The first two episodes of Star Trek Discovery are streaming via CBS All Access and speaking from a Star Wars fan’s point of view, it was absolutely amazing.
There has always been a natural born rivalry between Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans. While both fanbases enjoy a particularly niched genre — one which takes place almost entirely in space — there are a few subtle differences.
Ask any Trek fan (Trekkies) and they will tell you Star Trek is more about the very real possibility of scientific exploration into the great unknown…the final frontier, as it were, using starships and making alliances with alien races.
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And, ask any Star Wars fan (we don’t have a cool nickname, just Star Wars fans will do, thanks) about the franchise, and you’ll usually get a lengthy discussion about a mystical energy called the Force, lightsabers, Jedi vs Sith (that’s space wizards to you casuals), and the Empire vs the Rebellion.
Oh, and if you’ve got some extra time on your hands, you might be lucky enough to hear about any particular Star Wars fan’s hatred or love of the prequel trilogy. Trust me, we’re like snowflakes, no two fans are the same on that topic.
That’s not to say Trekkies don’t have their own brand of fanbase division. Films vs television series, timelines, and who the best Captain in all of Starfleet is, will usually fill any interested listener’s entire day.
With that in mind, I — a bonified Star Wars fan who edits and writes for the FanSided Star Wars site: Dork Side of the Force — sat down last night, started up my free week of CBS All Access, and decided to give Star Trek: Discovery a chance. I am very glad I did.
Episode 1, “The Vulcan Hello,” did what any great series premiere does: It introduced the main characters to me in a way that made me want to follow their storyline, the more I got to know them. Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou drew me instantly into the Trek universe.
The backdrop for the desert planet they were on in the opening scene was gorgeous, the character dialogue was on point, the tech used was very interesting and easily recognizable, and the music was great throughout, but at times, awe-inspiring.
Once aboard their starship, the USS Shenzhou, I was drawn in even more as new characters (particularly Saru portrayed by Doug Jones) were introduced. But what sealed the deal for me, what made me want to pay for my CBS All Access subscription when it runs out at the end of the week, was the portrayal of the Klingon Empire.
I’ve seen some Star Trek shows and even a couple of films in my time, and I’ve seen many different looking Klingons (Michael Dorn as Worf comes to mind), but these particular Klingons were like nothing I had ever encountered, and I felt like I was (to borrow a Trek phrase), making First Contact with the warrior race.
Chris Obi as T’Kuvma, the leader of an ancient Klingon house (one of 24 apparently), nailed the role of a religious figurehead rallying his once proud people into a Jihad of sorts on Starfleet. That’s how most of episode 2, “Battle of he Binary Stars,” played out.
T’Kuvma’s rallied Klingon Empire vs a bunch of Starfleet starships, who warped into the quadrant in time to get their asses kicked. The space battle was superbly thrilling, and again, the music only heightened the action.
To say the least, I am now very excited about the next episode, and as I mentioned before, I absolutely will pay to subscribe to CBS All Access to watch this show. And, guess what, that’s where Star Trek is winning against Star Wars.
For too long now, Star Wars fans have been begging the powers that be (it’s Disney now) to make a live-action Star Wars television show. With the popularity of streaming services — especially the multiple Marvel series’ on Netflix — now is the time to strike while the iron is hot…but Lucasfilm and Disney have yet to put anything together.
Now, with Star Trek: Discovery being streamed through CBS All Access, for the completely fair price of $5.99 a month with commercials, Star Trek fans have an amazing show to watch through an exclusive streaming platform, and as a Star Wars fan, I am green with envy, because the only Star Wars television show I get is the animated Star Wars Rebels which airs on a barely palatable children’s network in Disney XD.
While there is no doubt that Star Wars has dominated the box office since 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and this December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi — and with a plan for more films that will probably run for infinity — there is one place Star Wars is losing the battle to Star Trek: Television. Or better yet, streaming television.
Get it together Disney and Lucasfilm, you just got your nerf herding asses kicked by a television show on a streaming platform no one thought would work, and I plan on watching it happen, again and again, each week.