Welcome to ST-v-SW.Net.
This website deals
specifically with engagements involving two popular sci-fi powers . . .
we compare what they've got and what they would do with
it in a brawl.
The first power is the Galactic Empire, as seen in Episodes IV-VI of the Star Wars saga. Data from the prequels and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars CGI show is also used, but merely as reference for what the society has previously demonstrated itself capable of doing. The second power is the United Federation of Planets of the 2370's, as seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and the TNG-era Star Trek films. Data from Enterprise, Star Trek: The Original Series, and the first six Star Trek films are also included, but this is used primarily as reference for what the society has previously demonstrated itself capable of doing.
I'm sure you have a few questions. Let's answer some:
You know that this stuff is just TV shows and movies, right?
Of course! But that doesn't mean we
can't have fun thinking about them.
You know this means you're a geek, don't you?
Yup . . . pretty much. But, then, you came here and you're reading this, so you're probably one, too. :-)
On the other hand, there is this
video of a rather decidedly astereotypical person talking about Star Trek vs. Star Wars, including technology
comparisons, so perhaps we shouldn't feel quite so bad about our
you're saying this is
really a real debate?
Unfortunately, yes, both in the sense that people really discuss this stuff, and that people get really heated about it.
Ideally, there would be no debate at all. It would be a bunch of nerds crunching numbers in geeky bliss or, at worst, treating it like an honorable game among friends (no cheating!). But everybody has a favorite, and while some of us can set that aside, the fact is that some want their favorite to win, and really tie their egos to it. You thus end up with people unwavering in their support of one or the other and unwilling to see reason or their own intellectual dishonesty, and bent on convincing or occasionally even coercing others toward either agreement or silence. Thus, as you might imagine, a rather more adversarial system has developed.
And there is plenty of subject matter to debate. After all,
make no mistake:
the Death Star rules. But, as
demonstrated twice, even Death Stars aren't invincible.
How long has this been going on?
The debate has been going on since Star
Wars came out, I'd wager, and will continue for awhile after
Trek and Wars stop being made, should such a thing ever occur.
Online, Star Trek vs. Star Wars debates have demonstrably occurred for decades . . . probably almost as long as there was an "online" to debate on. The earliest trace of it I've found is a Usenet posting from 1985 when probably about six total people were online anyway. As time went on the topic would flare up from time to time, until it reached a point in the mid-1990's when arguments and eventually flames were being cross-posted all over the place. These arguments were largely considered to be pollution in both the Trek-centric and Wars-centric newsgroups, but certain people gravitated toward them. In 1997, alt.startrek.vs.starwars (ASVS) was created and eventually became the hub of online Vs. Debate activity, and some, but not all, of the Vs. Debate old-timers hopped in. ASVS is still technically around, but by and large since the early 2000s people have gravitated away toward the more easily-accessed web-based forums.
Just to give you whipper-snappers a sense of things, recall that the
Apple iPhone, a simplified variation on existing Palm and Windows
Mobile devices and now considered ubiquitous, was introduced in 2007. In the mid-1990s, mobile
phones were still pretty rare, and even if you had one you probably
didn't carry it in your pocket or on your hip and talk on it frequently
as you might today. If it wasn't a "bag phone" that rode in your
car, then it was probably something like this.
There was no texting on it and certainly no games or music or internet access, either.
For that matter, the internet itself was still relatively
rare. In the '90s many people dialed up to AOL, Prodigy, or
CompuServe for the first time on their (80)386 or 486 IBM-Compatible
PCs, and could even do so without the "Turbo" button on the front of the
case pressed. Before that you were probably dialing in to a local
bulletin board system, or BBS. And if you were arguing the topic
back then you probably did so off of your VHS tapes . . . DVDs were
introduced in the US in 1997, but by 1999
the DVD market penetration was in the mid-single digits, but that's
also when the price came down. So, by 2001 the format had reached
a third of US households, though neither Star Trek nor Star Wars were
available on DVD at the time (TNG would arrive a year later).
Needless to say, a lot has changed since that early message in
1985. It wasn't even possible to do some of the things done as a
matter of course on this website. Frame by frame?
Good luck with that. High definition? Fageddaboudit.
