June 22, 2022

TREK WARS: Star Wars vs Star Trek

What is the real relationship is between the two most famous "Stars?"


GARBAGE SCOW EDITION! JOSH is joined by JOHN and JOE (on loan from The Secret Origins of Mint Condition podcast) to discuss two of our foundational fandoms, Stars TREK and WARS, and the different things we get from each. Tune in to discover who would win in a fight: a Star Destroyer or the Enterprise? (Spoiler alert: we don't care!)

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Transcript

[00:00:00] JOSH: Welcome to Trash Compactor. I'm Josh. And today my guests are John and the co-host of our cousin podcasts, The Secret Origins of Mint Condition and the former owner of the, the titular store mint condition, Joe. And today we're going to be talking about the perennial debate, the rivalry that never seems to die. Star Trek versus star wars.

[00:00:34] And I'm particularly excited about this grouping of people to have this discussion, because it does seem like a very comic shop style, , debate that I feel like if we were to walk in mint condition on any given day, you might hear a conversation, like the one we're going to be discussing.

[00:00:55] The reason I asked both of you on this podcast is because I know for all three of us, we are fans of

[00:01:02] these

[00:01:02] franchises. I don't want to use that word franchise. I hate the word proper didn't know that's even where it's

[00:01:07] word, um, universes.

[00:01:09] JOHN: creative worlds.

[00:01:11] JOE: Yeah.

[00:01:12] JOSH: I'm going to go with universes where we're fans of both of these universes in somewhat equal measure.

[00:01:20] I mean,

[00:01:21] Would you agree? That's a fair

[00:01:22] assessment.

[00:01:23] JOE: I would say so. Yes.

[00:01:25] JOHN: Oh, definitely.

[00:01:26] JOSH: So let me start by asking both of you, why is this Star Trek versus Star Wars debate a thing? And why does it refuse to die? .

[00:01:36] JOE: I think it's because it's fandom and I think fandom just lends itself to debates. Uh, as you pointed out in the introduction, that main condition, uh, you could walk into that store at any time and just hear a discussion going on with what a suit man wears red pants on the outside. Why is this underwear on the outside?

[00:01:54] Not in the inside. I think fandom just opens itself up to these debates. I think it's healthy. I think it's, uh, uh, sometimes can get a little crazy of course and go off the rails. But I just think that there are people that just want to test each other test each other's knowledge, so to speak in these different universes.

[00:02:12] Maybe get them in a gotcha moment. But, uh, I think it's started to get playful for the most part. I've never been involved in any of these type of co uh, back and forth where it hasn't been playful in that sense. So I'm able to just, I would just talk about the fandom.

[00:02:28] JOHN: Well, definitely, definitely grand the fandom thing. I think that people feel passionate about. They're totally gonna want to debate about, uh, it becomes a little bit of a, I think a team sport type thing, same sort of mentality of there's because there's a whole aesthetic to star wars and star Trek.

[00:02:43] There's, uh, there, you know, just, you know, visually alone. There's a lot to get onto there. And also, I don't think I've ever met a fan or a sci-fi fan or nerd of any kind who hasn't just been like chomping at the bit to go way in depth and you know, about anything they're passionate about. And that always leads to an argument as to which is, you know, which is better.

[00:03:05] Which one would you feel is better in the moment? And the funniest thing about that debate is I don't know about YouTube, but I found myself depending on whom debating with taking the other side, just because you want to

[00:03:15] debate it.

[00:03:15] JOE: Oh, yeah.

[00:03:16] JOSH: I think you're onto something that ties into what Joe was saying. this idea that, we are so into it and so enthusiastic about it. We want to talk about it and a part of, sharing in the, excitement that enthusiasm is healthy debate or unhealthy debate as it were, depending on, the person and , the particular subject.

[00:03:39] Um, I also think you're right. Joe, I know you're also a huge sports fan. I never caught that, particular, uh, sickness. I, um, I'm only a fan of. I mean, don't get me wrong. I have my own sicknesses. I'm I'm doing a, a, I'm doing a star wars podcast here. So, so I mean, I have my own things. but there is kind of an element that I think is a healthy element, but can sometimes cross over into an unhealthy element of, you know, kind of a tribal instinct.

[00:04:09] Like it's fun to have a team, a home team that you root for. And it's, it's fun to, , have friendly rivalry is with certain teams and, such, I think it's sort of a kin, to that, but, that can have a dark side. Some people, they can take it a little too far. nerd culture, I think, At least back in the days when, we were children, it could be pretty brutal at times.

[00:04:29] JOE: Oh, and I was a kid many years before you guys were born. we didn't have nerd culture at that time. So, um, the debates we had when I was growing up were more sports-related and yes, that could get very, very, uh, verbal and, um, sometimes even lead to physical, physical confrontations, Yankees, Mets, Yankees, red Sox tends to try and that type of thing.

[00:04:52] Um, this, this is something different. Uh, I think when you're, when you're, when you're into star Trek and star wars, especially star Trek, and I'm not, I don't want to demean star wars anyway, but when you're coming to star Trek, and if you're a real fan of star Trek, it's a certain, um, uh, understanding of the material that, that, you know, uh, brings out the best in you let's say.

[00:05:15] And, uh, maybe it keeps you from, uh, it keeps those inner demons. And, uh, you know, you don't act upon them when you're, when you get engaged in somebody, uh, a conversation like this. But, um, uh, yeah, I can remember going to conventions when I was a kid or in the seventies, but Congo conventions, especially stock, uh, DC versus Marvel.

[00:05:37] Uh, you go to star Trek conventions, and that would come up, uh, star Trek versus star wars. And I would always say my answer stock answer would always be, well. I like them both because I want to experience them both. If you're, if you're only on one side, you're missing out on half the fun. And that was my way of looking at it all the time.

[00:05:52] I didn't want to miss out on half the fun that's.

[00:05:54] JOSH: that's.

[00:05:55] because you're a good guy, Joe. I

[00:05:57] JOE: Thank you.

[00:05:57] JOSH: I, I'm not sure. I agree necessarily that star Trek fans, , because their understanding of the.

[00:06:03] leads them to keep their

[00:06:04] darker sides in check. I don't know, John,

[00:06:06] what do you think about.

[00:06:08] JOHN: Oh, yeah. I've had some interesting experiences with that because, uh, I will comes to mind for me. Uh, wasn't a convention, it was actually summer camp. Uh, and there was one counselor. You always think of like the counselors, you know, the one who's the lifeguards and like that, of course me, I find the nerdiest counselor there is who was an encyclopedia of star Trek knowledge.

[00:06:30] So immediately I like had to befriend them. What I thought was going to be more, a sharing of common interests became, uh, uh, like a quiz show. He ha he, I had to constantly prove my knowledge and my worth, uh, to this person over and over again, if I, you know, and, and th that was the time when I think, uh, I just started watching the next generation.

[00:06:52] I was probably, you know, 10, 11 years old, something like that. And, oh, God, I'm dating myself. So I could name episode titles within the first 30 seconds of the episode. At that point, I knew that I'd watched everything that had been aired at that point. Uh, and so I was able to keep up pretty well. I earned his grudging respect, but I swear we were, we were those guys.

[00:07:15] We were those stereotypes of, we only approve if you reach the special knowledge and then I'll acknowledge your existence. And it was, it was comical and funny, but I realized what it was, was looking back. He definitely was socially. This was a way that he learned how to mediate social interaction. Uh, and so we'd become, we become, you know, friends to for that summer.

