Since Star Wars premiered in 1977, there’s existed a never-ending (we hope) debate between Trekkers and Warsies over which sci-fi franchise reigned supreme. Two of the fiercest fandoms in pop culture have been going at it for decades, arguing the merits of phasers vs. lightsabers, Kirk vs. Solo, the Enterprise vs. the Millennium Falcon. The battles have been fought in every conceivable venue, from convention halls to the deepest, darkest corners of Reddit. And as technology’s moved forward, some new debate forums have opened up. Like memes!
While funny captions on doctored photos don’t provide the most trenchant support for whatever side you choose, the argument itself is (mostly) in good fun. While there are definitely people who argue way, WAY too hard that the Death Star would be no match for a Borg cube (if you feel like you just took a shot of adrenaline to the heart while you’re making your point, you’re arguing too hard), we like to think most of us can maintain some perspective. So, to keep us all laughing as a Star Trek series and a new Star Wars movie come out in the same year, we’ve gathered some of the most ridiculous (and most savage) Star Trek vs. Star Wars memes the internet has to offer. Take a read-through and see if any of them change your mind. #1 certainly changed ours.
15. PICARD HAS IT COVERED
Not that it needs to be said, but only a plebe would pilot his own ship. The Millennium Falcon is neat and all, and the name is top-notch, really. But Picard’s ship comes with replicators, transporters, holodecks and a bar. Oh, and pilots. Jean-Luc Picard is in command of the Federation Flagship, a.k.a. the U.S.S. You Want One. Its crew contains numbers in the thousands, and like, 200 of those guys are pilots. If their wearing red, they’re disposable pilots. Not great for the environment, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made.
The Enterprise D is one of the most tricked-out ships in the galaxy, and it belongs to Picard. Basically, this meme points out the obvious — JLP has levels of game Han Solo hasn’t even read about. (We’ll just overlook the spelling and grammar errors, btw. JLP never could spell.)
14. NO TWO WAYS ABOUT IT
In the grand tradition of either you like (fill in the blank) or you’re wrong memes, here’s Han Solo laying down a serious truth bomb. Either you like Star Wars, or you’re wrong. While there are plenty of Star Trek and Star Wars fans that happily admit to “enjoying” the “other” franchise, there are just as many who refuse to give any credit to the opposing viewpoint. This meme is for them.
For the die-hard loyalists out there who would rather set fire to their autographed Death Stars than admit Star Trek might be better at SOME things than Star Wars… we cherish you. But really, the funniest thing about this meme is that we can actually hear Harrison Ford’s frustrated sarcasm whenever we read it. It’s almost like Luke Skywalker timidly complimented Kirk’s hair or something.
13. TRANSPORTERS: GAME. OVER.
Given the nerdy nature of the Star Wars and Star Trek fandoms, it’s no surprise that the eternal debate over which is better eventually devolves into which characters would win in a fight based on SCIENCE. Yes, we’ve actually been known to debate which fictional side would win in a fictional fight based on our analysis of fictional science. It’s really, really fun, too!
Star Trek fans really like to sink their teeth into these because when it comes to Trek, they have some pretty impressive tech to show off. And, let’s face it, the Rebels, while lovable underdogs, would have a really hard time deflecting an explosive that just magically appeared on their bridge. Blah, blah, blah, the Force, blah, blah, WE KNOW. But still, tech-to-tech, Star Trek definitely has an edge.
12. FAIR POINT
While Star Trek might be more intellectual and its crew careful to use their words before they use their fists, there’s something to be said for more decisive action. In Star Wars, the only force powerful enough to make use of diplomacy is the Empire, and the Rebels are, like, really committed to wiping them out. Kill or be killed situations typically don’t leave a lot of room for stun settings.
Plus, despite the fact that a phaser has a kill setting (if there’s a scorch mark on your shirt, you’re dead; no scorch mark means stunned), it just works like the electric fence did in Jurassic Park. Remember how Tim just kind of buzzed and flew 50 feet? YAWN. Lightsabers can actually disembowel people with light. Take that, you silly handgun.
11. DON’T F**K WITH GARAK
Elim Garak and Boba Fett actually make pretty apt meme buddies. Both are wildly popular, morally questionable supporting characters, and both are indisputable badasses. Garak was a high-ranking operative in the feared and reviled Cardassian intelligence agency, the Obsidian Order. When he was exiled (by his father and boss, Enarbran Tain), Garak then survived years as an enemy of the order playing tailor on DS9. Boba Fett was onscreen for less than 10 minutes and was on so much fire he still might get his own damn movie.
So who would win in a fight? In this meme’s universe, both are armed, and it looks like Garak’s got high ground. But knowing what we know about Boba Fett’s skillz, we can’t count him out. Draw? Let us know your pick in the comments!
10. DON’T F**K WITH DWIGHT
This meme is funny if you like The Office, but it’s really funny if you have a basic understanding of the Kardashev scale. Type II civilizations are those that have gained the ability to harness the energy of their planet’s parent star (the sun) and transfer it directly to their homeworld. An example of this would be the Dyson Sphere from the TNG episode, “Relics.” It’s a structure that’s actually built to surround the star and transfer the energy directly to the planet. Dope, right? Type II civilizations are the very best!
Fools! No they are not! Because a Type III civilization can do the same thing, but with all the energy in its parent galaxy. The Force would constitute just such a thing, so by Kardashev’s (and Dwight’s) logic, Star Wars is the clear victor.
9. JACK SPARROW’S PROBABLY JUST DRUNK
If you’re ever at a dinner party and you feel the conversation waning, slam both your hands on the table and loudly and resolutely declare that Star Trek is better than Star Wars. You’ll make new friends, new enemies and lots of drama. The fun thing about this never-ending debate is that it’s anything but niche. Both Star Wars and Star Trek are beloved (or at least known) the world over, and that makes it easy to find people with opinions.
