General Question

antimatter's avatar

Why is Star Wars more popular than Star Trek?

Asked by antimatter (4414points) December 17th, 2015

You get LEGO Star Wars and all kinds of toys. But on Star Trek you don’t get much. What is Star Trek writers doing wrong?
Or is Star Trek plots simply just to boring?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

43 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Because Star Wars is quite a lot dumber than Star Trek, and thus appeals to a wider audience.
Star Wars is about space wizards, space princesses, space knights, and the fight of clearly defined good vs evil, and it is about raw, base emotion.

Star Trek is about facing and rationally resolving ethical and moral dilemmas with no clearly defined good vs evil, that requires actual thinking on the part of the viewer.

The same reason why a dumb but special-effects-laden piece of shit like transformers can rake in billions, while cinematic masterpieces struggle to make back their budget.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Loli beat me to it. Star wars has better marketing. Star trek is not always black and white regarding good and evil like star wars is. Star trek takes more thought and provokes more thought. You can read between the lines there….

ragingloli's avatar

And do not forget John Williams.

zenvelo's avatar

Who says SW is more popular than ST? How are you calculating it? ST is going into a new series next fall, the original version ran for years as re-runs.

SW is just a big blockbuster movie for this month. But out of all of the 7 SW movies, the third was not as big a hit, and the next three were panned. The TV versions have been weak, and only attracted the die-hard fans.

canidmajor's avatar

What @zenvelo said.
Also, they are presented on two entirely different platforms, cinema vs television. The two media require different approaches to marketing, presentation, production, etc. You are comparing apples and puppies.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Star Wars is now a Disney product and it is all about marketing.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ragingloli I have to disagree with your point about clear good and evil. Star Wars is about The Radicalization of Luke Skywalker: A Jedi’s Path to Jihad.

Seek's avatar

And before anyone mentions it, the new films are not Star Trek. They just aren’t.

fast and furious sonofa ::grumbles incoherently::

ragingloli's avatar

that recent trailer was truly vomit inducing.

Seek's avatar

@gorillapaws – like most popular crap stories, fans love nothing more than to ascribe meaning where none exists.

I can assure you that George Lucas, a man who has not had an original thought since approximately 1968, did not intend star wars to be about the Sith Jihad.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Seek It’s not the Sith Jihad, it’s the Jedi Jihad. Read the article, it’s hilarious.

One great quote:
“Yoda accepts Luke into his religious “school,” teaching Luke Jedi fundamentalism and guerilla warfare. Like many extremist mullahs, Yoda demands total adherence to his strict interpretation of the Force and seeks to strip Luke of independent thinking.”

ragingloli's avatar

and jar jar binks is a secret sith lord.
sorry, but george lucas does not have the brains to come up with that.

marinelife's avatar

I think it is that the Star Trek franchise does not have any movies recently or prime time TV right now.

antimatter's avatar

2016 is going to be a gloom year for Star Fans.
One can only wonder why they can’t stick to the good old Trek recipe.
Regardless I still got my old collections to remind me what Star Trek is all about!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Star trek peaked with the wrath of Khan, the movies beyond that were crap. The original series and the next generation are the only true star trek representations.

Strauss's avatar

I have always been a “Trek” over “Wars” fan. That being said, Star Wars creator George Lucas consciously “Star Wars” universe into that of mythology, using Joseph Campbell as a guide.

I don’t ever remember hearing of Gene Roddenberry (or his successors) setting out to create a “Star Trek” mythology; only good story lines within a consistent universe.

That being said, I think the perceived difference in popularity is only in the “Disney-fication” and marketing factor.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Star Wars is more popular for the simple reason that a 4 year old has no problem with the intellectual considerations of what is gloriously displayed in front of him. The movies are universally and supremely MARKETABLE in that no real depth of plot or character is bothered with. You can recruit any human being from anyplace on the planet and without their understanding a word of dialog they would sit before the fim mesmerized, because it is the VISUAL experience which matters.

stanleybmanly's avatar

And I for one am hesitant in criticizing Lucas. The vision and innovation involved with that first film stands alone in its achievement to the present day. Nothing I’ve seen since can match the visual impact of the thing on someone not expecting it, The fact that the next 2 stood up to the first is all but miraculous. I think it just might simply be too much to expect subsequent efforts to top the first 3 films, which is why those involved would do better to head in the direction less lucrative for LEGGO sales.

Seek's avatar

um, Jedi was the Muppet show in the forest. What visual appeal?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yeah, but those sequences of flying through the forest are what matter. You’re making my point for me by bringing your intellect to bear. The film works BEST for those who lack the the urge or ability to do either.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Star Wars is easy to understand fantasy. Star Trek at least attempts to be somewhat more intellectual. Star Wars is geared towards children as much as anything, whereas Star Trek seems to be written for adult audiences in mind.

They tried to launch a line of Star Trek toys once, but as I recall it didn’t really do too well*.

(*This was in the days before you had grown-ass man-children spending stupid money on toys “collectables”.)

filmfann's avatar

It’s either because the super-coolness of Ewoks and Jar Jar, or the durability of the Millennium Falcon, as opposed to the destroyed-in-every-other-movie Enterprise.
Also, Star Trek is a boring western, while Star Wars is a cool opera, and who doesn’t like opera?

