William Shatner weighs in on Star Trek vs. Star Wars

The debate over whether Star Trek is better than Star Wars — or vice versa — is one that has been going on for decades. And now, with this week’s release of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, Captain Kirk himself is putting his two cents into the discussion. Details and video after the jump.

Does the Shat prefer tribbles over wookiees?
In the latest video posted on his YouTube channel, Shatner sits down with daughter Lisabeth to discuss which sci-fi phenomenon is better, Star Trek or Star Wars… and it should come as no surprise that he finds Trek to be the better franchise. Shatner claims Star Wars to be “derivative” of Star Trek and states that, while Trek was about “relationships” and “stories that involved humanity and philosophical questions,” Star Wars was about “special effects; [it] was ILM at its best.” He goes on to use J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek as proof of Trek‘s superiority over Star Wars, saying that not only does Star Trek deal “with more human principles” but it now “has more special effects than Star Wars, so Star Wars has nothing to stand on.”

Lastly, and in true Kirk fashion, Shatner compares the women of Trek to those of Star Wars… and tells us what he thinks of a union between Kirk and Princess Leia.

You can check out the video below:

Follow Charles on Twitter at twitter.com/charlestrotter.

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Star Trek was here 1st!

I love Shatner to death, and would personally pick Trek over Wars, but really, 90% of what he says is so unsubstantiated. He strikes me as one of those folks who hears one snipped of info about a subject and then prattles on like an expert about it.

Although I have my SWs Blu-Ray set arriving this weekend, Star Trek will always be my favouite.

You gotta take what Bill says with a grain of salt, these days he’s more for the joke and stiring the pot. Go Bill!

Amen to Kevin A

I like both, but I preffer the Original Star Trek. Star Wars has been very good at supplying toys and stuff for kids. I know more people with Star Wars toys then Star Trek. I was hoping the new hero clicks type Star Trek game could be compatible with the Star Wars pieces. Then we can have a war and find out. Really though, most people I know like both.

I get the impression people like to “chow down” in the Shatner household! Yikes!

I firmly believe that Star Trek is far superior to Star Wars. Even Voyager and Enterprise. However, that is MY OPINION and nothing more. This isn’t a debate that can be won, because it is all subjective. I don’t understand how anybody can like Star Wars after Empire. Even now, the first two are on shaky ground with me. They didn’t age well, and I don’t mean the effects.

Still, it’s merely a strongly held opinion. Nobody is right or wrong.

But Star Trek is better :-)

They both have cool ships. Who doesn’t love the light saber? Robots are great. Star Wars had some cool aliens. George Lucas kept things consistant. Klingon bird of prey is one of the coolest ships. Everyone who knows Star Trek wants a holosuite. Phasers vs turbolasers? The Deathstar can blow up a planet. Genesis can create one for a little while. What else?

If Lucas had directed ST:V we would have Rock Creatures by now CGI’ed to the 1st VHS release.

In recent months I’ve come to realize something: this whole Trek vs. Wars thing is stupid. All my life I’ve loved BOTH franchises EQUALLY for DIFFERENT reasons. As Shatner says, Trek was more about stories that were philosophical and involved humanity. But what he misses about Star Wars is that Star Wars is the classic hero’s tale that’s been told for thousands of years and that’s what makes it so good. Two things:

1) Why are they always at war? Its really just the fans who pretend their at war, yet ALMOST everybody I know in real life who isn’t a super Trek geek or Wars geek loves both. George Lucas is a self-professed Star Trek fan (as he’s featured in Rod Rodenberry’s upcoming documentary), J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Damen Lindelof and Roberto Orci (the director/prodcer and writers of the current Trek series) are all self-professed Star Wars fans and I bet…I BET if Gene Rodenberry were alive and asked that question (if he wasn’t asked that question before he died) – that he would say he loves Star Wars too. So why then, do those hardcore fans feel the need to pit them against each other? Its obvious both can exist in the same space no problem. Both have been successful on the big and small screens (Star Wars more recently with Clone Wars) and both have had a HUGELY successful line of merchandise, include popular expanded universes (though the unified Trek expanded universe has only really cropped up in the past decade or so since the DS9 relaunch rather than the Wars unified expanded universe, which has been around since Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy)

2) Why does nobody EVER include poor Stargate in this fight? is it because Stargate is one word? Would if it was called Star Gate instead of Stargate would it be included now in this ever-lasting battle?

This is easy. Star Wars was designed for 12 year old boys and mama boys. Star Trek was designed for adults and nerds. They both are great franchises. We all still want to pretend we are 12 years old without the puberty. But we grow up and hopefully begin to have sex. Trek was designed for adults and for people who hope brains would get you laid. Han Solo was the man, no doubt about that. But Kirk is a god compared to Han. He was the Bond for space. Solo would rather hang with his wookie and the occasional peck from that tease Leia. Lucas designed Star Wars as he were 12 years old and would never grow up. Roddenberry designed Star Trek to evolve and grow like real life. In the end. Enjoy both, but Star Trek is the better franchise.