[00:07:36] Uh, but it was really more than just the, the need for competition. It was that, Hey, I, you know, I, I have, I don't know how to talk to people about the thing I'm really passionate with except by, you know, going over the detail and that inherently breeds a lot of competition, you know, who knows more, uh, who can, who can sort of, you know, best each other in terms of their knowledge of the lore, uh, you know, all kinds of.

[00:07:59] JOSH: That is a fascinating insight. And I think you're exactly right. , because that dynamic, , you describe I'm very familiar with, and I'm, I'm ashamed to say I've been on, on both sides of it in my youth. I think there's something about, especially in, , quote unquote nerd culture, such as it was, back in the nineties, not to get too far on a tangent.

[00:08:19] It was very hard to reconcile nerd culture with, like accepted versions of masculinity. Right. And I think that, as a side effect of that, if you were sort of the big shot in your own niche, the big fish in the small pond, there was a sort of a rich, small kind of a masculine, dominance, or like a pissing contest for lack of a better word, like to show who was, who was the, uh, the bigger.

[00:08:50] more knowledgeable

[00:08:51] fan. Right. do you connect with what I'm

[00:08:53] saying or does that seem, completely

[00:08:54] off,

[00:08:55] JOHN: Yeah, that, that that goes with my lived experience with it, seeing it, you know, particularly in, in the

[00:09:00] nineties, uh, it was definitely, uh,

[00:09:03] if, if, you didn't have access to other ways of, uh, you know, sort of trying to be the king of the hill, uh, this could definitely be a way of doing that. Uh, and. Uh, you know, and sometimes healthily and then, and then you get to the point where it gets a little toxic and you're like, all right, so-and-so's going way overboard of the knowledge, but it's no longer fun anymore.

[00:09:20] JOSH: exactly. When it's no longer fun is when it becomes a problem.

[00:09:23] JOE: Exactly. I don't think I've experienced that with stall stock truck, versus star wars. But as I said earlier, I did experience that in, especially in the seventies at, uh, at comic prevention's creation conventions in the New York comic con with the whole DC model thing, that was, that was constantly in your face.

[00:09:39] And you had to prove yourself many, many times over, uh, uh, in those settings. Yes.

[00:09:46] JOSH: Yeah. You know, it is really, I mean, was hopefully the past tense, you know, really a, um, kind of a way that, masculinity I think presented itself, in that form, it's sort of, the outcasts, from quote unquote, regular society? You know, we had our little, spot over here.

[00:10:05] Like our conventions. I went to start dreck conventions. so I encountered all of that, um, , at a very young age and it was very, , tricky, figuring out how to navigate that sort of stuff. I mean, To me, what was appealing about star Trek and star wars was the sense of, community and coming together over shared interests and shared passions and having someone or someones to share it with.

[00:10:28] And when you're finding those communities at the same time that you're finding yourself, it kind of manifest in all of these weird, interesting ways. One of which is star Trek or star wars. I want to ask you guys, ,

[00:10:42] I wanna know what your relationship is with star Trek and star wars and how they entered your life.

[00:10:48] JOE: Well, I was, I was, I was aware of star Trek in the sixties, let's see, when it first premiered, I guess it was 10, 19 66, so I never really got, got into it. I'd watch it. I'd check it out once in a while. But then in the fall of 1970 and the local WPIX channel channel 11,

[00:11:03] JOSH: Yeah.

[00:11:04] JOE: they started yeah, Pix 11.

[00:11:05] Oh, you're going to

[00:11:06] love

[00:11:07] Pix 11 Yankee games, star Trek. Oh yeah. Uh, they started rerunning star Trek and my first episode was deviled. And, you know, the, with the hoarder. And it's a great episode because my idea of science fiction was bug guide monsters. Well, here was a bug eyed monster killing these, these, um, these miners.

[00:11:24] But then we find out it's a mother and she's protecting her young. And it's like, whoa, this really blew me. I was about 15 at the time. This really opened my eyes to what science fiction could really be. And, and you manage it that that could be, uh, injected into science fiction. So, uh, that was my, that was my coming of age.

[00:11:43] And with, uh, star Trek and star wars was very simple. It was, I was there the first day, came, it premiered in New York on May 25th, 1975. Uh, the buzz was all around. I had to be there. And, um, when that ship came in with a screen and just. Kept going on and on and on. And everybody was in awe and it didn't stop.

[00:12:05] It was a two hour ride of just a rollercoaster ride of fun. And we'd never seen anything like this on the screen before, you know, so it was, um, those are my that's how, that's, how I came to, uh, star Trek and star wars.

[00:12:17] JOSH: That's interesting. Um, just had a curiosity. So you remember, because I think, I read somewhere, uh, you know, among some sci-fi fandom, prior to star wars coming out, there were some eye-rolling at the title star wars, like it's sort of like, seems, you know, maybe kind of silly to some people, or they were like, I don't know what this is about.

[00:12:35] do you recall anything like that or

[00:12:37] JOE: I think, I think there was some eye-rolling at it that it was called star wars. They might be either mocking star Trek while they were ripping off star Trek. I think that's where I remember that. Yeah. Some articles that were in the papers at the time. Yes.

[00:12:49] JOSH: so here we go. Even from,

[00:12:51] JOE: Yeah. So, yeah. From Lucette.

[00:12:53] Yeah, exactly. They started at the beginning.

[00:12:55] Yes.

[00:12:55] JOSH: well, that's fascinating. so John, what about you? What's your

[00:12:58] history with these, these,

[00:13:00] universal.

[00:13:01] JOHN: And so I can't point to the moment

[00:13:02] I first watched star Trek though. I, my earliest memory that I can recall right now was on a vacation in second grade and it was start-ups projects, Aaron and syndication, and it scared me half to death. It was the episode where they all encountered. The people had some sort of plague and their skin turned purple-ish,

[00:13:19] JOSH: Oh, that's so many

[00:13:20] episodes.

[00:13:20] JOHN: it's so many episodes.

[00:13:21] I,

[00:13:22] JOSH: gotta be more

[00:13:22] specific.

[00:13:23] JOHN: and there was a cure at the very end of course, but it scared, it scared my Hampton. I was,

[00:13:27] just like, oh, that was, but I was also really

[00:13:29] intrigued. And I, and I think that's when I first saw star Trek, but what connects me to star Trek was about a year or two afterwards.

[00:13:35] And it was a, uh, uh, an aunt of mine who was, you know, a family friend who we call an aunt. And she was really an influential figure. You know, there's this wonderful person in my youth. And she introduced my brother and I to it, uh, when we were visiting. And it was both at the same time actually. So, um, one night it had been, uh, uh, star wars and the other night it was star Trek.

[00:14:03] The voyage home. So I sort of got a double dose and whether it was the infectious enthusiasm, uh, from her about this or whether it was just that, Hey, we were the little kids and we were being sent off into the den to watch distract, distracting, distracting all the adults. So we were totally focused on that.

[00:14:18] It was only the world, it clicked and both of them, uh, at sort of at the same time though, they evolved in very different ways for me. So, you know, I think the more memorable at that point was visually was actually star Trek for, um, I don't know why I connected with it in a way that made me think, uh, you know, oh, this, this is something and there might've been some other, you know, references to the times.

[00:14:42] And since it was brand new, at that point, star wars have been out for awhile. Uh, but at the same time, it was the first star wars movie. And I was getting the hints dropped at me that oh, You don't know who Luke's father is yet. And she kept on teasing me with that and kept that secret from me for months before I got the chance to see empire strikes back.