Why bother with such a silly subject?
Honestly, there's no good answer to this question. To steal a line from DS9, it is not the most important topic on this planet, in this country, or even in this room.
we all have things we waste time on . . . this is little worse than
most others. Like the joke goes, many people
now have, in their pocket, access to virtually the sum of human
knowledge, and they use it for LOLcat videos and posting status
messages about their latest meal. And while this is
approximately as productive, it is at least more educational.
Certainly I've learned a ton about both Star Trek and Star Wars from this ongoing project, but of much more value is the information I've researched on everything from nuclear weapon effects to human birthrates, and from 20th Century video broadcast resolutions to quantum cryptography, along with so much more. All of that experience is part of me now, and I carry it with me. While I may not have a daily need to assess the yield of the bomb that made a crater, you never know when knowledge from one area, no matter how esoteric it might seem, can be applied to something you're working on . . . even if it is just making use of the critical thinking skills kept sharp by the topic.
Of course, there are other options. For instance, I could
spend my time memorizing sports statistics,
player numbers, and watching games on the couch. But when you get
right down to it, what's the difference? True, this topic
regards a somewhat purer fiction than what sports writers or certain
vision-impaired referees concoct, and given the
stereotypes of geeks almost certainly features less steroid use, but
let's face it . . . when you get right down to it, do hardcore "fantasy football" people, for instance, have any
room to talk?
How did you get to the point of making a website?
For that, we must go back to the beginning . . .
"In the beginning DARPA created a series of tubes. But the tubes
were without bandwidth, and void. So the spirit of Al Gore moved upon
the face of the tubes.
And Al Gore said "Let there be USENET", and there was USENET. And The Gore increased the bandwidth thereof, and the tubes were fruitful and multiplied.
And on USENET were discussions and debates after their kind. And Al Gore said let there be newsgroups to divide the topics and subjects, and for porn and picture and binary groups, and it was so.
Verily, in this garden of eden were fanboys and geeks. In the image of Al Gore created He them. And in their innocence they gathered, each according to their kind, Trekkies in alt.tv.startrek newsgroups, Warsies in alt.starwars newsgroups. And there was much discussion of technology, and it was very good.
But lo, serpents brought forth apples of forbidden knowledge of tech superiority debating betwixt the groups, and suddenly both were aware of their animosity. And Al Gore was angry, and did send Tyralak to punish them with alt.startrek.vs.starwars, and said "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy inner buttholes, and hast let out thy animosities of which I commanded thee saying "use thy killfilter on that nonsense", cursed are the tubes for thy sake; in misery shalt thou debate all the days of thy life. Flames and insults shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt find no peace, for silly fanboy buttholes thou art, and as silly fanboy buttholes shalt thou be knownst."
These are the generations of the tubes and ASVS, in the day that Al Gore made USENET and the tubes."
ASVSesis, Ch. 11 . . . the early Webtubes and after the Garden of ASVS and on to the Webtube Forums:
"And Wayne's page begat Wong's page, and somewhere in there was begat Boyd's, and also there was January's as well as those of Edam and Elim, but, for want of attention and shekels, to electrons have they all long since returned but for Wong's. Somewhere in here was begat the Spacebattles forum, but we careth not. Verily did Wayne and friends offend the Guardian greatly, and thus begat ST-v-SW.Net, which indirectly begat the short-lived Strek-v-Swars and its forum, but not before a forum Wong made he it. And yea, so it was that the tribes largely cast themselves out of ASVS, which, being naughty in Al Gore's sight, has been severely spambotted. Then, verily, did Jedi Master Spock hearken unto the words, which begat StarfleetJedi.Net, and yea, also Tyralak, having punished man not enough, did begat ASVS.org. And The Gore was pleased at his wrath, for verily did the debate continue on His sites."
As for how I got here . . . well, much of that is covered in the Site Pre-History, but suffice it to say that I chanced upon the topic and discovered that most of the accepted wisdom of the then-majority was wrong. Worse, there was little rational discussion or even rational argumentation . . . it was largely just flaming, obnoxious behavior, and swarming opponents with more posts than most could answer in a reasonable timeframe . . . in other words, even worse than the rest of Usenet. My defiant personality didn't take too kindly to such things, and I clearly had too much time on my hands (or wanted to pretend I did, anyway), and thus this site was born. Sure, there are plenty of other things to argue about, but this topic had virtually no active representation from the rational side of the aisle . . . which is, of course, the point of the swarm tactics and insults. It's just that in my case, their technique obviously backfired.