Cruiser's avatar

Star Wars appeals to the kid crowd in a much bigger way than Star Trek and parents are very eager to find a kid friendly action movie to take the kids to that they themselves would enjoy seeing over some mindless musical animation they grind out these days.

ucme's avatar

Haha, see the inevitable trekkie reaction, i’m amused greatly & laughed so much I developed hiccups.
To answer the question rationally & in an unbiased, almost professional fashion, it’s because “Wars” is better :-P

Rarebear's avatar

Trek vs. Wars.

Four words: “Star Wars Christmas Special”

Trek wins.

jerv's avatar

Star Wars was practically written around merchandising rights.
Star Trek was written more for storyline.

Star Wars is larger-than-life yet retains grittiness.
Star Trek (at least Classic and TNG) is Utopian enough to give one diabetes from the sickeningly sweet post-scarcity wish fulfillment.

Star Wars deliberately seeks to suck people in.
Star Trek is what it is, and if you aren’t into it, you won’t get it shoved down your throat everywhere you turn.

Star Wars has light sabers and blasters that shoot glowy things that excite small children.
Star Trek has phasers with no visible projectile/beam, poorly choreographed melee, and “gripping” scenes of diplomacy.

Verdict? Babylon 5 wins.

JLeslie's avatar

Star Wars creates more anticipation. Star Trek is a TV show and we get to see the creativity and genius on that show regularly.

I never was a big Star Wars fan, Star Trek is way better.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Rarebear I have a copy of that LOL! All I can say it the old ads from the 70’s stole the show.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Well, about to find out if the new s.w. is going to suck or not. Will report back in a couple of hours

stanleybmanly's avatar

Defenders of Trek have no business expecting things to be otherwise. The series sits at the rarified upper altitudes of pop culture. The problem with the series since its inception has been about “pearls before swine”. It hadn’t occurred to me back in the 60s when I was addicted and the cancellation announced, that it was a show for “nerds” (the word wasn’t in circulation). More to the point I didn’t realize I was one of them.

And here we all are conforming perfectly in lockstep to the stereotypical nerdism of debating “Wars vs. Trek”. Frankly , I’m grateful for them both. They need one another, and anything advancing the genre is alright by me.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Better than the last three, not nearly as good as the first trilogy. Too much reliance on the old formula, too predictable, not original or bringing anything new. Not too much else to say. Ho hum overall but not a complete disappointment.

ragingloli's avatar

“The Jean-Luc Picard you wanted to be, the one who did NOT fight the Nausicaan, had quite a different career from the one you remember. That Picard never had a brush with death, never came face to face with his own mortality, never realized how fragile life is, or how important each moment must be. So his life never came into focus. He drifted through much of his career, with no plan or agenda… going from one assignment to the next, never seizing the opportunities that presented themselves. He never led the away-team on Milika III to save the ambassador, or take charge of the Stargazer’s bridge when its captain was killed. And no one ever offered him a command. He learned to play it safe… and he never, ever got noticed by anyone.”

ragingloli's avatar

Also, this is why Star Trek is better than Star Wars.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli “How many Kardashian’s did you kill?” Trek wins

Seek's avatar

Ooh, @ragingloli – that is a fantastic scene. And the ultimate truth about that character just makes it all the deeper.

flutherother's avatar

The ‘bad guy’ sounds like Richard Nixon.

ragingloli's avatar

Also, what kind of a name is “Snoke”?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

No kidding the dark side was all weak, whiny and lame in this one.

filmfann's avatar

Someone should point out that Star Trek is Science Fiction, and Star Wars is Fantasy.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann That must be it. I never think of a Star Wars as fantasy, but I always describe myself as a sci-fi person, and follow it with saying I don’t like fantasy. I couldn’t get through one Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter is difficult for me too. I love Star Trek, but Star Wars is a little bit boring to me.

Haleth's avatar

I wrote about this in another question- Star Wars has an incredibly universal plotline which everyone immediately understands and roots for. There’s a scrappy underdog hero, a princess to be rescued, a wise older mentor, and a ragtag group of misfit companions. They go on an adventure and defeat evil against all odds. There’s a lot of excitement in a story arc like that, even if it’s familiar. Also the cinematography is fucking amazing. I think I saw “A New Hope” for the first time at age 4 or 5. Nothing beats seeing the double sunset and hearing the score for the first time. It’s probably one of the top movie moments ever.

Star Trek is longer and more episodic, and the episodes are more like mental puzzles or “what if this happened?” There’s plenty of action, adventure, great characters, and a lot of heart in the mix. But you can’t take away the fact that 1) things pretty much return to normal at the end of every episode. That makes the stakes lower and the entertainment value a bit milder. And 2) the Enterprise is technically a workplace, so you’ve got somewhat drier interactions and everything takes place indoors. The interior of the Enterprise has a very clean, professional look, and it reminds me somewhat of a nice office building. Not the most adventurous setting. The Millenium Falcon looks like a ship where adventures happen. (The ship from Firefly/ Serenity is a good tv example.)

There are some very cool Star Trek moments, but nothing I can think of that has the movie magic of the iconic scenes from Star Wars. A lot of that is down to the differences between movies and tv- smaller budgets, you use the same sets again and again, etc. There’s a lot of fluorescent lighting in Star Trek. Putting the characters in the desert, in a garbage chute, in the woods etc. is a lot more immediate.

I’m a huge fan of both, but for very different reasons. Star Trek engages the brain more; Star Wars gets your heart racing.

Seek's avatar

I tried to watch the new Star Wars movie. Got bored at the utter lack of plot, and went to the store instead. Hubby said I didn’t miss anything I didn’t guess would happen anyway.

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