[00:15:03] And then that was when star wars clicked with me. It was empire strikes back. It was actually difficult to watch because it was darker. It was, it, it was, uh, not as, uh, as you know, clear cut heroes, win the day at all, uh, compared to the first film. But that revelation, when w when somebody has actually actively built that up in you, uh, who is Luke's father, this is gonna be really intense.

[00:15:28] You're not going to believe it. And then you see it on screen of mind, mind blown. So that again, just like immediately transported me into that world. And then I started doing it on my, I sort of, you know, CR searching out, you know, both, both genres in both shows and was a lot, uh, at that point,

[00:15:47] The only way to watch star wars would have been on VHS.

[00:15:49] So I had to go get the tapes, you know, star Trek was in syndication all over the place. Uh, so that was a little more accessible and I would also encounter it a little more, you know, sort of on a random basis. So I think that's why star Trek was a little more influential, uh, at that point. Um, but it was both of them just blew my mind for different reasons and I was never the same as.

[00:16:11] JOSH: Well, That's very interesting to me that you single out star Trek for in particular. Um, uh, because, um, that was, I think if I'm recalling correctly, also the one that really hooked me on to star Trek, I had been watching next gen in syndication and, um, I would encounter, I believe at the time in the very early nineties, um, a WPIX would run the original series, I think, midnight on Sundays or something like that.

[00:16:42] It was harder for me to see, , by virtue of the fact that I was, you know, seven or eight years old. And it was past my bedtime. Whereas, next gen was first run And it was new and it was on at a more reasonable hour. My first memory of star Trek is do you remember they had a 25th anniversary special, that they, , televised in like 1991 and I think they later released it on video. , I called. A broadcast of that. I don't know if it was the original broadcast of that or if it was a rerun.

[00:17:13] And I remember, there was a rainstorm that was going on outside. So, uh, the picture was very fuzzy. Cause I guess it was from the antenna on the roof of our house that I was, and I remember, we lost our electricity and then it came back. And so I kept on losing this, this, thing that I was watching.

[00:17:30] And I just remember I was, so captivated, because I was really getting the sense. I mean, like I said before, the way that star Trek was being presented to me was this huge universe with this history and all of these characters and all of these great things about it and all of these fans. And that was sort of, to mix my metaphors, my first step into a larger world.

[00:17:54] And I immediately sought out everything star Trek, which is, as John said, that was very easy to do at the time because it was all over television. , and then I specifically sought star wars is out because I would go to the conventions. I would go to like the comic shop and see, Starlog on the rack and, and to Barnes and noble and see, Sydney fantastic.

[00:18:15] And all those. And where you saw star Trek, you would also see this thing called star wars. So I became aware that there was this other star thing, and it seemed to always show up where star Trek showed up. So I went and I started out, I believe I rented the

[00:18:30] VHS. John. I don't know if you remember, , Salem drugs used to

[00:18:33] rent

[00:18:35] videotapes.

[00:18:36] JOHN: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

[00:18:38] JOSH: I believe that that

[00:18:40] my first star wars

[00:18:42] viewing was from Salem drugs. VHS copy

[00:18:46] of star

[00:18:47] wars.

[00:18:48] JOHN: That's where I rented star Trek, two wrath of

[00:18:50] Khan. And do you remember they had an inflatable submarine, the red October hanging over their VHS collection.

[00:18:59] JOSH: you, I haven't thought I haven't thought about that in. Oh yeah. Oh no. Yeah. I mean, I mean, we could do a whole podcast on that. no. Yeah. Wow. You just blew my mind. I don't know if you guys remember this experience, but when you liked the movie, you would keep on renting it and renting it and renting it until you realize, okay, maybe I should just shell out the money at the time, like $30 or whatever it was to buy a videotape

[00:19:22] JOE: Definitely the first movie I've ever written with my blockbuster card was young Frankenstein, and I just kept trying to get her rent. I couldn't stop myself. And finally I did break down and then put a copy of it. Yes.

[00:19:34] JOSH: so, yeah, so I did that with the star wars movies. Until I guess my parents , were sick of renting the same movie and over and over again, and they finally just broke down and bought me the box sets. What was something that you got out of star Trek that you did not get out of star wars and vice versa? Like what are the things that you go to one for versus the other?

[00:19:56] JOE: Well, uh, at the time period, you did, you guys, uh, grew up in, in the eighties and the nineties, there was tons of star Trek, comic books to

[00:20:05] being a big con. I mean, they were all, you know, at that point, uh, DC, I think had gotten the rights and they did a great job. They even did a star Trek annual. That was, um, a love story.

[00:20:15] Scotty finally falls in love and it's penciled by my favorite Superman artist of all time, Curt Swan, I'm going to buy multiple contracts. Let's think I still have two copies of that in my collection. I love that book, but yeah, there was, there was so much other star Trek to consume. Um, it was, it wasn't till later, later years at the star wars comic books.

[00:20:36] Became, uh, became much more, uh, prevalent. So yeah, I got a, that's what I got, you know, physically out of star Trek, but, uh, but for me, star Trek was always the, uh, you know, the more I hate to say this and I'm not, and this is not casting any shade towards star wars, but star Trek was always the most cerebral content.

[00:20:57] It was the more, it was the more character driven content and, uh, you know, stories about not only humans, but aliens as it stall stalls, of course. But to me, star Trek, just, that was the hook for me. It was star Trek. It was so character driven. And, uh, I think, uh, that's what drew me into it even further. And

[00:21:17] the comic books helped there was so well-written

[00:21:19] JOHN: I would say something similar about star star Trek, that the cerebral quality definitely appealed to

[00:21:24] me. Uh, particularly at that point in my life, it was sort of a gateway into a lot of, um, concepts of science and space travel and things that humanity could achieve. Uh, so that was, that was definitely something that it gave me that star wars didn't quite have because star wars was a fantasy.

[00:21:40] But on the flip side of that, that's what star wars gave me. It gave me. Different universe. And that was actually the brilliance of that beginning of star wars a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, first beat, set it up. This isn't your world, this isn't, this isn't the universe. You know, this isn't the life, you know, uh, this, you know, even everybody looks like you, that's a human, uh, it's going to be completely different.

[00:22:04] So you, you were able to transport yourself out of it. And you got to have a, a fantasy experience there that wasn't, that wasn't weighed down by all of your preconceptions of what humanity might be in the future might not be, it w it could be its own thing. And so it was an adventure, like none other, and that's, that's what I got from star wars.

[00:22:24] Was this just incredible sense of adventure, this incredible sense of, uh, newness, uh, uh, for me that was, there was a lot of adrenaline at different scenes, you know, and, and the, the emotional impact I think, was heightened because of that. You know, you felt w obiwan, you know, gets cut down, spoiler alert. Um,

[00:22:48] you know, I was devastated, you know, we'll get there, but I was devastated.

[00:22:52] Like, you can't do that. That's not how it's supposed to happen. And not realizing until later that's exactly how it's supposed to happen in stores like that, but it hit me. So I had a much more emotional reaction to star wars than I did to star Trek, at least on that, you know, like visceral level of that, you know, watching it in real time sense and star Trek had the effect.

[00:23:12] That's more like a, well, it's the other kind of drug, that's a drug that has a long lasting effects. That's the one that I go back to a few days later, I'm like, wait a second. What does that really mean? You know, what impact does it have on my thinking? I see something in the world that reminds me of that, uh, or, or may expanded out my thinking and I see something in a different way.

