I never watched Bill Nye the Science Guy. I think I was a little older than the show’s target demographic so I don’t have many nostalgic feelings about the man. So when I watched this video of him celebrating Star Trek and denigrating Star Wars, I wasn’t terribly offended. You can watch the video below.
Obviously Bill Nye is going to choose Star Trek over Star Wars. He is very much an agnostic and a humanist. He is cut from the same cloth as Gene Roddenberry whose opus didn’t have any room for magic or religion. Star Trek is built upon science and the hope that humanity can achieve the utopia of Kirk, Picard and Sisko. Star Wars on the other hand is built upon the eternal struggle between good and evil.
I love Star Wars and Star Trek; they both mean a lot to me. Star Trek was my best friend in junior high when I didn’t have a lot of friends. School was a place of exclusion and bullying, but every night at 7:00pm I could escape to the 24th century. I have probably watched more hours of Star Trek than anything else. Even with all those hours logged, though, Star Wars is my first nerdy love.
I love Star Wars for all of the reasons that Bill Nye gave for excusing it. I love that the Star Wars universe is filled with good and evil. Star Trek is built upon relativism where the only true evil is interfering in someone else’s culture. I obviously view the world much differently than Bill Nye; I believe in good, evil and the presence of a reality that cannot be observed. Star Trek may be more based in reality, but Star Wars is more firmly rooted in truth.
That is why Star Wars has achieved greater cultural penetration than Star Trek. Its narrative of good, evil, fall and redemption speaks more to the reality of the human condition than Star Trek. Star Trek’s version of a utopia built solely by human hands is great, but it’s more fictitious than an invisible force holding the universe together. Humanity isn’t capable of curing its ills and creating paradise; only Jesus can do that, which is why we look forward to his return.
I love Star Trek and I can’t wait for its triumphant return to the small screen. However, I’ll never be as passionate about Star Trek as I am Star Wars. Even though it takes place in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars tells a much more familiar story in that we’re all part of a family and we’re all in need of redemption.
What do you got: Star Wars or Star Trek?