There are some things you just don't discuss at the dinner table, like religion, politics and most importantly, the Star Wars versus Star Trek debate. That stuff can divide families. There's just something incredibly polarizing about these two space epics (and it ain't the polarized light). Between their similar names and their shared sci-fi setting, people just can't resist comparing the two stories, and within the world of geekdom, comparisons almost always lead to full-out fandom wars. It seems impossible to like both equally, with pretty much every geek eventually caving to the pressure and picking sides. But at least one beautiful thing has been born of this heated fandom war, and that's Star Wars versus Star Trek memes. Whichever side you stand on, it's pretty hard not to find these hilarious, so we decided to collect our favourite 15 for your viewing pleasure.
Here are 15 Star Wars versus Star Trek memes that will make you laugh a little too hard.
15 Red shirt versus Stormtrooper
Yeah, this sounds about right. Although Hollywood bad guys notoriously have terrible aim during battles (if they could hit their targets, then the good guys would die off pretty damn quick), Stormtroopers take this inability to shoot straight to a whole 'nother level. Even if their target was a meter in diameter and right in front of their noses, they'd almost certainly miss it, luckily for Luke and his friends. But if they were fighting a redshirt character from Star Trek, this wouldn't be much of a problem. No matter the situation, who they're fighting against, or what weapon is being used on them, the redshirts in Star Trek always inevitably die. It's part of the basic physics of the universe, like how ice floats.
14 Star Wars / Star Trek Wars
The wars between some fandoms are so intense that they'd make for pretty decent movies in their own right. Instead of Batman V Superman, it's entirely possible that a Marvel V DC film documenting the strife between the fandoms would have done better in theatres and with critics. And is there any nerd who wouldn't line up for hours at the theatre to see a movie pitting the space goliaths of Star Trek and Star Wars against each other? Just imagine the possibilities. Luke Skywalker could face off with Captain James T. Kirk (phasers to stun, of course—we just got Luke back after three decades, so we ain't giving him up without a fight). The U.S.S. Enterprise versus the Millennium Falcon. Khan against Vader! Forget Aquaman—this is what they should be making movies about.
13 How quaint
As every nerd always says when people question the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek, Star Wars takes place in the past (AKA long ago, in a galaxy far, far away), whereas Star Trek looks to the future, portraying an advanced version of humankind taken to the cosmos. And this meme makes this difference infinitely clear. Star Wars is a tad old-fashioned, using lasers (and Stormtroopers who can't even fire the lasers straight), as well as ships lacking the nigh-impenetrable shields of Star Trek. In comparison, the technology of Star Trek is a tad more ahead-of-its-time (given that it takes place, you know, ahead of our time), with photon torpedoes, heavily advanced weaponry and protective shields around their ships. So although the debate between the fandoms may never end, in an actual face-off, we're pretty sure Star Trek would blow the ships from Star Wars out of the water pretty damn quick.
12 Religion, nerd style
When it comes to the hard decisions, the choices that will affect the very fabric of how our lives unfold, we don't want to force our children into anything. We want them to assess the facts for themselves, use their own rationale to weigh options and then use their judgement to make the best decision possible for them. As parents, we can't force our own viewpoints on to them, no matter how charged or important the topic, whether it be religion, politics or more importantly, their choice in Star Wars versus Star Trek. When it comes to areas like these, we have to let them make their own choice. They have to use the Force—of their own judgement. And even if we view that judgement as highly illogical, we have to let them live long and prosper in whatever way they choose.
11 Phaser versus sabre
When it comes to weapons, swords and sabres kind of seem like something out of the Middle Ages. As soon as guns were invented, there really wasn't much need for using blades against your enemies, as Indiana Jones proved so emphatically in that scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark (when his opponent whips out a sword, Jones just pulls out his gun and shoots him down). So, even though Star Wars is set in the past, it's still an epic space story about an advanced collection of civilizations which have come far enough with technology that they're able to zip between planets on space ships and blow up entire moons with a single gun. Yet this advanced collection of space civilizations still fight their battles with laser swords. We're not saying we don't like them. Those lightsaber fights were the joy of our childhood. But if it came down to phasers versus sabres, we're just saying we all know which would come out the victor.
10 Set your sabre to stun
The bad guys from Star Trek had it a bit easier than those in Star Wars. During battle, the crew of the Enterprise could set their phasers to stun, making the accidental maiming of villains a lot harder to do. But in Star Wars, as exemplified by the unfortunate fate of Anakin Skywalker, the bad guys don't really catch a break during lightsaber battles. For that matter, the good guys don't either, but they're not usually the ones who end up armless and legless (well, except for a certain handless hero). The problem with lightsabers is that they can't really be set to stun. Well, you can stun your opponents, but that usually involves the removal of various limbs, and that's probably not the kind of stunning you're looking to do.
9 Outrace Disney
Quick, Sulu, quick! If you don't want to meet with the same fate of your sister space series Star Wars, then get your Enterprise in gear and hyperdrive the hell out of there! Don't get us wrong. We ain't saying we have anything against Disney movies or anything. Moana was the bomb and any time not spent on Star Wars and Star Trek during our childhood was wiled away watching every Disney movie ever made. But we're just saying—it feels a little strange to walk into a Disney store and see stuffies of Nemo and Dory alongside the LEGO Death Star. We love both, but they're just two very different types of movies. Plus, we're not sure how we feel about Princess Leia being dubbed a Disney princess. Like a black hole, Disney tends to draw everything into itself, so Star Trek might have to work a little to maintain independence.