[00:23:30] Uh, so they definitely brought two different experiences to it, but the, uh, but those two experiences didn't really overlap.

[00:23:37] JOSH: There are two things that you touched on that I think are the key, , distinctions between . Star wars . And star Trek and how they work in different ways. the first one is, the more cerebral science approach of star Trek versus, the fantasy kind of more mythic approach of star wars.

[00:23:55] And what that's really saying is, you know, star Trek is supposed to be our future.

[00:24:00] Star wars is really kind of an idealized imagined, you know, fairy tale you know, there's no expectation that this is actually how the world works or will work one day. It's funny, you mentioned a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

[00:24:17] There's an Alan Ginsburg quote, uh, the poet,, that when he saw star wars , for the first time in 1977, he saw the title card a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. And his first thought was, oh, thank God. I don't have to worry about. the other thing, John, that you said, how star wars was or star Trek rather was the drug that sort of has the long-lasting effect, versus star wars.

[00:24:46] I think that also speaks to, you know, obviously now the lines are a little blurred, but the dominant form of star Trek star Trek is an episodic TV series and star wars is, or was, a handful of, feature films and the relationship that you have with a feature film, I mean, even a series of feature films, versus a show that, you know, there's a new adventure every week that, comes on in your living room.

[00:25:13] And obviously the way most of us experienced star wars, most of the time was, also on the same, TV set in the same living room. But, I think you understand what I'm saying, the way that, star wars is kind of an event, a larger than life event, where star Trek most of the time was, smaller, more accessible , and

[00:25:29] with you for more of the time,

[00:25:32] JOHN: Mixed. that makes a lot of sense.

[00:25:33] JOE: Yeah. Star star Trek is, um, a nightly, uh, dinner and stall was, is a, is a grand a big banquet, so to speak, I guess. Yeah.

[00:25:42] JOSH: And actually along those lines, Joe, I think you may have some, thoughts about this. You know, one of the similarities, I think there's a good analogy to be made because both star Trek and star wars have westerns in there, their DNA and for star Trek. I think the Western influence is really from, television westerns.

[00:26:03] I mean, obviously, gene Roddenberry very famously his elevator pitch for star Trek was wagon train to the stars. And I would also argue that, have gun will travel, which, gene Roddenberry wrote many, many episodes for. I would argue is actually kind of a, progenitor of the original star Trek. I think if you take Paladin and you split them into three people, you get, Kirk Spock and McCoy

[00:26:24] JOE: Wow. That's

[00:26:26] great.

[00:26:28] JOSH: And that same sense of, you know, right and wrong and justice and, you know, traveling around to, to do good and to, to help, people in need. I think, there's an argument to be made. You could draw a straight line from, have gun will travel, to the original star Trek.

[00:26:44] And the flip side of that is I think star wars, that's influenced not, by TV westerns, but, the cinematic westerns, like the John Ford westerns, the, the, uh, the cinema scope westerns.

[00:26:57] JOE: definitely agree with that. And, um, stall was being influenced by John Ford. Yes. And then you could also, uh, throwing in the spaghetti westerns too, you know, all, all

[00:27:06] the, without a doubt, but without the blood and guts spilling everywhere on the screen. But, um, yeah, uh, I think, uh, stall was, has much, much more, uh, as itself it's Arjun much more to two westerns, but they both, they both come from that, that, uh, that John Ruh and I think, um, did you guys know I'm a big, big fan of westerns and, um, I believe it was on your second episode.

[00:27:33] I, uh, Josh, oh, you were talking about Boba Fett. I think you did mention the searchers, uh, when you were talking about, um, all the FET and I found that fascinating and I, yeah, I can see this. Yeah. So. Yeah. Uh, it's all there. It's a, it's a wonderfully crafted, uh, enjoying the hell out of Boba Fett, by the way, I just finished it the other night that

[00:27:57] that's, my episode was great.

[00:27:58] Um, but, um, westerns. Yes. Um, especially star wars. There's so much, there's so much to Al you know, there's so much of the tropes and the, and the settings, uh, the expanse and the great expanse in, in, uh, uh, tattooing the desert is

[00:28:16] JOSH: Yes. Oh yeah. I mean it's classic Western. Yeah. It's classic

[00:28:19] JOE: in the valley without the monuments.

[00:28:22] JOSH: right? Yeah. just hearing you talk, what's interesting is that I think star Trek is really inspired by sort of the, the format of the Western on TV and sort of transposes a lot of, I say tropes, like not.

[00:28:35] Uh, derivative way. I mean, like, it, uses a lot the format and the manner of storytelling, and just, sets it into the future. whereas star wars, I think is a little more literal about it. You have, the iconography and the visuals are a little more, the influences are a little more literal and star wars.

[00:28:56] JOHN: Yeah.

[00:28:57] JOSH: At least in my opinion, I think star wars is kind of inseparable from its cinematic style, whereas star Trek. I think the style is almost, I don't want to say, , that it's incidental because it's not, obviously it does have a very distinctive style that has developed and solidified over time.

[00:29:16] And a lot of it is as iconic in its own. Right. But it was sort of incidental. It was sort of secondary to the storytelling and they did whatever they had to do to get the, the point of the story across whereas I think star wars was conceived to be a visual auditory cinematic experience.

[00:29:34] And you can't really separate the spectacle of that. From the content. Whereas with star Trek, I think, like you were saying, it is a little more cerebral. It is a little less flashy.

[00:29:45] JOE: Yeah, I would agree with that. I mean, stall some great star Trek episodes or quote unquote ship episodes, right. I'm thinking of, um, next generation measure home, man. When, when, uh, softly basically trying to repossess a Mr. Data and at the ship episode, we had plenty of those in star Trek was they didn't have much of a budget.

[00:30:04] So they had to sh they had to do ship episodes, but yeah, w stall was, rely so much on the setting. We talked about this on, uh, on the podcast, James and I, and Chris about how setting is, is so instrumental to the westerns. And it was obviously it's so enormous instrumental to, to stall was, you know, uh it's uh, so yeah, it, it, it always itself much more to the cinematic.

[00:30:27] Um, Uh, technique and the city and the cinematic, uh, sense of you can go see these grand and these operatic settings and star wars and star Trek doesn't need that. It doesn't go for that.

[00:30:40] And it's not what it's really

[00:30:42] about.

[00:30:43] JOHN: It's so interesting that there's always the idea that the medium is the message, but in this case, what do I mean, what we're really seeing as it is, is that where it started defined how, how the storytelling would unfold, how the visuals would unfold and that visual aesthetic from star wars. I mean, that that's unforgettable the first, those first three films.

[00:31:03] I mean, the people involved in that, that maybe what I associate most with star wars, uh, having, when I first saw it was the aesthetic, because of course, George Lucas and his, uh, brilliance at that era retain the merchandising rights, got all the toys out there, that all things. So, so that style though, you saw it everywhere.

[00:31:25] The same way that you're talking about how star Trek was omnipresent in terms of, uh, shows and syndication and, um, Comic books stores have the toys everywhere, even, even into the nineties, toys were still coming out in various forms. So once they established that aesthetic, that art form, you could identify it wherever you want.

[00:31:44] And you'd be like, oh, that star wars, I know what that is. And immediately you could tell your own story. Uh, when you see the action figure of, you know, look Skywalker right there, or, you know, an ad at they're like everything would come back w would come back to that star Trek, um, had that for moments, the enterprise's iconic, uh, that, that design what it is.

