Thursday, July 14, 2011

Star Wars VS. Star Trek

Star Wars will be arriving on Blu-Ray in September. I'm about to say something fairly sacrilegious especially from a self-professed Sci-Fi Fanatic headlining a site called Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic, but here goes - I don't really much care. 'Sacre bleu! Ye speaketh with forked sith tongue!'


I know. I feel just terrible saying such a thing, because I think Star Wars: The Original Trilogy is just perfect. It's wonderful. As much as I find Star Trek and its respective offerings far more compelling to my adult mind, Star Wars is certainly a classic science fiction fantasy adventure that appeals to my inner child-like wonder. I understand the two are different and the debate is long. It's apples and oranges - film versus television, but I've felt this way towards Star Wars for awhile now.

Ultimately, my lack of interest is entirely thanks to the corporate machine that is George Lucas and the endless slough of releases that attempt to pry open my wallet. If there was ever a franchise milked for its every dollar it would have to be Star Wars. Granted, fans of the mythology are surely rewarded by the endless line of video games and various television incarnations, some very good, but apart from those first three films I've essentially grown weary of the series and mildly disinterested. Paramount is certainly no stranger to the process of making money either. I have no delusions to the contrary.

I'm thrilled to see Star Wars arriving on Blu-Ray. Okay, well, not really, but someday I'll purchase it. I'm much more interested in watching Star Trek: The Original Series than I am Star Wars. For me, Star Trek offers endlessly fascinating and thoughtful ideas years after its arrival. The mythologies and their respective storytelling approaches are entirely different I know.

Heck, Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series arrives on Blu-Ray this month and to underscore the point all of my meager slush funding shall be redirected to that box set before it goes to Star Wars. I know this must say something about me. It certainly says Star Trek and Stargate before Star Wars for this fanatic. It also says I like titles with the word Star in it if you really want to get technical.

There's certainly room for all. Where do you stand? Is the conversation fair or pointless? May the force be with you or live long and prosper... indeed.

11 comments:

J.D. said...

I certainly sympathize. I really hate Lucas for how he's given teh original trilogy a CGI overhaul/revisionist look and refuses to release the original versions in any kind of decent shape/release form, instead giving lame, untrue excuses. I really am tired of giving him any more of money and will hold on to my copies of the original trilogy before he started monkey around with them.

It also helps that I don't have a Blu-ray player so there's that.

Cannon said...

To each his own, and then some. But you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t partake in the all-things-anti-Lucas rhetoric, because that’s all it is: rhetoric stacked on top of mockery stacked on top of caricature, and so on and so forth, to the point where people don’t even recognize what they say about Lucas anymore. They just say it--on autopilot. Yes, the guy is business savvy. That’s how The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the Prequel trilogy got made. It’s not like someone else paid for them. Lucas merchandizes to make money…to fund his own projects. But people seem to glaze over this rather simple reality and somehow trail off into la-la land where, apparently, Lucas does it all just so he can fly around in his private golden jet or go swimming in his giant pool filled with rubies.

A lot of people don’t like the Special Editions or the Prequels. That’s fine; subjective waters and all that. But this idea that he’s doing it all just to line his pockets with riches is nonsensical to the point of idiocy. It took the guy a decade of his life to make those Prequel movies, and for what, that much more that he’ll never even bother counting? Say what you will about his tinkering re-edits and whacked out midichlorian ideas (etc.), but at least they’re his as genuine artistic pursuits.

Anyways, I’m a moderate Star Trek fan. I dig the original series. I dig the Next Generation. I LOVE the movies, particularly the first two. That’s right; I’m a definite fan of The Motion Picture, the classiest of all the Star Trek films. Hell, I even have a soft spot for Kirk climbing Yosemite, Spock in rocket boots and other such treats of The Final Frontier (I’ve always loved the line: “What does God want with a starship?”) Nemesis is the only installment I’m not too pleased with, but I’ll gladly take it over the Abrams reboot. That movie I truly cannot stomach. I’ve never found myself making any kind of negative comparison between Star Trek and Star Wars. I guess they’re both space movies. That’s about it.

I’m just happy we have both.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

J.D.
I did not know that. That's a great question to pose on DVD versus Blu-Ray. Which do you prefer? Which do you favor currently?

I watch both and I definitely use my DVD player more, but I had no idea you did not implement the Blu-Ray player yet. Nevertheless, I respect that.

Like I said, I'm still watching a great many DVDs and have yet to shy away from purchasing them.

I imagine they'll be the equivalent of vinyl someday.

-----

Cannon

I completely get your points and your final thought is one in which I fully agree with. I enjoying having them all.

My thoughts, as you can see from my comments are not so much anti-Lucas, as I say plenty of complimentary things about his work, but just the money making machines of which Star Trek's Paramount is not excluded.

Again, I concur with your thoughts regarding the series having their places in science fiction. As evidenced by your opinion here I just love seeing where people fall on the matter and I think we share a lot of common ground.

I loved the originals. I don't have as much of a problem with the additional effects. I loved what they did for ST:TOS.

Speaking for myself, I think my opinions of Lucas are fair and no reflection of his artistic vision. The guy is a genius.

As someone who respects the machinery of capitalism, all the power to him, but I'm just as happy to hold on to my money every now and again when it comes to Star Wars.

But I agree, I do see the franchises differently as noted and really make no negative comparisons, probably as much as I respect Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 for co-existing. But I do like to see where people's preferences reside.

Thanks for adding to the conversation Cannon.

Thank you both.

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

I’ll leave the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate for fanboys with far more time on their hands than I have. Personally, I like both; depending on my mood I’ll prefer one over the other, but I’ll always watch both.