As one of the 'respected' rabidly pro-Wars debaters confessed
regarding his approach to the debate:
1. Debate is not a search for truth. It is an exercise in rhetoric.
2. As it is not a search for truth, positions which I do not personally agree with may be adopted to win.
3. The objective of debate is to emerge the "victor," having used superior rhetorical tecniques [sic] to gain victory.
4. Any tactic empirically effective at advancing a position should be used.
To translate the above, "facts are irrelevant . . . victory for my
side against all opponents is the only important thing". That's
just . . . icky. And it doesn't matter whose side he's on.
opinion, the following is how we should approach the issue:
1. This debate is a search for the Truth, even if it is truth about a silly contest between fictional universes. It is an exercise in critical thinking.
2. Any position which conforms to the evidence must be accepted, no matter which side is the resulting victor.
3. The objective of this debate is to burn away irrelevancies, errors, falsehoods, and so on, in order to arrive at the Truth.
4. Any tactic not firmly based on the precepts of rational discourse should not be used.
But I'm not perfect, either,
and in perusing this site you'll undoubtedly see traces of my
frustrations with silly arguments and behaviors and even certain people
manifested plainly in text. Why? See below.
I've heard that you are biased / crazy /
lying / a fanatic / a troll / evil / smelling of elderberries.
Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if you heard I ate live puppies.
There's a small but close-knit group of rampant Star Wars
(who, it goes without saying, are largely the same group of people as
those from the alt.startrek.vs.starwars group mentioned above) who
redefined Star Wars technology on the internet in complete defiance to
what the films show, and my approach of taking both sides at face value
is toxic to them. Making them actually acknowledge facts in the
films is like taking a flat-Earther into orbit . . . they freak out,
claim you're lying, and will attack you forever.
I almost wish now that I'd kept a list of all the
things said about me over the years by my loyal opponents, since
puppy-eating is one of the few things probably not on the list.
The real list would be hysterical, because basically everything they
feel is wrong in the world is attributed to me. Just from a quick
Googling, I'm "a force intolerable on
(that's my new personal favorite), a "masocest", a "disgrace to the
human race", and so on. They also claim (wish?) that I am
extremely gay, and according to them I am apparently frequently
pleasured by my readers, who
are told to stop performing such acts upon me if they ever quote
me. I don't know how that works . . . maybe there's a
website plugin for that?
And remember that they're saying all this stuff over disagreements about comparing science
fiction technology. At least, that's what it is for
me. For some of my opponents, however, it's a religious struggle.
In all seriousness, the point is that such claims generally come
from rather less than
trustworthy sources inasmuch as declaring others biased or
fanatical. Online and offline harassment of various people you
disagree with -- up to and including phone calls to your home and work,
and even public discussions of hostile home visits -- is hardly the way
to prove your arguments are more correct. That they then call
their targets "paranoid" is the icing on that looneycake.
And, of course, their list of enemies and targets is rather long,
including Star Wars production personnel who, they feel, don't
subscribe to their inflationist agenda, which is how many of my loyal opponents came to be
called by the
terrorism reference, "Talifan", by a Star Wars author.
As analogy, imagine you're a person who likes cars and has owned Fords and even a General Motors car, but you have no particular preference. However, on the internet you happen upon a whole field of discussion of Ford vs. Chevy (or Vauxhall or Holden or what-GM-have-you) and the GM fanboy side claims all their cars last forever, have fusion powerplants and titanium body panels, can do zero to sixty in 0.4 seconds, feature miniature suns as headlights, cause a 'Detroit Holocaust' if two should crash together, and so on. Meanwhile, they declare that Fords . . . even the models you personally owned and know about . . . are literally gerbil-powered papier-mache-hulled laughing-stocks with candle headlights, and can only achieve sixty if dropped from an aircraft. You don't have to be a Ford fanboy to see the error in such flagrant disregard of fact. Nor do you have to be a Ford fanboy to challenge the claims . . . and, if you're anything like me, insults being delivered as the only response would only spur you on further. This is especially true if their internet Talifan madrasas purport to rebut 'Ford Cultists' who dare to suggest that both automakers use the same basic steel body panels, headlamps, et cetera.
