With my roommie, I made small comment to the contrary and then let the natural flow of the conversation move on to other things, (like what bar we should go to next), but it did remind me how prevalent this point of view is among both trekkies and warsies* alike.
On reddit, it actually started with a question:
reddit OP wrote:Based on the movies, books, and other material, does it seem that most interstellar travel can be measured in hours? Days? Months? Years?
One of the first responses was:
Internet dude #1 wrote:According to Lucas, the ships travel at the speed of plot. I get what he's trying to say. It's not a science-based universe so there's no set rules for how fast or slow hyperspace travel is from ship to ship. As soon as you start applying facts and figures it all falls apart.
Which lead to the following back and forth:
Silver Jedi wrote:Internet dude #1 wrote:Silver Jedi wrote:Dude, if you don't want to be helpful, then don't participate in the discussion. The Star Wars universe is remarkably internally consistent considering the sheer number amount of material and number of different authors/creators involved. Lucas says shit like that all the time because he just doesn't care about that stuff, then people like Leeland Chee or Curtis Saxton come along and make it all make sense, with facts and figures.
Star Wars is a space fantasy, it's not Star Trek. It works just fine without figures and applied sciences.
Oh please, Star Trek is at least as bad as Star Wars when it comes to the fantasy elements. Name me one force power that we've never seen in an Alien of the Week on Trek.
You are partially right, though. Star Wars works just fine without quantitative figures and in depth explanations. One of the the beautiful about the universe that they've created is that those numbers are there in the canon if you're into that kind of thing, they just don't shove it down your throat like Trek does.
Silver Jedi wrote:Internet dude #2 wrote:Internet dude #1 is right. Star Trek is vastly more science-based, Star Wars is fantasy-based. Quit your whining.
Really? Star Wars has vastly more official "scientific" info than Trek does. Did you know that the Slave I's blasters have a yield of 600 gigajouls per shot? Acclimator-class assault transports have a peak reactor output of 2e23 Watts. The official explanations for hyperdrive technology ("Hyperdrives adjust faster-than-light "hypermatter" particles to allow a jump to light-speed without changing the complex mass and energy of the ship") and repulsor/tractor beam/acceleration compensator tech ("The gravitoactive constituents of these devices are subnuclear knots of space-time made in enormous... refineries encompassing black holes") were written by by an author with a PhD in Astrophysics.
OTOH, what is the "science-based" explanation for Q's powers? Or the Organians? Or betazed telepathy? It's even worse when they try to explain stuff in Trek, because then we just get made up units and elements, like isotons and dilithium (which doesn't even make sense as an element name).
If you don't care for the technical side of things, that's fine. As I said, the fact that Star wars doesn't shove it down your throat, or use it as an excuse to ignore plot and characterization is a good thing. But don't fool yourself into thinking that Trek is somehow more "science-based" because the writers rely on technobabble to fill out the script.
I don't actually expect to make any progress with these guys, but I felt like some practice there would help me when I want to give the 30sec version irl. Do you think in discussions like this it would be better to focus on the fact that (if you're going to make the distinction at all) they're both "space fantasy"**, or simply keep pointing out that when they want to Wars authors can technobabble as well or better than Trek writers? Or is there a better tactic I could use here?
P.S. I know my tone was somewhat combative, by their standards. I blame a decade+ of lurking here and ASVS for that. I just can't stand most redditors though. Or denizens of really popular Star Wars boards for that matter. I blame SDN and ASVS for that too .
*I hate that term, but don't have a better one
**Another term I hate