I will not be buying Star Wars on blu-ray for simple economic reasons. I have already purchased the original trilogy three times: twice on VHS and once on DVD. I can’t rationalize spending the cash for the blu-rays at this time. For now, my copies of all six Star War movies on DVD will suffice. I do prefer blu-ray over DVD and only buy DVDs when a movie or TV program is not available on blu-ray. Since I’ve subscribed to Netflix and have unlimited access to their streaming movies and TV shows, I find that I have cut back on the number of blu-rays that I buy. I still have episodes of several different TV shows on DVD and blu-ray that I haven’t watched, so I don’t see myself rushing out to buy movies that I already own on DVD.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Doc.

Yes, both have much to offer and I agree mood does play into it.

With two trains of thought going in this post, my primary one being the same as yours - I have the DVDs and just can't expend the money on ANOTHER set.

Back to work myself.

Oh and I tried my new cheapy laptop and even with that puppy I cannot leave a post for you. I tried it tonight. I went to write about how Falling Skies is looking good and has some serious potential now with a season two renewal.

Take care and long live DVDs.

PDXWiz said...

I also am in the 20th century with my viewing habits. (I.E., no Blu-Ray player). There are some things which I would love to see on Blu-ray: Trek, 1999, Wars, Logan's Run, etc. But I'm cool with dvd. Didn't get my first dvd player until probably 05 or 06. Have rarely watched anything on VHS since 09 except for stuff not owned on DVD. (Fantasy Island comes to mind...wife's favorite show, but only season 1 is out, and that was back in 08! Stupid Sony...)

Then again, I don't have a digital box, so I haven't watched broadcast television unless I'm at someone else's place since the switch back in 09 or 10, whenever. Question of money: I'd love to have cable and broadband and Netflix and Blu-Ray, but ya know...

Anyway. I'm Trek first, Wars 2nd. I've been a Trek fan as far back as I can recall, maybe 4 or 5, right after it hit syndication here in Portland. Was a fan for a couple years before the Animated Series came out, and that along with the Alan Dean Foster adaptations sealed my fate with the franchise.

I tend to agree with you about marketing, but some of it is cool: Star Wars Lego sets kick booty, and I like the big coffee-table books they've released. And I still have my Imperial Star Destroyer and its box from about 1980! LOL. I don't hate Lucas, I sing his creative praises. I wish he'd done a sequel trilogy and not a prequel trilogy... Oh well.

Gordon Long

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Gordon

You and I are on the same page regarding Lucas and your interests.

I'm right there with you.

Trek and Space:1999 Season One are on Blu-Ray, as you know, and they are well worth the purchase.

The Lucas marketing machine, not unlike his creative genius, is brilliant.

But to go back to JDs original remark and your own commentary, there is so much out there on DVD that isn't available on Blu-Ray, that may never be available on Blu-Ray, so many films and TV programs, you really can't move away from DVD entirely.

I remember having my record player for years and using it quite awhile transferring music to CD-R. Some of it has been made available in remastered reissues, but some of it has never been made available.

You have to love the legacy of technology. But I am digressing. Thanks Gordon.
sff

J.D. said...

What burns me about Blu-ray is now you're starting to see titles come out exclusively for it, like that awesome looking GRINDHOUSE special edition and the upcoming director's cut of MIMIC, which I would VERY much like to see but will be unable to thanks to its exclusivity. *grumble*

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

No, I hear you. It was exactly this kind of thing that had me make the move. When Star Trek: TOS arrived on HDDVD I got one only to see it fold two months later.

Then it came out on Blu-Ray and I made the move again. That worked out much better.

I'm looking forward to Mimic.

Also, can't wait to read Watchmen- I just watched the film for the first time about two weeks ago and I really liked it A LOT! So I'll be curious to see your thoughts on this one.

By the way, I feel the walls caving in for that Blu-Ray player J.D. - ;D

le0pard13 said...

Yeah, it seems George Lucas, while making loads of $$$, is slowly dismantling what made Star Wars special since the original trilogy arrived. Some tweaks I actually like -- that talking puppet head of the Emperor Palpatine in EMPIRE STRIKE BACK had to go, IMO. But, then again I'm a real fan of Ian McDiarmid's work in the character and his hologram re-do is likely the only touch-up I appreciate.

Lucas as just gone apeshit on the digital 'refinement', though. I think it's also generational when it comes to criticism of his treatments. My children love the prequel trilogy, even though they've seen all the episodes in both trilogies. I'll pick up the BD set, still. I have to also admit to really enjoying the BD remastering for ST:TOS, too (not that I don't have a fondness for the original model work on the series). A fun and thoughtful post, SFF. Thanks for this.

p.s., I agree with J.D. on the fact that exclusive BD material shortchanges movie fans. Studios could have released the original GRINDHOUSE to DVD, but it would have likely have to have been a two-disc treatment as I doubt Standard Definition discs could fit it all in one DVD.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

L13

Some terrific commentary here my friend.
A couple of great points including your mention of "character".

This was the thing about the Original Trilogy that was so special, character- not the effects eventhough they were something special indeed.

I do also concur that this love for CGI and technology is far more embraced by each new successive generation. A great point. This is why I still adore a program like Land Of The Lost while my son finds it laughable. The characters made it work for me. We had this very conversation the other day.

I told him Land Of The Lost blew me away as a kid. He chuckles. He makes fun of Chaka's leg splint and busts me.

Anyway some wonderful thoughts here. I did buy that Grindhouse Blu-Ray that J.D. and you mentioned.

I look forward to watching it!

Thanks again my friend
sff