Difference Between Star Trek and Star Wars

Star Trek and Star Wars are science-based entertainment franchises.The origins of both these shows can be found in ancient history. They have many forms of media and merchandise. Star Trek started as a TV show and Star Wars began as a movie. Galaxies and unusual species are seen in both.

Star Trek vs Star Wars

The main difference between Star Trek and Star Wars is that Star Trek is science fiction while Star Wars is a science fantasy. Star Trek focuses on technology and its possibilities. But Star Wars is centered on a magical force that is too distant from reality.

Star Trek vs Star Wars

Star Trek: The Original Series has three seasons. The first episode was aired in 1966. It was created by Gene Roddenberry. The story revolved around the voyages of the USS Enterprise. As the tagline suggests, Star Trek explores the galaxy, seeks to find new worlds and civilizations, and to go where no man has gone before.

Star Wars is a multimedia franchise developed by George Lucas. The first film was released in 1977. Star Wars is mythical and it shows the adventures of the different characters, space travels, and spacecraft of all ranges.

Comparison Table Between Star Trek and Star Wars

Parameters of ComparisonStar TrekStar Wars
Initial Release19661977
Debue MediumTelevision ShowFilm
CreatorGene RoddenberryGeorge Lucas
Main CastWilliam Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Jonathan Frakes, Patrick StewartMark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Sir Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels
GenreScience FictionScience Fantasy

What Is Star Trek?

Star Trek ran for three seasons with a total of 79 episodes from 1966 to 1969. It tells the story of a space exploration mission in the 23rd century. The main characters are James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Mr. Sulu, Ensign Chekov, Bones McCoy, Lieut. Uhura and Mr. Scott.

Due to low ratings, Star Trek was canceled in 1969. Later the series got recognized and grew into one of the most recognizable science-fiction series of all time. Many spin-off series were produced afterward. Feature films were also created. Now the Star Trek Universe consists of 13 films and 8 TV shows.

James T. Kirk is the captain of the Starship Enterprise. Along with his crew, they go on several adventures. They fight evil forces and maintains peace. The series has scientific, adventurous, philosophical, and diverse elements.

Mr. Spock is a half-human half Vulcan first officer who is logical and an art enthusiast, is a great friend of Captain Kirk. This friendship is often considered the key element of the franchise. They interact with different cultures and carry out diplomatic missions.

The organization named Starfleet in Star Trek is headquartered on Earth and is established for defense, research, peacekeeping, and exploration. It is maintained by the Federation.

The show included a multicultural and multiracial cast which at that time was daring and brought about some controversies. It is altruistic and discussed the then political and social issues in an allegorical manner.

What is Star Wars?

Star Wars franchise includes novels, comics, movies, video games, toys, and several television series. It is an example of the space opera genre. This franchise is a part of popular culture with a huge fan base.

The mainline story known as the Skywalker Saga wrapped up in 2019. There are various successful series in this franchise like The Mandalorian. Star Wars employs strong mythical quality, political and scientific elements.

Unlike the other space heroes who are militaristic, Star Wars characters are romantic individualists. Two noble Jedi Knights identify a boy destined to wield the force – mystical energy. They try to protect the boy from their enemies and trains him to fight on the side of good.

The enemies are the Sith. The Jedi and Sith use the weapon lightsaber. The major characters in Star Wars are Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han Solo.

Star Wars explores themes like unity, democracy, knighthood, bravery, adventure, redemption, hope, the good, and the evil. It has it’s inspiration from the fall of the Roman Republic and empire formation.

Star Wars is still a successful franchise because of its story and marketing. The films were all nominated for Academy Awards. Star Wars has changed the narratives and aesthetics of Hollywood films.

Main Differences Between Star Trek and Star Wars

  1. Star Trek is futuristic. It takes place in the 22nd century and the characters show significant evolution. While Star Wars is placed in the past. The movies begin with “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”. The characters are quite relatable as well.
  2. The strong reliance on technology is evident in Star Trek. But Star Wars is deeply mythical and revolves around the conflict between good and evil.
  3. Star Trek has a philosophical approach and gives insights into morality. The futuristic society in the series shows how people must treat each other. Star Wars, on the other hand, is very simple. It is based on the light and the dark.
  4. The portrayal of characters in Star Trek is more realistic than in Star Wars. Moreover, Star Wars focuses on Wars rather than the characters. The rooting of characters and their complexities in Star Trek makes it more real.
  5. The most famous character in Star Trek is Mr. Spock who is a good guy. While the most recognized character in Star Wars is an evil one -Darth Vader.
  6. Star Trek shows the modern world with shiny advanced technologies. But in Star Wars an old world with dirty grimy types of equipment can be seen.


Star Trek and Star Wars are similar in settings. But their genres and characters are entirely different. The magical concept of force in Star Wars and other elements makes it a fantasy. The concepts discussed in Star Trek have a possibility of being true and it is technology-based.


  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/5f5fe66403758b4b09c08267ea5b87ff/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=5938
  2. https://academic.oup.com/socrel/article-abstract/55/1/27/1641439
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