So you make a website detailing your points, and, not realizing the depth of their religious fervor, dare to post facts to the GM fanboys on forums. Blammo . . . they say you're a crazy Ford fanboy, a force intolerable on this Earth, and a disgrace to the human race, and an evil liar and all-around scoundrel who probably personally had a hand in every tragedy the planet has known in the past 1000 years. And suddenly you're worthy of being called at all hours and having people openly discuss coming to your home. And if a GM engineer says something about their cars not causing holocausts or (gasp) using steel, then he or she becomes a target, too.
So, when you get right down to it,
then answer to the question of
whether I'm crazy is actually "yes", because, as a rule, most sane
people would recoil in horror and avoid such psychopaths
I have a rather defiant personality when it
comes to suffering injustice, so, as a rule, the harder they push, the
harder I work on my site. That's absolutely not to say that my
goal is Star Wars deflationism
or Star Trek inflationism. Either would be just as
wrong-headed. Both series should be taken for what they actually
show us about themselves, not what we wish they showed or can convince
ourselves they show.
As a result, this is a pretty moderate site. I like both Trek and Wars, but historically I have preferred Star Trek story-wise. In the realm of special effects and popcorn fun, though, Star Wars is far superior. So, between my having liked Trek more when I was younger and to ensure I'm not biased due to my dealings with the inflationist Talifan (who can really put a damper on one's ability to enjoy Star Wars), I give Star Wars as much benefit of the doubt and wiggle room as I reasonably can, to the point that Trek fans sometimes complain. Victory over the Talifan does not equal a Star Trek victory . . . it is the victory of the real Star Wars over their perverted version of it. (Indeed, the best way to defeat the Talifan would be for Star Trek to still lose, undercutting their perceived need for their inflationist agenda.)
If I were as biased and pro-Trek as is claimed, this would be GalaxyClassStarship.Net. I'm aiming for
and balance, equal treatment for both sides. The outcomes may still be grossly
unequal, but that is for the evidence to decide, not me. Sure,
this is science fiction, but we can still
it and consider it rationally. The facts alone are the
arbiter . . . not popularity, box office draw, the clash of egos so
such debates, or any other criteria . . . just the facts the two
universes present of themselves.
Lastly, suffice it to say that this website is not about me, nor is it about the Talifan. It's about Trek and Wars and the technology of the two, and it doesn't matter if this is currently Albert Einstein or Adolf Hitler doing the typing. What debaters think of each other is irrelevant. Even if everything they say about me is true, at the end of the day the arguments here are either right or they're wrong . . . neither my identity nor my culinary preferences are relevant.
But remember this . . . the same is even true in regards to
debate claims of my most hardcore Talifan opponents. Even
stopped clocks get lucky twice a day.
Now, in my
current opinion, based on my research of the topic to date, the facts
suggest that Star
technology looks to be superior, though the question of who would win
in all-out war is
still open. Your opinion may differ, and that's fine.
This site is an exposition of how I arrived at and continue to arrive
at my opinions . . . I may even have to completely rewrite the "in my
opinion" sentence someday. And that's just fine, too. I'd rather be right than be consistent.
Indeed, if you
I've missed an important fact, let me
Now, bring on the puppies. I'm famished. ;-)
about other websites on the topic?
As noted earlier, sites have come and gone, more even than I have
mentioned. Some that have disappeared have even been kept alive
on my site.
Of those that remain or have come along as of this writing, some are better than others. Mike Wong's StarDestroyer.Net, for instance, was ground-breaking when it first appeared, and while it's now more of a dead site serving as a portal to the forum, the old claims are still worth a read. Of course, I would read StarDestroyer.Net with a critical eye since it is unabashedly partisan and inflationist from the first page on. (But, of course, I'd suggest you read everything critically, anyway, even my site.) Similarly, former pro-Wars debater Curtis Saxton's Star Wars Technical Commentaries site, though with a pretense of being unrelated to the debate, is also worth reviewing to see inflationist claims fleshed out.
