Star Wars versus Star Trek is a geek debate that has raged through enough stardates to fill up an entire captain’s log. But after years of fan conflict, it appears that J.J. Abrams finally figured out how to broker a peace between the warring sects: he combined the two franchises. Star Trek pulls off quite a trick—it borrows many a moment from Star Wars, while simultaneously sating rabid Trekkies by staying true to their first love. Mr. Abrams’ perfect summer confection is literally the movie Star Wars fans had hoped The Phantom Menace would be: a fun, exciting, realistically unrealistic thrill ride, filled to the brim with a devil-may-care sense of humor and earned bravado. You can really see Mr. Abrams’ crossover work in the way he portrayed the characters. There’s Kirk–as–Han Solo; Young Spock–as–Luke Skywalker; Future Spock–as–Obi-Wan; Scotty-as-Chewy; Uhura-as-Leia; Bones and Chekov–as–C3PO and R2D2; and while there’s no Darth Vader, Eric Bana’s Nero does fly around in a massive space station that could give the Death Star a run for its money.
Frankly, we weren’t that surprised by any of this. Mr. Abrams has said, many a time, that he was never a big fan of Star Trek. But, Star Wars? The guy loves it! And, in lieu of getting the rights from 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm to re-create his beloved film (expect this to happen around the same time Wanda Sykes and Rush Limbaugh go out for drinks together), it seems that Mr. Abrams jumped at the chance to visit a galaxy far, far away, any way he could. Still not convinced? Take a look at these three key scenes from Star Wars and how they compare to the Star Trek. (And there are more where these came from.) Beware though: spoilers afoot!
“No, Alderaan is peaceful, you can’t possibly …”
In Star Wars: Led by Darth Vader, the Empire captures Princess Leia and threatens to destroy her home planet, Alderaan, unless she gives up the location of the Rebel base. Princess Leia acquiesces to their demands, but they blow up Alderaan anyway, forcing her to watch.
In Star Trek: Romulan baddie Nero holds Future Spock responsible for letting Romulus get destroyed by a supernova … 100 years in the future (don’t worry about being confused; it barely makes any sense in the movie). After Nero captures Spock, he banishes our favorite Vulcan to an ice planet (itself a rip-off of the ice planet, Hoth, from Empire Strikes Back) and makes him watch as Vulcan gets sucked into a black hole.
“Obi-Wan? Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time … a long time …”
In Star Wars: On Tatooine, Luke goes off half-cocked looking for answers to a mysterious distress call from Princess Leia and gets attacked by some Tusken Raiders. All is almost lost until a mysteriously cloaked figure comes to the rescue: It’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.
In Star Trek: Kirk, himself banished to the aforementioned Faux-Hoth, is about to get eaten by a giant monster (that’s straight out of Cloverfield, p.s.), until a cloaked figure comes to the rescue: It’s Future Spock, saving the day, Obi-Wan style!
“Great shot kid, that was one in a million!”
In Star Wars: Just as Luke’s fighter is about to get blown away by Darth Vader, prodigal son Han Solo returns in the Millennium Falcon, fires some photon torpedoes, and saves the day.
In Star Trek: Just as Spock’s fighter is about to get blown away by a bunch of Romulan missiles, the Enterprise comes out of hyperspace, fires some photon torpedoes, and … well, you can probably figure out what happens next.