Tough talk on an important question of the age.

This site is an (apparently heartfelt) attempt to decide whether the Galactic Empire from Star Wars would win a war against the Federation from Star Trek.

My reaction is to start by laughing at the idea of taking this question seriously – then to get annoyed at his take on the question. Then, as I prepare my counter-argument, I realise I’m caught in a rhetorical tractor beam.

Star Wars is based on stories like Flash Gordon, where there’s a small cast of characters. Both the Empire and the Rebellion are basically a single fleet. In Star Wars everyone assumes that, if the Rebellion loses the battle at the end of the film, that’s the end of the Rebellion. Similarly the Empire losing the battle at the end of Return of the Jedi means that the Rebellion has won the whole war. Both Rebellion and Empire are the major good/bad guys, and at most a single army.

Whereas Star Trek is based more on written science fiction than on movie serials. There seems to be a bit more attention paid to the fact that, somewhere off-camera, there are lots of other ships like the Enterprise (although I’m not sure whether they’re meant to be the only ones exploring the galaxy). Despite the name, ‘Starfleet’ seems to be analagous to a Navy rather than to a single fleet.

The Federation is more like a major country in the modern world. The Empire is more like the petty kingdom of a warlord who leads their army into battle personally.

So, in conclusion, the Federation wins by weight of numbers.

(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)

3 thoughts on “Tough talk on an important question of the age.

  1. fair enough

    However, the level of biodiversity shown in Star Wars always implied to me that Lucas’ universe was larger than Roddenberry’s (due to budget, of course) and thus that the empire was gigantic.

  2. “Similarly the Empire losing the battle at the end of Return of the Jedi means that the Rebellion has won the whole war.”

    Is that true? I always assumed that the end of Return of the Jedi was in fact the _beginning_ a much longer process – part diplomatic, part forcible – of dismantling the empire. I guess somebody more familiar with the extended universe will have to fill us in on whether that’s actually the case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *