one better than the other? Well, I agree with Mr. Takei- it really doesn’t matter whether one is better than the other. They are both classic Sci-Fi and should be honored as such. Shatner’s and Fisher’s egos aside, I think it’s best both camps of fans live and let live in Sci-Fi harmony.
And Mr. Takei is right. Twilight is a threat to everything I hold dear as a nerd. It’s a terrible story. The vampires sparkle. I mean… sparkle… really? But aside from that, the books are poorly written. There is no level where they are close to what could be called good literature. I always thought that the Harry Potter series was not well written, but as literature, it shines compared to the drivel that is Twilight. I would let my children (they don’t actually exist yet) read Harry Potter, but never Twilight.
The Star Trek episode “Darmok” is called to mind in all of this. If you don’t know the episode, you should go watch it. It’s about two completely different cultures, trying to understand each other and broker peace. Captain Picard discovers that though they are speaking different languages, that they really both have very similar values. This is what I feel about Star Trek and Star Wars. They both are imparting moral lessons and encompass those things that Sci-Fi fans truly love: the future, technology, drama, heroism, and most importantly, it changes your perspective on how you are living your life in present day. I believe that Star Wars and Star Trek both accomplish these things. Twilight does not. Star Wars and Star Trek might be speaking two different languages, but deep down they are reaching for the same goals.
If you are looking for something good to read, I highly recommend: Ursula K. Le Guin, Asimov, Ray Bradbury, the Dune Series, or Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
So, with that said, I think I’m going to go have a Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon or maybe a Star Wars one. I’m not really sure yet.
“Temba, his arms wide!”