When People Confuse Star Trek and Star Wars, Nerds Go Ballistic!

I had to bite my nerd tongue when one of my peeps stated that people ask him about his son’s name being related to Star Wars. I was expecting him to insert a Luke or Han reference, maybe even a Wes or Lando mention but it turns out his name was Dax! Dax! That is soooo not even close to Star Wars – I Googled it – and is very much a Deep Space Nine reference. The kid would need to have been born after February 14, 1993 to even be named after the series. In this case there were a Dexter and a Dak in Star Wars though but these characters are not popular enough for someone to reference them and expect a non nerd would know what they were talking about.I didn’t say a thing but I ran it by another nerd who was relived I had noticed. Phew!

Do the math or research before assuming someone was named after a TV show, especially if the content was based on a book.

These type of mix ups happen in my presence all the time. Someone is really excited to share nerd facts with me and the bungle them up. Their delivery makes it even harder for me to correct them as they seem so proud of their findings and opinions. The hard part is you need to decide if your conversation partner has an open mind and can withstand and benefit from the dissertation that you are about to rain down on them or if you want to keep them ignorant and happy. Most days I opt for the elegant solution, to use the correct terms and relationships hoping they catch up on it. *Sigh* to no avail. 

Star Trek and Star Wars are so diametrically opposed no one should confuse the two. The only thing they share is the cultural diversity of worlds beyond our own in this universe, which is why the both use the word Star as a moniker. Trek is an utopian reality where science and observation rule supreme, with no religious undertones. Wars borrows from the Maquiavellian dictator vs the rebels diatribe and emulates WWII and fascism politics, organizations and tendencies. Trek’s mission is peace. Wars mission is freedom. The goal for the former is achieved with no direct military intervention. The latter’s goal was to use violence and religious mythos/prophecy to overthrown the corrupt government.

It requires two different set of personalities, or sides to a personality, to like one more than the other or love them both equally. Trek feels more like a space adaptation of Tolkien’s world. Multiple cultures work together for the greater good. Ta da! Obviously not every alien civilization agrees with The Federation’s mission so conflic does ensue. However, attacking and conquering is not the MO for deploying the cool technology and weaponry; defending the mission, the crew and the civilians is the only allowed show of force. Peace on Space, y’all! Make it so!

Wars, on the other side, is more of a social commentary, a work that hails back to Shakespeare, WWII, Samurai and Japanese culture Akira Kurosawa style mixed in with the Tolkien rethoric. Although the originals aren’t heavy on cultural diversity it does house an element of it and caters to the subject. The main character is the chosen one, the person who will bring balance to the force. Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side in the backdrop of the Empire’s rise and fall seem reminiscent of Shakespearean tragedy. The science varies by species and planets, yes, but there is no peace in this universe nor balance. That is why the Rebel Alliance must beg, borrow, cheat and steal to subvert the government and restore democracy and freedom to the Galaxy.

Lightsabers vs phasers. Spock vs Yoda. Picard vs Luke. Kirk vs Han. The Stardestroyers vs the Enterprise. So many dichotomies to choose from. All the more entertaining and unique the discussions turn because of them. The similarities are probably more than one but to the hardcore fans, they are irreconcilable. I love both shows and both have driven technology and scientific pursuits but Star Trek holds an edge on this subject though. I’m still waiting for the transparent aluminum but the rest seem within reach way sooner than a functioning Lightsaber. Lol

When refering to any of the shows, movies and incarnations of the material, be weary of calling Trek or Wars stuff out incorrectly. The nerds in your life will respect you more if you get it right than the mercy they will show their enemies for defacing their favorite franchise. They will hold lifelong grudges and will never forgive you. Google it. It’s totally worth it.

Live long and prosper…

Happy May the 4th!

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