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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

When talking about geek culture and famous films, Star Trek and Star Wars always come to mind. Somehow, these franchises have become such an important part of the cinematic industry and have impacted some modern acts, like Rebel Moon and Alien, more so our personal lives, with beloved characters and interesting storylines.  

But, in popularity, the story created by George Lucas has always stood out, which doesn’t mean it’s the better one, or the worse, it’s just the shortest and the easiest to digest, in a way that there’s less politics and important social topics. What do the two of the most famous franchises in the world have in common and what are their differences?  


In September of 1966, the pilot for the original Star Trek: Original Series premiered on the NBC channel, and with that the famous franchise was born. The major story line of the show develops in a starship, the USS Enterprise, and follows the crew of a five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before”, as stated on the opening monologue. After the public´s good reception, another series aired an animated one, and then in 1979, these characters finally were seen on the silver screen, on Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Besides all the commercial success of the franchise, cultural and social impact were trademarks of the screenplay, for example, in the series pilot “The Cage”, Number one became the first ever female character to command a ship after Captain Pike and some of the crew beam down to a planet and are faced with challenges.  

Furthermore, one of the biggest plots of the story is the politics and the diplomatic relations between the planets, which are also what attract fans the most. People often judge fantasy works saying it’s too fictitious or too magical, but all the critics go with the wind when talking about Star Trek. The script is written in a way where you can dive into another world without losing the whole complexity of our real world, and better than that, drawing metaphors between these two.  

In the original series, we are introduced to Nyota Uhura, the first black woman to appear in Star Trek. Played by several actresses over the years, she had a leading role in later seasons and was very important for the plot, even engaging in a romance with the fan-favorite character, Spok.

She also shared a kiss with Captain Kirk in the first inter-racial kiss ever broadcasted in the US in 1968. Tennent Uhura was, and still is important for children, in a way that they see people like them on the screen and relate to her character.

Later, the show called The Next Generation, introduced a more diverse crew, including Geordi La Forge, a Black man who is the ship’s chief engineer, and Worf, a Klingon, which brought a complex portrayal of an alien race often seen as antagonistic in the role of an ally.  

That way, we understand that the Star Trek saga has had a profound cultural impact by consistently promoting a vision of a future where humanity has moved beyond racial and ethnic divisions. Inspiring generations of fans and contributing to the conversation around racial equality and representation in media. The franchise has shown that diverse and inclusive storytelling can be both impactful and successful, influencing other media to follow its example. 


Also known as one of the first blockbusters of the world, Star Wars was firstly a trilogy, (episodes four, five, and six), and then with their success, other two trilogies were created, the prequels (episodes one, two, and three) and the sequels (episodes seven, eight and nine).

Besides the movies, there are multiple series, animated and live actions, canonized in the Skywalker universe. The story is set in a galaxy far, far away, and shows a world where there are two strong forces, the Empire and the Rebellion, fighting for power over the galaxy. 

In general, Star Wars is known for its iconic characters. Besides the humans, the robots are always delivering striking lines and good laughs. More than that, the saga is full of comic relief, the duo Han Solo and Chewbacca are the best example of it.

The mix of comedy and drama is a perfect balance and sets the film’s tone, of course, it doesn’t work every time, the prequels suffer a lot with the kind of humor they use, it’s too silly. But overall, the formula helped the saga to fall in popular taste, because it’s almost like a family movie, everyone will have a good time.  

It takes as a protagonist, the Skywalker family, Leia, Luke, and Anakin, also known as Darth Vader. The entire franchise is set around their dynasty. The new movies as well, with the antihero Kylo Rey: Leia and Han’s son.

With all the well-known and loved characters and their dynamic the more political plots were secondary. In the prequels, George Lucas tried to include it, with Natalie Portman‘s character Padme, a queen who must deal with the rise of the Empire and the fall of the Republic. But it wasn´t written in the best way, so it got confusing. In the public eye, this plot was shallow and boring, being a wasted potential by the creator himself. 


Both changed our lives for good at any point, but as a fan of the two, we can easily decode between them and understand their purpose.

Within Star Trek, the nerdier one, Gene Roddenberry’s idea was to discuss politics, criticize the government, and question us as a society: why we think in certain ways, why do we judge people, why do we act this way. The storylines are more complex, more political, and sometimes more confusing. That was because the writers wanted to be transparent with the audience, the characters are developed, of course, but they’re not the soul of it all. 

And that is not the case with the Star Wars saga. The characters are the most important thing, their relationships, Luke´s journey to becoming a Jedi, and Anakin’s journey to becoming the biggest villain of all time. All this plot humanizes the movies, it shows the importance of family and friends, leaving us with a warm heart and sometimes with tears in our eyes. 

The two of them changed our lives for good at some point. But, as fans of the two, we can easily debate between them and understand their purpose. These differences are not a problem. It’s a good thing actually, you can watch what makes sense to you, and that’s the best part of it. 


The article above was edited by Fernanda Miki Tsukase.

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I am passionate about hugs, people and words. Also a feminist and a journalism student.