Cho: Star Trek More Mature Than Star Wars

As mentioned in CelebWatch, John Cho (Star Trek’s new Sulu) is out promoting his new movie and we should expect a glut of Cho interviews in the next two week. Today Access Hollywood has a vid of Cho defending Trek’s secrecy, but he also compares his fandom for Star Trek and Star Wars (see below)

Cho comparing Star Trek to Star Wars
(when asked if he was a Trek fan when he was a kid)

I kind of became became a Star Trek fan because it was on late and I would catch it on re-runs. It is something I appreciated more every year because it is a very mature show. It is a very thoughtful and meditative show. Whereas when I was a kid it was much easier to love something like [Star Wars] right off the bat, with the light sabers and stuff. Star Trek is much more mature than that.

NOTE, at one point Cho says ‘Star Trek’ instead of ‘Star Wars’ but we’ll cut him some slack, it can be brutal during these press junkets.

Watch the video (opens new window)

As more Cho quotes and clips show up, we will try and consolidate them instead of running one article/per story but this is the only one for the day and I am headed out the door for Grand Slam.

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I totally agree.

As a fan of both these franchises i can understand where he’s coming from. Star Trek always has and always will be more cerebral. When you boil both down, Star Wars is the archaetypical battle between Good and Evil and Star Trek is a series of morality tales and is able to convey a message without getting preachy. Star trek taught us to embrace diversity through episodes such as “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” and having a multicultural bridge crew. Star Wars on the other hand is Space Opera, very entertaining but thin on message. feel free to disagree with me on this but please don’t start in with any sort of bashing because I am of a fan of both Star Trek and Star Wars and I believe that they can co-exist even though i do have my favorites i.e. Yoda would sooo own Spock, and Kirk could beat the pants off of Han Solo any day of the week

Well, he seems to have gotten it right!! Although I appreciate the Star Wars movies and characters TOS always carried a modern application of sorts. Star Wars had the whole prophetic thing going on with the rise and fall and rise again of their “chosen one”

TREK emphasized PEOPLE coming together and working for the common good. That definitely is mature, yet vastly different at the same time. I dont know if it is more mature?? IMO

Yes, is a inteligent Cho, i totally agree.

Instead of adhering more to a written code (Jedi) there are those that strayed from the path (Sith) and embraced their passions which gave them their strength. A very religious thread in these movies…TREK may have touched on it, a little, but seemed to encourage making up your own mind and then going on from there!!

Maturity for both. Absolutely!!! One over the other, still a little gray???

That is a pretty good comparison, although I have never understood why the general public always seems to link the two very different fictional franchises.
One is science fiction, while the other is fantasy. Other than the fact that they both take place in space and on other worlds, there are not many similarities between the two.

Star Trek takes place in OUR universe, many years in the future. For the most part, OUR history (that of Earth) is recognized as history within the ST realm.

Star Wars, on the other hand, takes place in a far away galaxy and a long time ago. It has nothing to do with Earth—its past, or its future. It has more in common, I think, with The Lord Of The Rings than it does with Star Trek.

I enjoyed the original SW Trilogy very much as a younger person. ST is just a more intelligent show for a more mature audience. IMO, one has nothing to do with the other.

I remember when Paramount mistakenly thought it did, resulting in TMP, as opposed to ST: Phase II. Who knows what would have happened if Phase II had moved forward instead. Would we have ever had ST in feature film form? Or would TWOK (with a bigger budget) have ended up as the premeire of Trek on the big screen?

Funny the way things turn out.

I have to say I totally love Star Trek more. I’m just not always as certain as to the message of Trek. It seems the “morality” of Trek is the moral subjectivism of the modern day. Moreover, it takes the philosophies begun by Ockham (nominalism), Bacon (scientific method), Marx (communism), and Nietzsche (atheist humanism) and tells a tale in which these priniciples “save” humanity – as if technology, atheism, and the human person (or rather “personhood” – humans or otherwise) are to be worshiped. A true morality tale about these philosophies would be A Brave New World. But, overlooking all that (and I think DS9 does to an extent), I think Trek is AWESOME.

Mature, huh? And yet, Abrams wants to turn Trek into a pure action film franchise like Star Wars.

dittos to #3

LOL! The closest thing we have to a sith is MIrror Spock! I think he embraced the dark side, wonderfully!!!


