I’m a geek. I’m also an old geek. My first experience with geek television was reruns of George Reeves “Superman”, the campy Adam West “Batman”, and of course Star Trek. Even as a child I loved the idea of traveling in space; a couple of years later the US put a man on the moon and the possibilities were endless. At least they were until the Space Program ended.
Loving Star Trek led me to loving other SF movies, television shows, and most importantly books. I read all the Tarzan books when I was in 6th grade, by 7th grade I was devouring Heinlein and Bradbury, shortly thereafter is was Frank Herbert’s Dune series. And in the summer of 1977 I was transported to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars.
I found new friends to share my love of Star Wars when the Prequels were released. I loved them and accepted them for where they fit into the overall story – Jar Jar Binks included. I faithfully watched all the TOS actors in the Star Trek movies, I devoured The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, and I actually really enjoyed the Star Trek reboot in 2009. I thought it was a clever way to tell new stories. Heck, regeneration has worked for Doctor Who for 50 years.
Several friends have posted on Facebook with their “likes” or “dislikes” of the new Star Trek movie. Almost every one of them starts out “I know I’m a die-hard Star Wars fan, but…” or something like that. They feel they have to apologize for liking a series from the 1960s because they fell in love with movies from the 1970s. What gives? Why is it wrong to like both?
Most of my Star Wars friends are younger, 30s and under. In their growing up years Star Wars was first (1977) and Star Trek was second (ST:TNG 1987). They think they have to choose one fandom over another; so if they like Star Wars they can’t like Star Trek. The indie movie “Fanboys” by Kyle Newman really pushed the Star Wars versus Star Trek meme and, while it was played up for laughs, only cemented the notion that fans can only like one.
So to my fellow Star Wars fans I would say, stop the hate. It isn’t an either-or situation. They are both good franchises and both deserve our love. In fact voice actor Stephen Stanton (General Tarkin in the Clone Wars Animated Series) promotes this every time he appears at a convention by bringing his friend Rick Fitts who appeared on ST:TNG. Rick has done many photo ops in the 501st Stormtrooper Legion booth along with many costumed Star Wars fans – and he is always welcome.
Share the love, people.