I’ll say this for the Shat……..it takes a lot of GUTS to wear a shirt like THAT!

Is it just me or does Shatner look YOUNGER than his DAUGHTER!? God, it must be hard living in that man’s rather… ahem…. expansive shadow! X-D

And in tribute, Shat appeared as Jabba the Hut

12 – No, Harry. It’s singular. He has to have GUT to wear a shirt like that. But, that’s why he’s the Shat.

There’s really no competition between Trek and Wars. They’re both good flavors. Hell, I still remember wasting a lot of childhood afternoons watching reruns of Lost in Space with no regrets. Whatever floats your boat, folks. It’s a big universe.

I honestly tried to get into Star Wars, but never really good. Which is sad because the Star Wars toys look so freaking cool… Anyway, if given the choice, I would watch even TMP over Star Wars any day!

good=could. Wow. Time for bed…

11. Mrsly
You mean, in your opinion…

Because Trek’s effects used to be so bad, they had to rely on the stories, which were often very good.

It was also much more innovative: there were no mobile phones, electronic doors, talking computers, etc, in those days. Star Wars may have revolutionised the film industry, but Star Trek changed the world. Countless scientists, NASA people, and other professionals cite Star Trek as the reason for doing what they do.

Star Trek also respects the fans more. Any changes are loving changes that don’t change the story – compare TOS remastered to Lucas’s tinkering.

In fact, Star Trek is probably more popular that the other one now. We’ve had a film that’s revitalised the show with good special effects and Star Wars has had three poor films, nothing recent of any significance in the franchise, and constant tinkering with the classics…..

Normally the Shat has interesting things to say.


Actually i remember reading years ago that for tv franchises stargate was way more popular especially world wide than trek ever was–dont remember any actual figures–

Don’t forget that DOCTOR WHO was here before both Trek and Wars. I think Bill would make a pretty good Master !! Maybe they could give him a role in the next Torchwood series if they get round to making it …


That’s exactly what Harry meant! He is a rather clever lad, after all! : )

Here’s my sci fi list.

1. Star Trek
2. Battlestar Galactica (2003) (VERY close second)
3. Star Wars
4. Stargate
5. V
6. Firefly
7. Lost In Space (sorry, still get a kick out of this once in a while!)

DVD’s I have but still haven’t watched and therefore can’t rank:

Babylon 5
Earth: Final Conflict
Earth 2
Space Above & Beyond

Really should get around to those instead of popping in another Trek re-run all the time!

I know there’s a lot of other sci fi stuff out there like Fringe, Sanctuary, Eureka, etc. But as I always tell my partner. I need spaceships and phasers thank you very much.

I agree, you gotta take Shatner with a grain of salt, not too seriously. He is a ham. There are two ways to say something like, “Star Trek is way better than Star Wars.” One way is full of argument. The other is with tongue- in-cheek. Shatner is a rather tongue-in-cheek guy.

Can we get a look at any of the “brave” folks throwing insults based on apperance; anonymously from the safety of their keyboards about an 80 year old?

Thought not. Such bravery.



I think bill is having fun here, it doesn’t really matter what you prefer as long as you enjoy your favourite and let others get on with enjoying theirs.
But what would have been the outcry if the shat had said SW is better (while joking)? I think his original idea that people “get a life” is very true.

When it’s so ingrained that you go into an apoplectic fit if someone threatens your world view on a tv show/film franchise then I think you DO need to get a life. It is the only logical way of looking at the phenomena.

Shatner, keeps on proving to people that he is a legend…

Star Wars Vs Star Trek.

Shatner is obviously going to stick up for Star Trek, he is Captain Kirk after all but I believe that he’s having a lot of fun with this because lets face it, the whole debate surrounding Star Trek and Star Wars is nonsense at its best.

Shatner did make some good points though. Star Wars was all about the spectacle, the special effects and such. Star Trek was about the story and the characterisation of each character within that story. I also believe he has a point where he suggests that JJ Abrams has brought Star Wars action and Star Trek story-telling to the Star Trek franchise now and that it supersedes both old Trek and Star Wars on every level. The fact is that Star Wars is old news, and whilst the toys and merchandise still sell well and Star Wars will forever be a cultural icon of cinema – Star Trek has it all in front of it because of JJ Abrams, that fact alone is just amazing.

As a Hard Core Trek Fan I do love Star Wars as well. But. As I see it. You really can’t compare. But here is this thought. Since Star Wars took place a long time ago in a Galaxy far far away. it is possible that Star Trek could one day meet Star Wars. Just saying.
Also. Another Franchise that missed a great opertunity is Babylon 5
Babylon 5 was a great series that simply missed it.

#16 what do you mean ‘even TMP’? That film is terrific. It has more intelligence and substance than anything Lucas has ever churned out.