I love STAR TREK and STAR WARS equally, but for different reasons. WARS appeals to the nostalgic kid in me, when I saw the original film in 1977 at the perfect age of 5 years old. TREK, as stated above by others, appeals more to the contemplative, intellectual side of me and the romantic notion of man’s exploration of the universe.

My own gut is telling me I’ll still be feeling the pull of TREK well into old age and singing its praises to my grandchildren, whereas WARS will degenerate into “something I loved as a kid.” Know what I mean? I have a feeling STAR TREK will have a longer-lasting legacy than STAR WARS, especially if Lucas keeps treading the same ground with the Anakin/Clone Wars storyline (I’m MUCH more excited by TREK XI than I ever will be for this so-called CLONE WARS CGI movie and TV series coming out).

>>Star Trek is much more mature than that.

NUH UH! Star Wars RULZ!

I’ve always said that Star Wars was to a great comic book what Star Trek is to a great novel.

#9—And where would you get that, Mr. Troll (aka MattJC)? You are obviously unfamiliar with JJ Abrams work.

#12—I agree on all counts, although as I stated in post #7, I do not feel that they are even in the same genre. One is science fiction and a vision of our future, while the other is fantasy and a depiction of another galaxy’s past. Two very different products…

I like both franchises. But I don’t think it’s wise to start comparing them if you are one of the actors in Star Trek. The potential to alienate (no pun intended) a rather large portion of the cash-paying movie-going public is too high. But I can understand that after doing interview after interview, you might just have a “blathering off the top of my head” moment.

If I had a yuan for every time my wife called my favorite show Star Wars, I’d be one wealthy yanguize.

Wars and Trek are two completely different things. Wars deals with just that: wars, as where Trek is all about morals and our own future. It deals with a more optomistic view of the future opposed to a very negative view on a possible history past-like thing.

Honestly, I think that if I’m going to sit down and watch a movie, I’m probably going to watch one of the older Star Wars. The newer ones just prove the maturity issue.

“Oh, Anakin, I lerv u w/ al my <3! lawlzzz! And I love how they edited you into Return of the Jedi! Now there’s SO MANY more continuity errors!” -Padmé

I’m a trekkie, but Trek is so full of continuity errors, it’s funny. But seriously… Hayden Krystensan was an incredibly whiny, annoying, and deplorable actor in II and III.

15. From the interviews I read from Lindelof.
Once when he said ” This ain’t your daddy’s Star Trek” and another where he said something to the effect that they wanted this movie to be more action oriented instead if the cerebral stuff that trek was known for.

I just hope that in all the action, we see the thoughtful and meaningful Trek we all knew.

Star Trek fans grew up to be scientists and engineers, Star Wars fans ended up working retail.

Star Trek is science fiction.

Star Wars is NOT science fiction. Star Wars is fantasy.

I’ve been saying this for years, but people claim I’m wrong because Star wars has lasers and robots.


MattJC, could you find the article where they said that the movie would be more action oriented? And what would you consider action oriented? Space battles? Fight scenes? Explosions? Gunplay? I would submit that all these things happen in the Trek movies and TV shows.

Saying “This ‘aint your daddy’s Star Trek” has nothing to do with whether the movie featured action sequences. Perhaps this statement referred to the movie not having Shatner in it.

#19—“Once when he said ‘ This ain’t your daddy’s Star Trek’… ”

That interview was done with a non-Trek friendly mainstream media source. It was a strategic response toward the objective of garnering some interest by people who have previously never given ST a chance. Their choice of words is very different when approached by more sci-fi friendly media outlets. They are just being shrewd. And if it was “My” Trek, it would not justify a $150 million budget, nor would it attract new fans in the quantity the studio and filmmakers are looking for. It never has before…

“…and another where he said something to the effect that they wanted this movie to be more action oriented instead if the cerebral stuff that trek was known for.”

I think you are taking way too much liberty in your paraphrasing here. I’d like to know your source on that one. For one thing, it makes no sense, given that Lindelof is himself a fan of Star Trek and much of the “cerebral stuff” it is known for. I have heard nothing which would indicate that this will be some sort of mindless action movie. It wouldn’t be in character for Abrams and Lindelof at all. This isn’t a movie born of a 1980’s toy and a cartoon. This is Star Trek, and the “Lost” boys should have a field day with it.