[00:32:09] You see the enterprise, you know exactly what it is, but the rest of it is identifiable, but it doesn't necessarily, uh, you know, define an entire culture and you can do, you can do something else if you want to, and still be star Trek, uh, without having to adhere to every aesthetic rule. And I think that's where a lot of, uh, fans of our age and older got a little. Well, how, how to put it nicely. We had some problems with episode one, uh, because Lucas wanted to create something new. He said, I'm going back. It's a pretty cool, but I'm going to do, do it with brand new technology, brand new special effects. And it was almost jarring because it was cool, but it, it was like he was throwing out everything from episodes four through six artistically.

[00:32:53] And, uh, I'm totally for him exploring this vision and, and giving us something new. But it didn't feel initially like star wars. Of course it felt like star wars to everybody. Who's first star wars was episode one. And for them that was star wars completely and totally episodes one through three. And they would see that wherever they went, you know, and they go to the toy store or to somewhere else and seeing the merchandising immediately.

[00:33:17] We're connected with that again. So. Every generation of star wars gave that to us, which is why it's so interesting. Now that star wars and its current iteration is hearkening back to the beginning and almost every show that it's doing a mental Lorian Boba Fett. They're all going back to that original aesthetic.

[00:33:35] JOSH: The irony there though is that now star wars is a

[00:33:39] bunch of TV shows.

[00:33:40] JOHN: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:33:41] JOSH: And I would say that star Trek, aesthetic of new star

[00:33:46] Trek really owes a lot

[00:33:47] to star wars.

[00:33:49] JOHN: Yeah,

[00:33:50] I wouldn't disagree. Especially the newer shows really have a, have a star wars feel to them. And I don't know if anybody's watched, um, now maybe you've watched it, but they, Nickelodeon produced star Trek, prodigy, is animated.

[00:34:04] And, but it is animated in a style that is almost, you know, uh, you know, out of the playbook of star wars, ,

[00:34:10] Columbia.

[00:34:11] JOSH: Interesting.

[00:34:11] JOHN: And so when you first see it, you might think, oh wait, this is, is this, which 1:00 AM I watching? You get a little confused for a second. And then you realize it very quickly works. But the storytelling is definitely closer to star wars and it's enjoyable, but it's, I was almost thrown for a loop with it.

[00:34:27] JOSH: I watched the first episode of star Trek prodigy. And while I was enjoying it, had that exact same thought. I was like, this is more like star wars, it. sort of really made me think, when you break it down, what is star Trek?

[00:34:39] what is in its DNA. And obviously it's, it's very many things and you can emphasize certain parts of it and get one kind of star Trek and certain other parts and get a different kind of star Trek. And I think frankly, that's the, the strategy that, of the two franchises.

[00:34:55] both of them are taking now in their own way. the content arms, race that we live in, the way to make more and more and more is you make sort of different flavors for everybody. So you're getting all kinds of star wars shows, all kinds of star Trek shows, which I'm speaking of star wars versus star Trek on the date that we're recording this yesterday.

[00:35:16] They released the trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi, the long awaited, series and long-awaited trailer, but paramount plus also released the first, , teaser for strange new world star tricks. Uh, strange. Exactly, exactly. It was, it was just so funny to me, how these two franchises are in conversation and influencing each other all the time.

[00:35:38] The teaser for, strange new worlds I thought was excellent. It got me very

[00:35:43] excited,

[00:35:44] JOHN: I had, I

[00:35:45] had goosebumps for that. And the funny thing is,

[00:35:49] oh

[00:35:49] yeah.

[00:35:49] JOSH: no, it

[00:35:50] was good.

[00:35:50] JOHN: And, and, and, and full on like full on admission. So any biases aside watching both of those trailers, I saw the Obi-Wan

[00:35:58] Kenobi first, and I was like, this looks really cool, but it didn't, uh, it didn't grab me the same way. I was like, oh, I'm totally psyched to watch that.

[00:36:06] Then I waited and strange new worlds. I was like, okay, definitely not quite the Disney budget, um, from what they were, at least from what they were, she was a really cool stuff and they were showing, but it wasn't, uh, Kenobi looked like it was a movie level budget, uh, going to be spread out into a mini series.

[00:36:22] Um, but strangely worlds, it tapped into the star

[00:36:25] Trek ness that I love a lot of what's out there right now, but it was a something that I don't think I've seen in a long time that we got a, a taste of in season two of discovery when captain pike took command. And it was that taste of the original series.

[00:36:44] I didn't realize we hadn't really had in a long, long time. And it was that sort of wide-eyed optimism mixed with pragmatism. Like he knew what he was doing as captain. He wasn't, he wasn't naive at all, but he was just, oh, I want to get out there and explore. And there'll always be some, some good that'll come out of what.

[00:37:03] And you can. My hope for this new show is that it does capture that sense of adventure. That sense of excitement, of new things, diversity. And, and honestly, that was one of the strong points of, of star Trek and contrast to the original star Trek star wars, you know, sort of Aaron's is that star Trek was very serialized.

[00:37:23] So each episode was, you know, its own story. You could watch it on its own and then be done with it and say, Hey, that was a really cool experience. And I love the new shows, but they are really taking the battle star Galactica last playbook and making every season a whole arc. And each episode is almost a teaser for the next episode, because you're waiting to find out what the next

[00:37:43] chapter is. And that's something that original star Trek had, um, which was that you could just watch an episode and be completely satisfied. It was a meal unto itself, and star wars had the longer going story. Each movie was, uh, its own thing. Empire their empire left you so hungry for more with that ending that you are desperate.

[00:38:03] You know, I mean, I can't believe John. And how you, how did, how did you live between those, those two movies waiting for them to come out? Um, you know, what happens w what happens to Han solo? You know, that would've driven me crazy, and, but that star wars had the sense of like the universe. There's still more to come.

[00:38:22] There's still more going on. And the story is not yet over where star Trek was just episodic. And I'm actually looking forward to a little bit of that original star Trek feel where it is going to be more episodic again, because we still have another season of a card. Season three will come out next year.

[00:38:36] Uh, I think we're discovery. So we're going to have plenty of the long story arc stuff to come, but I really want to experience with this.

[00:38:44] JOE: I'm looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to one and dones. I've used to hold on one and dones back in the day. And that's how most TV was in the sixties and seventies, one and dones. And that there was a special episode or a big story continued next week. And you, oh, no, I can't wait a week for this.

[00:38:58] Oh, I got something to do on that night. I won't even be home. I'm not going to see it. I'll wait for the summer reruns. So, you know, I definitely I'm down for the, uh, the new star Trek discovery. I'm hoping that. Uh, I mean, this, I believe this is going to take place. When about five years before, um,

[00:39:16] Kirkwood,

[00:39:16] JOSH: original series. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:39:18] JOE: we can't know how it's going to end because, you know, we, we know that, uh,

[00:39:21] um, we know what happened to captain pike.

[00:39:23] Exactly. So,

[00:39:24] JOSH: you actually reminded me of something. I think, you're touching on something, something that's in the DNA of star Trek and star wars. I mean, again, it, it comes down to the medium. defines it, to a large, a large degree star Trek was always episodic, star Trek in its own way was like, kind of more akin to an anthology series with recurring characters and

[00:39:43] settings where like, you know, one week you might be in the middle of a comedy the next week you might be in a, you know, a courtroom drama the next week.