Obviously, there are several points of departure in the logic used at this site compared to those, and where one ends up often depends on where one starts. Most notably, the above sites both make heavy (sometimes exclusive) use of basically non-canon materials, sometimes (even frequently) ignoring or contradicting canon onscreen fact. That is a methodology I do not agree with. This site and the findings thereon are based strictly on canon material, though there are a few references and rebuttals to certain popular arguments based on non-canon data. A further explanation of this position can be found on the Preface and Canon page, linked at the bottom.
Some inflationists have tried to return to the canon to some
extent. Brian Young's SciFights.Net,
for instance, purports to avoid the non-canon, but then uses the
children's book that Saxton and the inflationists including Brian got a chance to
write, along with a non-canon children's show of cartoon
shorts. The result is thus not significantly different than
StarDestroyer.Net, despite the use of a YouTube and video-only format
for argumentation which is altogether quite innovative in this
subculture. There is also an ancillary text-based site
featuring most of the same information, again using the Saxtonian
pretense of being unrelated to the debate, at GalacticEmpireWars.com.
StarfleetJedi.Net is an excellent site and definitely worth your time. It is newer than this site, written by a relative outsider to the debates (at least compared to my long history), and while that site's conclusions often differ from mine, they also differ significantly from StarDestroyer.Net.
Additional arguments can be found at the site of a fellow going by
the moniker "Picard" at http://picard578.hostoi.com/startrek-vs-starwars/.
And speaking of Youtube earlier, there are several channels there which
also take one side or the other in the debates, such as this one by Idazmi7.
There are other websites featuring ongoing Star Trek vs. Star Wars
debates in forums and such, but
offhand those are the only other currently operative major and minor
sites, to my knowledge. Let me know if you find (or run)
Whatever the site, no matter how arrogantly or how logically certain authors might state their case, and no matter how many calculations we all have, the fact remains that mathematics proves nothing when based upon false assumptions and erroneous interpretations. So just because you see a mass of calculations . . . and this is true in this debate or in life . . . don't assume it to be true. Check the premises.
After all, back in the day there were many more sites on this topic,
and many of them had calculations and assertions. Most
argued that Star Wars would win, but if you looked at their claims and
calculations you'd find that they were based on really bad input. And
with math, as with most things, it's "garbage in, garbage out".
What about Babylon 5, or Stargate SG-1, or Battlestar Galactica, or Iain M. Banks' "Culture", et cetera?
This is ST-v-SW.Net, so just by the name there's probably not much
of that. Honestly, I generally don't know much about other sci-fi
and I don't do fantasy or anime or comic books at all, so I suppose I'm
different form of geek.
I didn't see much Babylon 5. What I saw was decent, and
the finale was moving even for a non-fan, but I don't know anything
about the technology.
I was a fan of the first few seasons of SG-1. The later
Goa'uld ships that could go way faster than the original 10c and had
shields capable of
shrugging off gigaton nukes might be a good threat for both sides,
maybe even winning ship-to-ship, though probably not in a war due to
their fractured political nature. The Asgard could almost
certainly wipe the floor with the
the Empire, as could the Banks Culture,
several times over.
The new Battlestar Galactica
seemed to have super-fast FTL, but no
other significant advantages I can think of offhand. Data and the
droids of Star Wars might find the Cylons interesting, but their
I also rather like the old Blake's 7. If I had unlimited time, I'd do a technical website on that, too . . . it seems that B7 technology is a field that has gone largely untouched. It's been awhile since I watched it, but I seem to recall thinking that their planet-building, galaxy-defense, and whatnot probably suggests they have the tech to whip both, ship-to-ship, and the expansionist B7 Federation could at least threaten both if not win, even if Orac wasn't available. The ship-to-ship victory point is, of course, especially true of the race that built the Liberator, whose auto-repair system should've been copied by every other franchise if even just to save on extras. :-)
(Also, Kerr Avon is alive. His weapon is still firing at the end. Just trust me on that.)
But I digress . . . this
site is about Star Trek and Star Wars. So head on to the next page to see how the comparison will be made.