As for the action, I hope that with this budget, STXI will have BETTER action. Given that, for the first time in nearly 30 years, we have a Trek feature film with a real budget, the action sequences SHOULD be better. And TOS never lacked its share of action. It would not be TOS-era Star Trek without “phasers on stun”, “photon torpedoes armed”, a fist-fighting and fornicating James T. Kirk, a Vulcan with a formidable neck pinch, or a hard scotch drinking, two-fisted engineer named Montgomery Scott.

If you are looking for a “geeks only” marketing/promotion campaign for a $150 million movie, you will be disappointed. These guys are too smart for that. We will likely continue to hear these guys speaking out of both sides of the mouth, depending on who the media outlet is. That is just good strategy.

Star Wars may have had it’s Jar-Jar, but TOS had it’s Plato’s Stepchildren.

Hard to argue maturity from that.

#21 Star Trek fans grew up to be scientists and engineers, Star Wars fans ended up working retail.

Those scientists and engineers are unemployed now , working at WalMart, and the Star Wars fans are the ones running the sci-fi fantasy part of the entertainment industry.

Be careful how you generalize when speaking of Star Wars fans, as you are likely to be grabbing a rabid Rancor by the tail.

To discount the roots of the Star Wars series sprouting from the stories of classical mythology would be foolish. Although told in fantasy-laden allegory, it is the primordial myth revisited. Good vs Evil isn’t some kind of pop culture notion that is to be dismissed as fluff. It is the core of all superior story telling. Conflict is what drives the story, whether it be man vs. man, vs. nature, vs. society, or even boiling it down to the inner struggle of man vs. himself. (forgive the use of ‘man’, it applies to woman, too.) Ultimate power corrupting absolutely? Pretty much a neat package in Palpatine. Raging against The Machine? The rebellion of free worlds against the Empire. Racial tolerance? Look at every single spaceport in their galaxy. With the exception of the Imperial forces, it is all about “inclusion”. Star Wars is far, far more than a comic book story.

star wars was fine as mythic fantasy, but the midi-chlorians thing was deeply lame.

What was it? An attempt to make STAR WARS science fiction? Or a sign that the Force is not God?

Either way, when the rules of the universe are rewritten in a kids’ movie [THE PHANTOM MENACE], it keeps the franchise from building the kind of scholar class of fans who build a wiki and shoot fan films of unproduced scripts. STAR TREK is special because it works. That’s why I like all of the purists and canonistas on this site. You guys are keeping it real.

Compare Lucas’ Disneyfied philosophy of The Force to the little scraps we’ve been thrown on Vulcan philiosphy and IDIC. Basically, there’s more meaning and depth in a forgettable episode of STAR TREK than there is an entire STAR WARS trilogy.

“Those scientists and engineers are unemployed now , working at WalMart, and the Star Wars fans are the ones running the sci-fi fantasy part of the entertainment industry.”

Oh, so you know them? You must be very popular, or spend much of your time keeping a running tally of what fans are doing and where.

I’m glad someone here has the facts to put our squabbling to rest.

Star Wars is the roller coaster ride; Star Trek is the cruise ship! Both entertain in very different (and equally enjoyable) ways. I’ve never understood why so many in the fan community are so split on this; as if you can only be a loyal fan of ONE franchise! I have a boatload of “favorite” shows and movies (just as I like many different types of music and songs; depends on what I’m in the mood for). As for John Cho, the fact that he AND Simon Pegg are in the new Trek movie is reason enough for me to see it (as if being a hardcore Trek geek wasn’t enough). Cho is a fine actor (even liked his guest stint on season 1 of HOUSE ). And with or without George Takei’s “blessing” (but always better with), John Cho will make a terrific Sulu

26. You are right, old saying I hear long time ago, repeat here after hesitation that it could get me in trouble.

I am a Star Wars fan myself. I was watching the prequels on Spike the other day, and I found that as time goes on, I appreciate the prequels much more now than my original reception. I think that Star Wars has developed a very rich universe that rivals even Star Trek in some area’s.