[00:39:52] You might have that, that swashbuckling, you know, adventure, romp. The variability of the kinds of stories was a part of what made star Trek star Trek, Right. Where it star wars. It was very clear that this was one sort of. Moment in this longer, continuum of ongoing story, like in fact, the original conceit for the movie star wars, when it was only one movie, was this idea that you would walk in and it would say episode four.

[00:40:22] And the idea was it was supposed to be like recreating the sense of walking into a like matinee cereal, not having seen the other parts so that, by design was, this is a larger story. That all means something. And then that, and then obviously, when we get into empire, I mean, I love empire strikes back, but the thing about that movie is that you need the other films, for it to be most effective.

[00:40:43] It does not stand on its own. It demands a follow-up, it demands a follow-up.

[00:40:48] JOHN: Yeah,

[00:40:49] JOSH: yeah, it is interesting. how, even though star Trek was first, I feel like star wars is always influencing star

[00:40:54] Trek, and I don't really know that

[00:40:57] star Trek really has influenced star wars at

[00:40:59] all. Am I wrong

[00:41:00] about that?

[00:41:01] JOHN: that's an interesting question, because I was thinking about that when these two trailers came out, uh, yesterday

[00:41:07] and, uh, star wars still felt very star wars. It was, it was a very much an honor that, whereas I feel like star Trek has gone a bunch of different routes. Um, I think the only, the only major thing that I can think of star wars wise, uh, is in the books.

[00:41:25] You know, a lot of the, a lot of the, you know, now, uh, you know, now not Canon books that came out in the nineties and two thousands, uh, some of them really did feel like star Trek. They could get very cerebral, they could get very, uh, you know, um, uh, Very very, you know, character driven in a way that, uh, star Trek would handle it.

[00:41:46] And maybe that was because it was in book format versus versus movies. And it wasn't, uh, you know, being produced by some of the same teams of people. But, uh, star Trek is always handled by different people in each iteration. A different team comes in different producers and they have their own ideas, their own vision, uh, where they're trying to keep the original idea of gene Roddenberry, but it's, but it's their, it's their own thing now.

[00:42:12] Um, and star wars is shorter. Lucas episodes, one through six, and then, you know, it's basically headed off to Kathleen Kennedy and her chosen directors and writers, uh, within, within a construct of rules that they set at Disney.

[00:42:29] JOSH: What, you were talking about, before I'm realizing is that the star wars aesthetic that cinematic aesthetic, that, that visual aesthetic, the design language, right? The iconography that is constant. That is, still there, it retains all of that.

[00:42:43] Whereas star Trek has reinvented its aesthetic so many times, whether you're talking about, jumping from the original series to the motion picture And, the films, and then from the films to next generation. And then, , there was one aesthetic that, basically went from 1987, till 2005 from next generation to, uh, to star Trek enterprise. and then at reinvent itself, again with JJ Abrams star Trek in 2009, which again, I think was influenced a lot from the visual aesthetic of star wars. And then now you have all of these different star Trek shows that are, completely different or at least trying to, distinguish themselves, aesthetically, Whereas I think , the aesthetic of star wars again, I think is sort of a key component of what makes star wars star wars.

[00:43:34] And I think you see that, in the aesthetic of the different iterations of both of the franchises,

[00:43:41] JOE: Yeah. And, and the current star Trek show once, uh, once, uh, uh, the new, the new one premiums you'll have three different stock trick shows, uh, that are set in different time, different, different centuries. Right. Uh, so that's, that's interesting. And that's another thing, that's the thing that we didn't talk about, but time travel is so is so, uh, endemic to stall trick and seemingly not star wars.

[00:44:06] And I think that allows it to reinvent it. Uh, because you can say, all right, this takes place in the 23rd, since you're just slicing the 30 seconds. You just say, because we have the 32nd surgery at one point, this has taking place in the 33rd, ninth century, or this is taking place in the 24th century.

[00:44:21] We're all over the place, but wherever we are, it fits and it works. And, uh, I think that's, I think that's the beauty of star in, in one of the best qualities of star Trek. It's the way it fits into different time periods.

[00:44:34] JOSH: sure. Well, that also speaks to the fact that, star Trek is really more science fiction and the notion of time travel is a very science fiction idea. I mean, it's also a fantasy idea. But I think, less so because, Most, time travel stories, rely on some sort of a device, some sort of a technology that, allows for the, thing to happen.

[00:44:58] Like, you know, whereas, before the advent of science fiction, like you would get things like, I don't know, a Yankee in king Arthur's court, mark Twain, where like, I think, I think the guy he he gets knocked on the head or something, and then he wakes up and he's back in time or something like that. Um, but Yeah. I think you're right. I think the other thing too, is that, you know, once again, star Trek is really about exploring our real future. So, what time-travel allows you to do is it allows you to, comment on. Where humanity has been and where it's going. You know, I'm thinking of episodes, like obviously sitting on the edge of forever and, the parter, where they go to, uh, the early 21st century.

[00:45:36] And it's about, homelessness And it's sort of like implicit in star Trek is the idea that our future is bright. but that it may, it may get worse before it gets better. And they mean that in a literal way.

[00:45:49] Whereas star wars is sort of more metaphorical, , because it's not

[00:45:53] our world.

[00:45:53] JOHN: That's something also about star

[00:45:55] wars that it's not our world, but

[00:45:57] it is very much us. And, you know, I remember, uh, when I first encountered this idea, uh, it was actually my. Parents mentioning it to me, there was some like morning show segment on star wars. I don't remember the year. I just remember I was a kid and it was some commentator talking about star wars.

[00:46:15] And it was the first time I heard somebody talk about the link between mythology, archetypes, Joseph Campbell, and star wars. And what I assumed at that point was it was just some, it was more like a critic's review and he was putting a lot of his own ideas into like how we interpret, interpreted SARS.

[00:46:32] Right. I didn't realize is that's actually star wars was Joseph Campbell was, you know, consulting with George Lucas on the production of the first film that those ideas and, and for, for, for a professor, for those of you who aren't familiar, he was, he sort of had this grand unified theory of mythology that are certain archetypes and stories.

[00:46:54] Uh, you know, uh, Cultures and different areas in our own history with things that he really summarizing, one of his concept of the hero's journey. So there were these ways of communicating grand notions, uh, typically through storytelling, uh, fairytales, uh, mythology, whatever it might be. And star wars was the, an on-screen cinematic representation of that in a galaxy a long time ago, far, far away.

[00:47:22] And it was just really a cool thing to hear that. And when I looked into it more, so yeah, this, this totally makes sense now totally fits. So it is us, it's communicating to a part on a, on a deep, you know, type level. But without saying, this is literally you the same way, we might look at a, you know, the, the, uh, you know, mythology of ancient Greece.

[00:47:39] There's a lot to connect to there, but today we're not going around. Well, because you know, Zeus was really going to do that to me or something like that. You're not approaching it on that level. Uh, but it's just as impacting.

[00:47:50] JOSH: No, exactly. It's not a literal history. although it's sort of, it's, it's sort of a map it's sort of a depiction of, of our interiority, right? Of sort of the, uh, the, of kind of the history of, or the journey that we all take inside ourselves through our lives and, together in, communities, how we, how we live together and how, how we fight, with one another. And, it's not a literal history. it's sort of a rendering of, kind of an intellectual and,

[00:48:20] and spiritual tradition or trajectory,

[00:48:24] I guess,

[00:48:25] as

[00:48:25] JOHN: I mean, and it's no coincidence as, as people joke about it, but you know, people who created, you know, incorporated Jedi has a religion, you know, and got a certificate for it. Non-profits that isn't everything, but it's because that's what it is meant to connect with, uh, is a very, you know, uh, spiritual component on that level for what, you know, what does a person go through?