Granted, if you say this at Star Wars Celebration wearing a red shirt, you should probably expect something similar to what’s happening to Jack Sparrow to happen to you. And while that would make for a sick meme in and of itself, we beg you — tread with caution!
8. DISNEY! ANYTHING BUT DISNEY!!
At first glance, this meme almost looks like the Enterprise is about to get blown to smithereens (or just get run over) by the Destroyer on its tail. If you’re a Star Wars person, that might make you cheer… until you read the caption. This meme is poking fun at Disney’s recent acquisition of the Star Wars franchise and collective fears the Mouse would pollute the story with its own fiercely held brand.
Star Wars is set in a dystopia, though generally a cheery and hopeful one, and Disney doesn’t really do dystopia well. Fans were worried the studio’s commitment to family entertainment would dull the series’ edge. Star Trek fans clearly share the same concerns if this meme is any indication.
7. TRUTH BOMB
On the surface, it might seem as though Kirk, Sulu and Uhura are suffering from a loss of atmosphere on the Enterprise. That’s usually what people gasping for air in space are suffering from — unless they’re within range of Darth Vader’s Fist of Fury. Then it’s probably him.
One of the reasons Darth Vader makes for such a compelling villain is that he rarely needs to make a big display to get his point across. Sometimes all it takes to make a point is a good air-strangling and people fall in line, and it’s a good leadership strategy to never punish more than you have to. The thing is, if Darth Vader has access to the energy in the very fabric of the universe, it stands to reason his reach could extend across space/time and franchises.
6. MORPHEUS HAS UNSETTLING NEWS
On the off chance you haven’t seen The Matrix (or haven’t since it came out because you really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about), this meme is parodying the Morpheus’ famous revelation to Neo that their world is all an illusion. It’s pretty paradigm shifting for The One they call Neo (or Ne-WHOA, as we like to call him), and there’s definitely an adjustment period.
We get it. If someone told us that Star Trek’s clear superiority was all some kind of computer simulation, we’d need some time, too. Kirk certainly seems to. That said, if you’re one of those people who find themselves eternally torn between both franchises, odds are you can really relate to the reaction shots at the bottom. Half, “F**k yeah!” and half, “Go f**k yourself!”
We know this picture looks familiar, but we thought this variation deserved a spot on the list, if only for its ability to totally flip the script. This meme is particularly savage, given that it’s clearly for people who are so unimpressed with Star Trek that they’ve never heard of Starfleet. That would be like a Trekker defiantly refusing to acknowledge that they knew Luke Skywalker’s last name.
Of course, the other implication is that the Destroyer’s firepower would blow the much-smaller Enterprise to smithereens. While it’s true that size does matter, anyone who saw Rogue One knows that maneuverability is also pretty essential. We’re not counting the Enterprise out just yet. Feel free to work out the spatial dynamics of that in the comments and let us know if you think Kirk & Co. would escape!
4. ANOTHER FAIR POINT
It makes sense that Dwayne Johnson would be Team Star Trek — he did guest star on an (unfortunate) episode of Star Trek: Voyager back when the WWE and Voyager were the jewels in UPN’s Wednesday lineup. But in this movie still doctored into a meme, his mouth is shut pretty effectively by an epic takedown of Star Trek firepower compared to Star Wars.
Though it should be said, it’s way easier to destroy a Death Star when you have blueprints, a structurally engineered fatal design flaw and the ability to walk around without worrying about getting turned into a cyborg. The same cannot be said of a Borg cube, AND their shields adapt to any weapon used more than once. Just sayin’…
3. TROOPER VS. RED SHIRTS
If you can’t find it in your loyalist heart to like both sides of this meme, then we might suggest that you’re taking the rivalry a little too seriously. This. Is. Hilarious. Because. It. Is. True. Trained Stormtroopers typically can’t hit the broad side of a barn and redshirts legit might be disposable clones of the same five or six dudes.
If you’re so far from a Trekker that that reference means nothing to you, it’s poking fun at the fact that on the original Star Trek, every time the crew went on an away mission, someone usually died, and it certainly wasn’t going to be any of the contract players. So, who would actually win in this fight? It would be the fans now imagining this imaginary confrontation of incompetence.
2. TIP JARS
This meme is particularly savage on two different levels. Clearly whatever Starbucks decided to run this little experiment is surrounded by wealthy Star Wars fans. Unless someone unfolded the dollars to make it look like there were more in there (this fight gets dirty sometimes), Star Wars is the clear winner. Or it could be that the neighborhood Star Trek fans are just hella bad tippers. Trekker frowns, either way.
We would like to take the time to recognize the artistry and attention to detail in the dueling tip jars. If you look closely at the bottom corners of each jar, one has a “v” and one has an “s.” Star Wars vs. Star Trek. You know, just in case you didn’t catch that these guys aren’t friends.
1. FIREFLY FTW
The only thing wrong with being completely obsessed with the eternal and unwinnable Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate is that it steals your attention from other, worthy sci-fi space operas. Since the ’70s, pop culture’s become way more crowded with quality content, and new generations are really leaning into the concept of the universe blend. This meme is a welcome dose of perspective.
It’s not just about Star Wars vs. Star Trek anymore. It’s about Star Wars vs. Star Trek vs. Firefly vs. The Expanse vs. …Orville? Ok, that last one still has some dues to pay, but you get the idea. The best part about the fact that the SW/ST debate has never and will never die is just what makes it so interesting. The older it gets, the more jokes like the one directly above we’ll get to see.
Trek or Wars: where do your loyalties lie? Let us know in the comments!
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