8 Say it again
This is how every nerd feels when people fail to realize the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars. Although we may just give you a highly charged side-glance or mutter "muggle" under our breath a little too loudly, internally, we're from Pulp Fiction brandishing a weapon and giving you the death glare. We mean, with countless Star Trek movies and TV series out and seven, going on eight Star Wars movies in existence (with many cartoon TV series for you to sink your teeth into), do people really have an excuse to be unaware of the very stark difference between these two space epics anymore? We think not. It should be basic knowledge, like 5 + 5. Do your research, people.
7 The real cause of Marvel's Civil War
This meme pretty much summarizes how sh*t goes down when friends find themselves on opposite sides of the Star Wars / Star Trek Wars (yeah, that's a bit of a mouthful). Some differences just cannot be reconciled, and a conflicting opinions on whether Captain Kirk or Luke Skywalker would win in a one-on-one battle is one of those differences. We have to take issue with the sides that Tony and Cap were placed on in this fandom war, though. Given that Star Trek is more focused on the science and exploratory aspects of space, we're pretty sure it'd be mechanical engineer Tony Stark on the side of Star Trek. And considering Cap's past involvement in World War II, we think he's probably the one who'd side with the space epic about taking down an evil emperor. But we digress.
6 Sulu versus Solo
Well, the only thing that beats a good ol' Star Wars-Star Trek crossover meme is a Star Wars-Star Trek-Firefly crossover meme (nothin' like a three-way). It just doesn't get any better than that (except maybe if Rocket the Racoon and Star-Lord got in on the action). But for style alone, we have to side with Firefly in this face-off. Sure, Sulu can steer the U.S.S. Enterprise through asteroid fields pretty well, and yes, Han Solo got Luke and Leia out of trouble with his flying skills more than enough times. But are either Sulu or Han Solo leaves on the wind? No, sir. One person and one person only is a leaf on the wind, and that's Wash.
5 Jar Jar Binks, case and point
It's only logical. Subject the fandom war between Star Wars and Star Trek to scrutiny of reason, and the presence of Jar Jar Binks automatically eliminates Star Wars from the face-off. Sorry to any fans reading, but when you include an entirely useless character in your already mediocre series (to be clear, we are exclusively talking about Episodes I to III, here), then you've pretty much given up the ability of your series to compete with any other movie of quality. And Anakin's many unnecessary comments about sand downgraded the first three episodes to mediocre at best, with Jar Jar Binks being not only useless, but worse than useless. However, if you distinguish between Episodes I to III and Episodes IV to VI, then Star Wars is more than able to compete again.
4 One does not compare
Yeah, Boromir, you got that right. Like walking into Mordor, comparing Star Wars and Star Trek is something you simply do not do among a group of nerds you don't know very well. If you're among friends and you know where everyone stands on the issue (and you know they are liberal enough to debate it), then sure, start a discussion if you want. But if you're unsure of peoples' preferences and the intensity of said preferences (nerds be passionate creatures), it's best not to broach the subject. Like blatantly declaring your religious inclinations or political views in a giant crowd of people, admitting a preference for one of these space epics over another in a group of geeks is a quick way to get a fist-fight going.
3 The many faces of 'Star Trek' fans
This hits a little too close to home. For us Star Trek fans, we wear many masks. To our families, we're still kids at heart, with our love of Star Trek never being viewed as more than a quaint little obsession from childhood. And our cosplays? Dress up. *Sighs.* Society views us as the geeks from Big Bang Theory (and hey, we ain't ashamed of that) and the ladies usually aren't the most receptive (well, except for the lady writing this—speak Klingon to her and she'll climb you like a tree). Star Wars fans tend to see us as useless jokes masquerading as serious characters (AKA Jar Jar Binks). But in our own minds? We're Captain Kirk, suave AF as we guide our ship through the obstacle course of life. Not even close to the mark, but it's fun to dream.
2 Death Star versus Death Stare
Sure, Darth Vader's Death Star can destroy planets with a single shot from its heavily loaded arsenal of super scary space weapons (the technical name for them, we checked). But can it simultaneously wither away at the heart, mind, body and soul the way Captain Kathryn Janeway's death stare can? We think not. There's just something about that infamous look of disdainful disapproval that can whittle away at even the strongest of its recipients' wills. It somehow communicates disappointment, anger, loathing and pretty much every other terrifying emotion you don't want to be on the other side of all in one expression. So yes, the Death Star is powerful. But in a face-off, we're pretty sure Captain Janeway could stare that star into submission.
1 What's the difference?
Pretty much. When you ask people which side they've chosen in the great battle of our time, the Star Trek / Star Wars War (or perhaps Marvel versus DC, depending on your inclinations), it means you feel close enough to them to discuss your most personal perspectives on the world and their implications for future generations. And if they respond with, "What's the difference?" then it's hard not to feel like you've misjudged them, for how could you have let someone so unversed in the ways of the Force and/or phasers into your inner circle?! So, it's hard not to respond with anger and a desire to scream like a Spartan warrior battling with thousands of invading soldiers ('cuz that's basically what you're going through on the inside).