[00:48:46] Uh, how do they, you know, go through the different stages of life. And that was Luke Skywalker, who of course later was featured in an edition of hero of a thousand faces by Joseph Campbell on the cover. Sometime in the eighties, they used of one of the pictures.

[00:49:00] That was Luke Skywalker, like, aha. So that's that, that's what he was meant to represent.

[00:49:04] Um, and, and maybe that's why star wars has

[00:49:09] what I consider is a wider appeal and star Trek. And I think it has a bigger, a bigger net to cast when, when they have a new show coming out or a movie, because it was accessible to a lot more people maybe because it spoke to us on a more, uh, accessible level, even if we couldn't verbalize what that level was it's because it was, it was literally designed to do that.

[00:49:30] Uh, and that goes back to, I think what you said also about some of the cinematic westerns, they spoke to people, uh, in those terms to. And I think that's also one of the great things about feature films is they only have a few hours to do it. So they got to get in you real quick that, you know, on a deep level to connect with you, whereas a TV show had can, can go with a slow burn over time.

[00:49:53] You catch an episode here or there, you start to like the characters and you know, a year in you say, Hey, I really like this. I really liked this show. I have good fond memories of it. Movies only got one shot.

[00:50:04] JOE: Yeah, star wars works on, on a visceral level. star Trek is more of a, extrapolation, uh, star Trek. And I, and this, I guess is probably why I started more than star wars, star Trek quirks, because it holds a mirror up to, to, uh, not only the individual, but the society in a Daz. You to look yourself in the face and how you as an individual will live your lives in a society and how you're going to treat those.

[00:50:33] That you meet every day in that society, how you, you know, the golden rule, do you want to, do you want do unto others as you want to yourself, but I mean, star Trek was, is always rife with those types of stories. And, um, so, and if any extrapolation fits with the whole idea of structure, your capacity, sabbatical coloration, yes.

[00:50:51] It's exploring the galaxy, but it's also exploring what's inside of you and what you bring with you. Uh, you know, as you, as you go deeper out, as you go from your quadrant to quadrant, as you go deeper inside yourself and you realize who you are and how you're going to live your life. And it's all it's till it's fullest.

[00:51:08] So, um, that's why star Trek always speaks to me.

[00:51:10] JOSH: Absolutely to be super reductive and, and, and feel free to, , to disagree if you disagree. But again, to be super reductive star Trek lives in your head star wars lives in.

[00:51:21] JOE: I would agree with that.

[00:51:22] Yes.

[00:51:22] JOSH: obviously star Trek also lives in our hearts and star wars also

[00:51:25] lives in our EDS have to be super reductive, uh, star Trek is more cerebral it's you know, more of like a, more of a thinking man's, franchise, versus where, you know, star wars really gets under your skin and tugs at the heartstrings and, you know, works on you on a level that you're that's maybe

[00:51:42] subconscious.

[00:51:43] JOHN: Yeah.

[00:51:43] JOE: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, what other TV show before star Trek ever used the word logic and right. Think about that.

[00:51:53] JOSH: Yeah. I don't know.

[00:51:55] JOE: And, uh, so all of a sudden we were introduced to logic and how important it is. Yeah. There was always constant battles between Spock and McCoy and Kirk was using, he had to be in the middle ground.

[00:52:05] but yes, star Trek speaks to, um, Pragmatism and secularism, I guess, and where we're was speaks to more religious and mysticism.

[00:52:14] So, um,

[00:52:15] they both speak to me and I love them both, but start to a little

[00:52:18] bit more.

[00:52:19] JOHN: Yeah. It's like

[00:52:20] you, you can get, you can get so much from both of them. I love your

[00:52:23] user of

[00:52:24] mysticism right there. That is something that star wars really when it does it. Well, it does it really well because the Jedi are more than just AI ethical lightsabers. All of a sudden they are these spiritual, uh, You know, guides and teachers, you know, that's, that's a Yoda is an empire strikes back.

[00:52:44] He is contrary to what you might've initially thought in the first film of the Jedi. He's a little, little green dude who is incredibly wise and leaves you open to a whole other world that you didn't think you're going to be open to. And that, you know, in the beginning, and that was, you know, Luke's journey, but it's also the journey of the viewer.

[00:53:01] Even if some of those phrases are, you know, what, we might consider common wisdom, they were, again, they were being rephrased as you do in the theology, in a new environment. So it feels a little bit new.

[00:53:10] JOSH: There was something in the Canobie trailer yesterday. part of the voiceover. I'm assuming his actual dialogue from the show. But it really had a profound impact on me in an unexpected way I guess the, the grand inquisitor character, he says something the effect of, their compassion leaves a trail.

[00:53:30] Right. And, what he meant was that they can't help themselves. They are going to get involved and they're going to metal and that's how we find them. Right. that's how we find the Jedi. but the way that I read it what that also means is that small acts of compassion reverberate through the world, like you do something for somebody else, or you intervene on someone's behalf or you stand up.

[00:53:52] And even if that only affects one person, they will then go on and influence others. And the idea that, compassion leaves a trail. , I don't know if it was the state of mind I was in, um, or something, but that, that, that idea, that concept really hit me in a really visceral way that I found, you know, very moving and a very lovely idea.

[00:54:16] Ironically, it was, um, being spoken,

[00:54:19] by a villain, um, and being

[00:54:21] described as a weakness.

[00:54:22] but I heard that and I

[00:54:23] was like, wow,

[00:54:24] JOHN: what star wars does really well. They really take good versus evil and make

[00:54:29] it, uh, you know,

[00:54:31] accessible and. Interesting. And you feel something from it because yeah, that's, that's the villain saying that you wanna, you wanna, you want to scream back at him? No, but that's the way it should be compassionate should be the way of it.

[00:54:42] And he's trying to portray it as a weakness and, uh, and certainly star Trek had morality plays left and right. But you said it's visceral, you, you, you, you feel it on an individual level and you're talking with those individual acts of compassion that I think that's what goes with like where my next thought is, but it, it, it talks to this too, is that star wars speaks to individual actions.

[00:55:05] It speaks to the individual experience. You know, you're, you're, you're focusing on the individual experience of each one of those characters in the films, uh, and the new shows largely centered on one or a handful of people and what they're going through star Trek by contrast. Your cast of characters, but the focus was on the community, the community on the ship, the community of the Federation, the community of the people there as they were encountering.

[00:55:33] That was the word. That's the word that keeps them coming back to me with star Trek. Is that it's about how do these individuals interact with a larger groups of people, particularly different groups of people and star wars as how does the individual experience, uh, these concepts like good and evil? How do they experience loss?

[00:55:51] How do they experience fear and conquering that fear and heroism. Um, and that's, you know, if you want to, there's another way to be reductive as star wars about the individuals star Trek is about the community, but it's more of the orientation of where you focus on the show

[00:56:06] or focus of the story.

[00:56:07] JOE: Yeah.

[00:56:07] The greatest threat to the empire is the spreading of compassion and empathy, because then, uh, then, then people not seen as cattle anymore to be, to be, to be written over it, to be, uh, to, to be loaded all the bite by the empire. So that's what. To put you picked up in that, in that trailer. Josh, I think is very perceptive because I think that is the greatest threat to the empire.