#26—“Those scientists and engineers are unemployed now , working at WalMart, and the Star Wars fans are the ones running the sci-fi fantasy part of the entertainment industry.”

That might be the dumbest post of the day.

There is nothing wrong, IMO, with the original SW Trilogy. That was excellent storytelling. It does have a classic “good vs. evil” theme. However, it has never been science fiction.

As for its impact, it had a great impact. It got millions of my generation (including myself) to spend alot of money. But it did not inspire Astronauts, scientists, engineers, surgeons to go on to invent such things as modern medical facilities, cell phones, holographic technology, etc. Star Wars had an enormous impact on the entertainment industry, but Star Trek had far more impact on our everyday lives.

Either way, it is foolish to compare them as if they were competitive franchises within the same genre. They are not. I like them both, but I still watch Star Trek. Star Wars is kid stuff. I am much more interested in STXI than I ever will be in Lucas’ Clone Wars CGI-fest or anything else out of the Star Wars franchise. They lost me with the last 3 movies…I was sorely disappointed. Perhaps I was nuts to expect to enjoy them the way I did the originals. I was a kid back then, after all.

While I agree with Cho, he may be better off keeping his feelings to himself…It’s like when my in-laws start talking politics. I just smile and nod.

Like #31 said above me, you can’t compare the two. It’s like apples and oranges. The two shows have nothing in common except that they both involve space travel. The shows each have their own tone and have two totally different approaches to story-tellling.

However, I for one like both apples and oranges.

Extremely cogent point, AP. Thanks for making it.

I remember in 77 being in the theatre as a kid, and being fascinated by Star Wars… but in the back of my head, my brain was saying “hey… you’ve seen this… ya know, Star Trek”

I’m ready for Trek to return… I’ve been so oversaturated with damn Star Wars. It is not the end-all be-all of the genre.

#22: “Star Wars is NOT science fiction. Star Wars is fantasy.”

EXACTLY. So many people who try to debate Star Trek vs. Star Wars, even people who have grown up with both their whole life, don’t understand this basic fact. Star Wars uses the trappings of science fiction, but tells a fantasy story. You’re comparing not just two different types of stories, but two entirely different genres. No one would ever seriously compare, say, Tom Clancy’s “Hunt for Red October” with Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” books and try to insist one is “more mature” than the other.

most Ewoks disagree though Jar Jar Binks refused comment when asked

comparing SW to ST is like comparing oranges and apples. 2 different animals – bad comparison

I think I always probably held a warmer place in my heart for Star Trek than Star Wars, but when I was little I LOVED Star Wars too. I find as the years go by Star Wars becomes harder and harder to sit through as it seems more and more juvenille.

I think Cho really nailed that one. Although it’s true, the two can’t be compared directly.

Is Trek truly more mature than tha manure spread far,far ago and long away by Sir Lord Lucas? Go to the chat tab, # 333 and see me latest episode spot. Geez… I be more a whore than Kirk wuz before!

Oh wait! I need ta addres tha thread. While more intelligent people have been attracted to Star Trek rather than tha feel-good, mainstream apppeal of Star Wars… we all end up wankin’ tha same way…

Reality (Trek, something ta strive for in tha future) or fantasy (buncha wookie nuggets and wit’ the new films a bunch o’ bad philosophy that I KNOW wuz written fur kids as we were kids when we first saw Star Wars but REALLY what crap and illogic! Fear helps me to learn, ya Yodi bratwurst knerk!) so…

both be fantasy.. but Trek at least makes us think to not honk our horn at tha guy that cuts us off on tha highway… he’s like me… more important t’ings matters anyway… needs of tha few out anchors-away the needs o’ th a many…


Random thoughts on Trek/Wars…

Star Wars is more like LOTRs than Trek…but theres no getting away from the fact they are both set in space, feature big space ships, warp speeds, have military aspects and have ‘Star’ in the title..thus they always get compared..

what Paramount should do is get the guy who did the star wars posters to do a similar one for star trek – maybe moviesgoers will get confused and see the new film thinking its star wars episode 0 and it grosses about 800 million plus…

Rememeber when Trek II was called The ‘Vengence’ of Khan and Lucas had them change it cause ‘Revenge’ of the Jedi was out the next year….god job he did as Wrath sounds much cooler..

