There have been many great rivalries throughout the ages, but perhaps none as intense as that between fans of Star Wars and Star Trek. In his book Star Wars Vs. Star Trek: Could the Empire Kick the Federation’s Ass? and other galaxy-shaking enigmas, author Matt Forbeck attempts to play both booker and referee, pitting various characters, locations, and gadgets from both universes against each other to see which comes out on top.
This is definitely a concept that any sci-fi fan can relate to. How many hours have we spent debating which starship is more powerful: a Star Destroyer or the Enterprise? Or whether a laser blast is deadlier than a phaser beam. Could the Emperor take on Q and survive? There are dozens of such scenarios in Star Wars Vs. Star Trek. Forbeck takes two opponents, one from each universe, puts them in a location familiar to most fans of the franchises, and then describes how one of them would outlast, outwit, outspeed, or, in some cases, plain out-cool the other. In most cases, the match-ups come to logical conclusions, but many times, it seems the results are kind of arbitrary, the winner decided due to the fact that their universe hadn’t won a match in a while.
My one gripe with how the book plays out is that often the combatants seem woefully mismatched in their category. Qui-Gon Jin vs. Jonathan Archer, the Dianoga vs. Miles O’Brien, Boba Fett vs. Tuvok. I understand wanting to give more characters their time in the spotlight, but sometimes it seems like the author is just heartlessly feeding them to the lions for the amusement of the bloodthirsty geeks.
Star Wars Vs. Star Trek is a fun read that is sure to spark debates between friends, while raising the hackles of die-hard Trekkies or Warriors when they see their favored galaxy bested. Matt Forbeck shows his love for and knowledge of both universes throughout the book and treats them with respect. While not a book for the casual fan, the hardcore will still find a lot they had never even
thought of to discuss by the time they are done.
In a nutshell Star Wars vs. Star Trek by Matt Forbeck, a book published by Adams Media this summer, wasn’t what I was hoping it would be.
I grew up having seen the Star Wars movies, and even did a midnight showing of Episode One to much disappointment like many others. I’ve worn the shirts, hugged the Ewoks, remote controlled an R2-D2, visited Star Tours, and played some of the video games.
As far as Star Trek goes, I am by no means a Trekkie having only viewed occasional reruns of the original series. I’ve watched a good number of Star Trek the Next Generation episodes, and distinctly remember having a crush on Wil Wheaton during the first season. I enjoyed the latest Star Trek (2009) movie directed by J.J. Abrams immensely, and was excited that it was a bit of a reimagining so that I could start onto the new storyline since I haven’t seen the previous films.
Despite my personal interactions with both Star Wars and Star Trek, I don’t believe that this book is for people, like myself, seeking to learn more about the sagas. Although offering some background knowledge I felt that this book relied heavily on the reader being very familiar with both Sci-fi franchises. Each page I would get stuck trying to remember what the character looked like in order to read on.
To be honest I only read a couple chapters of this book, so I’m not able to give you an in-depth review. In seeing how He Geek easily made it through the book, I can see that this would be a fun title for avid fans of both the Star Wars and Star Trek universes. However, for someone looking for a Cliff Notes / Idiot’s Guide type book to bring you up to speed this isn’t the book for you.
(Disclaimer: HeGeekSheGeek.com was supplied a preview copy of this book in exchange for our personal reviews. We were not required to give a favorable opinion.)