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Bryan Preston

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September 22, 2011 - 9:08 am

Kirk even manages to work in a dis of Princess Leia. Dude.

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Original “Star Trek” captain William Shatner is sharing his thoughts on the “Trek” versus “Star Wars” feud, and he isn’t shy about telling it like it is. On video, even.

“First of all, ‘Star Wars’ is derivative of ‘Star Trek’ … by what, 10, 15, 20 years? DERIVATIVE!” declared the man who once played the dashing Captain Kirk. (It’s actually nearly 11 years. “Star Trek” debuted in September 1966, and “Star Wars” in May 1977.)

” ‘Star Trek’ had relationships and conflict among the relationships, and stories that involved humanity and philosophical questions,” he also said during the taped interview, which he tweeteda few days ago. ” ‘Star Wars’ was special effects! It was (visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic) at its best.”

But Star Wars was better until the pre-quels ruined everything. After that, Shatner may have the better argument.

It’s funny. As a kid, I couldn’t get enough Star Wars. I ate it, breathed it, slept it, everything. I had the action figures, even the Electronic Battle Command game. And I hated Star Trek. It was nerdy, cheesy and overdone — just awful.

But we grow up, we put away childish things, and now Star Wars has become a hacky, overdone and over re-done mess while Star Trek still seems to work. Deep Space Nine was one of the best, most underrated series in TV history. It lacked a princess in a gold bikini but it did have a viable plot and interesting characters. Star Wars’ The Clone Wars ought to be cool but it’s unwatchable, self-derivative pap. I can’t sit through five minutes of it. Having a young Anakin save a kidnapped son of Jabba, really? Is the entire galaxy nothing but the same ten or fifteen characters spiraling around each other in ever more absurd configurations? Only George Lucas could manage to ruin the frickin’ clone wars.

Star Trek has been rebooted. There’s talk of more Star Wars movies. Star Wars needs to be handed off to someone like Joss Whedon who could do something interesting with it. A Boba Fett movie helmed by the man who made Firefly might do the trick, but Lucas will never let that happen. They’ll have to pry that galaxy from his cold, dead fingers.

These days, I’m spending time in the Warhammer universe as Captain Titus of the Ultramarines, slaughtering Orks and Chaos Demons with glee. Star Trek games remain terrible, while Star Wars games work about a million times better than the movies do. So there’s that.

Everything is derivative of something else, and all sci-fi recycles elements from other sci-fi and other genres. Star Wars drew from Kurosawa, while Star Trel drew from Shakespeare. But Shatner is right, I think. Star Trek has outlasted Star Wars in creativity, caught up on the special effects, and become a more interesting universe than Lucas could ever create.

And…Han shot first.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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