The Genesis trilogy of Treks II, III and IV can easily go up against the (original) Wars trilogy in terms of quality…Search for Spock and Empire Strikes Back are actually quite similar in terms of story structure:

– its the 2nd part in a trilogy (Genesis Trilogy of II, III, IV) thats very dark in tone, following a classic original (Wrath of Khan/Star Wars) and followed by a much lighter in tone conclusion (Voyage Home/Return of Jedi)

– bad things happen (Kirks son is killed, NCC 1701 destroyed, crew become renegades….Solo captured, Lukes hand, Vader is revealed to be his father)

– crews split into 2 before converging at the conclusion (Kirk and Co on Earth/Enterprise – David, Savik and Spock on Grissom/Genesis….Luke on X wing/Dagobah – Solo, Leia etc on Falcon/Cloud city)

– Members are caputured by the villian and held to ransom (David, Savvik, Spock…….Solo, Leia) before the main guy (Kirk/Luke)comes to the rescue

– Climatic fight between the main character (Kirk/Luke)and villian (Kruge/Vader)

– Mysticism thats only believed in by main character (Kirk – Vulcans with the body transference…Luke – Yoda with the force)

– Down beat film with a hopeful (though unresolved) ending leading directly into the next film.

Sure theres some other comparrisons…

To 21. Wick:

What’s wrong with working retail?

Just my own thoughts…

When I bought my first iMac in 1998, I bought it several games for it. I bought Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Star Trek: The 25th Anniversary Game, Star Trek: Borg, and Star Trek: Klingon Honor Guard.

I especially loved the first two games. In fact, I was addicted to Starfleet Academy. I would come home from teaching English to Japanese high school students and head straight for the iMac to play the game for several hours straight.

What I loved about the first two games is, well, you had to think like Kirk in order to solve the game. In other words, the games were not about kicking ass, killing things and explosions. In fact, destroying and killing often led to a dead end, no pun intended. It certainly did not help your score.

I liked Klingon Honor Guard too, but not nearly as much and eventually gave up on it. While you had to solve a mystery to advance in the game, your success was to a large part determined by how my things you killed or blew up. Fun for a little while, but…

Shortly after bought my iMac, I also bought a bunch of Star Wars games including X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Rebel Assault, and Rebel Assault II.

These games were really fun to play, and I especially enjoyed Rebel Assault and Rebel Assault II. And I hate to say it, it was fun trying to destroy as many TIE fighters or X-Wings as possible.

And for me, that is the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.

Yoda would so own Spock?!? Only if students are owned by the teachers. Mr. Spock, as most Vulcans, would make an excellent Jedi. No emotions to cloud their judgement – except for a few days once every 7 years. ;)

Like all of the new cast, Mr. Cho is saying the right things. A very good sign. Hopefully, as promised, the spirit of Trek will remain intact.

Disappointing. Up and down the thread and a lot of folks are still comparing and contrasting. Or offering why one is “better” than the other. British Naval Dude did have a point; BOTH are fantasy. Transporters and warp drive are as much fantasy devices as light sabers and the Force. Does it matter? NO. You can enjoy both; it does NOT have to be one or the other. One having Sci-Fi cred over Fantasy cred is not some kind of badge of honor. Both have issues and neither are perfect. But I still enjoy both; despite Neelix and Jar Jar!

Reality is more mature.

I don’t even consider Star Wars SciFi. I would put it in the same category as comics….


I dislike that statement, as I’ve read comics that are infinitely more “serious” than many novels I’ve read. Just because a book is a novel doesn’t mean it’s serious fiction.

oh god star wars vs star trek again…
they are both diferent entities comparing them is pointless as much as i prefer star trek it is not better than star wars just different.

what does s#$t me is the idea that star wars box office earnings makes it better- popular is not always better.

all i want to say…


I agree with the statements that they are two very different genres. I too like Star Wars and Star Trek to an equal degree. Saying that Star Wars is not science fiction entirely maybe going to far. I see Star Trek as the sci fi adventure with its moral subtexts. On the other hand, I see Star Wars more in line with the old Epics, such as the Illiad and the Odyssey. Star Wars is the equivalent of the Sci-Fi Epic.