Don’t feel bad about ranking Lost in Space in your top ten list. I’ve always had a soft spot for the show since I watched the premier in ’65. Where do you think my user name came from?

I can prove it with my site at:



Why is Kristie Alley interviewing Shatner?

As much as I love Trek and would take it over Wars anyday, the fact of the matter is that MAINSTREAM film going audiences would rather watch Wars than Trek. Even though Trek 09 was a huge hit, it’s box office take is still less than what any of the Wars films have pulled in. In countries outside the States and the UK where Trek is not very popular, Wars always comes up tops.

Yikes! Please go back to wearing the usual shirt and jacket, Bill!


Thanks for the link. LOVE the J-2 tour. That’s amazing!


Totally agree. I’ve always had a soft spot for TMP. While Khan is my favorite, TMP had such a grand scope. Makes it hard to even compare with the other movies.

as for ST:V …. ehhh… not so much.

The universe is big enough for both without having to say which is better. It’s like having two kids and choosing one over the other – you can’t!

George Lucas received an award at an MTV awards. The first thing he did was say that Star Trek started everything. Funny thing is, Shatner said the same thing while opening the AFI award for Lucas – which by the way was one Shatner’s best performances – Must see on Youtube.

Wouldn’t that be an ultimate Scifi fan’s dream combing Star Trek and Star Wars? For the sequel they could have the Abrams’s Enterprise be flung into the Star Wars Galaxy.

This is like religion or Mac vs. PC, anyone who has a strong opinion either way is automatically wrong by virtue of having a conviction on an entirely arbitrary & subjective subject!

I like them both for different reasons, although the current Trek may have merged somewhat with Star Wars (given the director’s preference for Star Wars). But I remember reading a Starlog magazine article which said that while Star Wars was being made, the crew would sometimes catch Star Trek during their afternoon breaks (Trek stripped daily during the 70s).

I’m still waiting for someone to settle whether “Buck Rogers” or “Flash Gordon” was the better comic strip.

What do the people here think?
1). Coolest ship?
2) Coolest villan?
3). Phaser or blaster?
4). Coolest space station?
5). Hyperspace or warp speed?
6). Coolest droid or android?
7). Coolest small ship?
8). Coolest alien?
9). Coolest planet? (besides Hoth)
Come on people give up some answers, Star Wars, Star Trek, whatever. Have fun.

I must agree with Mr.Shatner,Trek is so much more awesome than Star Wars!! I would say that every time,I’m Trekker,my blood runs green!! :)

I still remember the look on Mark Hamill’s face when they announced Shatner at George Lucas’s birthday bash. Totally priceless.

Kirk was cool because Shatner was cool. That is why he is still gold to today.

The star wars crowd have no careers now except for Harrison Ford who was a James T Kirk knock off as Hans Solo anyway so they had to cast someone with a similar cool factor.

Ironically Star Wars may have come off as more human if the line “i am your father” instead of being delivered by Vader to Luke had been given by Yoda to Kermit.

Yeah, I think William Shatner is yanking everyone’s chains. “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” shouldn’t really be compared to each other all that much since they are quite different in their approach to characters and how they fit into their respective universes as well as the differences in storytelling.

We should be lucky to have two great franchises to enjoy.

By the way, I bought the new complete “Star Wars” Blu Ray Collection yesterday and last night I watched “The Phantom Menace”. While the movie itself still sucks, the awful mustachioed puppet Yoda has been replaced by a better cgi version similar to what was used in Episodes II and III. The picture quality is a lot better, with some color correction used in places, and new content added during the pod racing scene.


That’s because he’s the kind of guy who likes to let it all hang out!

Star Wars might have had a chance……if Shatner would have been cast as Darth Vader.

Star Trek Vs. Star Wars: It all comes back to what production came the first and how it influenced everything that came after it. We’re in the 45th Anniversary month of the debut of Trek. That to me is astonishing. Even more so is that the Shat is still with us, active as a man half his age!!


Anthony Thompson “That’s exactly what Harry meant! He is a rather clever lad, after all!”

Thanks, Anthony!

As soon as I saw the thread’s title was “William Shatner weighs in…”, I figured the subject was fair game!

@C Mosenko
1.) Enterprise-A
2.) Darth Sidious – because Sauron doesn’t count :(
3.) Phaser – because lightsabers are not on the list
4.) Spacedock (the mushroom one)
5.) Warp Speed
6.) Data
7.) X-Wing Fighter
8.) Odo
9.) Coruscant

42. C Mosenko –

1). Coolest ship? Enterprise

2) Coolest villan? Darth Vader

3). Phaser or blaster? Phaser

4). Coolest space station? DS9

5). Hyperspace or warp speed? Warp

6). Coolest droid or android? Data

7). Coolest small ship? The Defiant

8). Coolest alien? Jar Jar ;-)

9). Coolest planet? (besides Hoth) Risa