[00:56:32] JOSH: And if you think about it, thing that ultimately overthrows the empire is one small act of compassion. when Vader sees that the emperor is about to kill his son and he decides to intervene and D he does something about it. He says, no, I'm not going to let you do this. And that small act of compassion from a man who has done

[00:56:54] very many bad things,

[00:56:57] literally overthrew an empire.

[00:56:59] JOHN: And see, and that, and the

[00:56:59] feeling we get from that moment, like, I'm feeling it right now.

[00:57:02] It's like, Ooh, that's there, there's an intensity there that is really, uh, really strong and star wars is that that's not that what you use. You get an intensity of experience on intensity of emotion. You connect with it.

[00:57:13] You're, you know, it can. It can make you feel star Trek. I would wait for those moments, whether they, they action moments, uh, you know, you'd wait for those episodes. Okay. They're finally gonna have a space battle as a kid. That's what you wanted

[00:57:25] to see all the time. And that's why as a kid, you loves star wars because there are a lot of space battles, but finally, when he got to the enterprise, do you know, duke it out with a cling ons and you'd get some satisfaction because by next generation they had pretty good, special effects, but they could only afford to do it, you know, two or three times a season.

[00:57:40] So you're waiting for that, you know, big episode, um, where that, where something like that would happen. And I think that's why you see a little bit of convergence in that regard now to where star Trek has the budget and the technology to have those large scale scale battles. So it's not something that's unique to star wars anymore.

[00:57:58] Same as star wars now on television. And you're seeing them get very much into these. More slightly more cerebral stories that you otherwise wouldn't have had before. And I got to give a lot of credit to, you know, things like clone wars. Does he, do you know that the shows have come out in the past where they did go down those roads more?

[00:58:18] And when you mentioned the topic of this podcast, to me, I took down some notes. I was writing and all of a sudden I found myself doing something really weird. It was supposed to be star Trek, sort of verse star wars. And in my notes, there were more commonalities. All of a sudden I was thinking to myself, that's not how I thought this would go.

[00:58:37] JOSH: right, right. I mean, once again, I think, you know, you're talking about those sort of visceral moments, that star wars has, star Trek would occasionally have them like I'm thinking, occasionally you would have like a best of both worlds kind of event where the things that are happening, you really feel in a visceral way.

[00:58:56] And it, it seems like it has the epic, scale and the scope, you know, it's funny, like the battle of Wolf 3, 5, 9 in star Trek lore is this huge massive event. And then, you know, when you go back and you watch the best of both worlds, which again, I think is one of the, Heights of not only star Trek, but, television in general are those two hours. When you go back and you watch it, you don't see the battle.

[00:59:19] JOE: No, you don't.

[00:59:20] JOSH: You don't see the battle of Wolf 3, 5, 9.

[00:59:22] JOHN: Yeah.

[00:59:23] JOE: star wars is more passionate where star Trek is more patients, but for me the biggest, holy shit moment in star Trek history. And so, because it would happen once in a while was at the end of the dominion. When Mr. Wolf snaps, um, gal Ron's neck, and he effectively becomes the, uh, the, uh, the head of the, of the empire.

[00:59:45] I jumped over.

[00:59:46] I jumped off the living room table when that happened, because Wolf is my favorite character in star Trek. Yeah, it was my family member were little star Trek history, so it's there, but it's there in, in, in, and, you know, it's, uh, a modicum. It's not, it's not, not, not as prevalent as this

[01:00:03] JOSH: Right. So, but I mean, again, I keep on, harping on this, but. star wars is larger than life. it's a movie and, you know, movies are, I mean, at least they used to be, you know, on a big screen, when you have a shot of an actor on a cinema screen, it's literally larger than life and the emotions and those events are larger than life.

[01:00:23] Whereas star wars lived in, you know, 13, 17, 20 inch TV screens for. Sometimes in black and white. Yes. exactly. so that, to me, once again, like you said, John, you know, the medium is the message I think, and the interesting thing also that is happening now, the way that other sort of, uh, converging in terms of, what star wars is doing with their TV series and what star Trek is doing with their TV series.

[01:00:49] I think what you're seeing also is not just the technology, but also the convergence, the blurring of the line between those two forms, TV is becoming more cinematic and films are becoming more, like episodes of a TV series, in certain ways. So, so I think it all, I think it all sort of, it all sort of tracks,

[01:01:09] JOHN: something that I, that, I thought it was really important to recognize about star Trek. And the recent controversies around star wars, um, is that from the beginning star Trek had a purpose, which I've been looking for.

[01:01:24] In other words, if other of you have. I'd love an alternative word because it's not political. I, that doesn't feel like it's the accurate word for it, but it had a philosophical or philosophical political purpose behind it.

[01:01:39] JOE: How about relevant?

[01:01:40] JOHN: relevant. Um, very human, uh, and you know, so, you know, Jim Broadway makes it very clear from the beginning.

[01:01:48] You know, there's the elevator pitch for the executives, which he uses almost as a cover. So wagon, trains, cars, and then he tells you what it's really about the optimistic vision of the future. But what does that include? Um, you know, the idea at the core of it, to him was diversity, diversity of people, of the, uh, lifeforms you're going to encounter in the galaxy ways of thinking ways of living.

[01:02:13] Um, and you know, that's that quote from him, which is, you know, about diversity, something to the effect of, you know, uh, We will find that, you know, some about it would be impossible to fear diversity and the future at the same time. And they sort of go hand in hand and he very much had a message behind this series that was, you know, more than, more than just, uh, um, one story.

[01:02:36] It was here's repeatedly how human beings can be the best versions of themselves and stumble along the way to that, to that path. And what we see today, which is really interesting is that, and everybody has a recollection of what the shows I loved as a kid were. And you said a lot of people reacted to star Trek and the modern shows saying, well, why are they pushing the envelope and making me feel uncomfortable?

[01:03:00] They didn't have these kinds of characters and that, and that's most exemplified by some of the backlash in discovery to the trans characters, uh, introduced in seasons, uh, um, three. And they said, oh, but you know, you're ruining my, my childhood star Trek. And I want to say star Trek was the first show to have an interracial kiss on network television broadcast in our country, almost sacrificing, you know, uh, you know, a huge amount of viewership as a result.

[01:03:30] And

[01:03:31] it, it shaped an entire way of thinking me Martin Luther king, Jr. Pleaded with Michelle Nichols, stay on this show. The impact you're having is real and profound. She went on to dramatically shape NASA and the space program and, and, and inspire women and black women to become astronauts. That is something absolutely astonishing to think about that.

[01:03:56] A TV show would have that level of influence. And on the flip side, you have, uh, debates around star wars right now, and the episodes. Uh, you know, seven through nine, where there was controversy over a female lead as the, as the, as, as, as, as the hero of the story and a lot of

[01:04:13] people's thing, you know, and that's where we got to talk about that in the more toxic, almost a fandom.

[01:04:17] But that, that was that, that was a debate saying, well, star wars didn't start off with that goal, but, but they do have, you know, they're trying to expand out of that where star Trek was always that trying to push the envelope, make you feel a little uncomfortable.

[01:04:29] JOSH: Yeah.

[01:04:30] JOHN: and that's probably the greatest difference is that one had an intention to take you out of your comfort zone.

[01:04:37] JOSH: No 100%. you know, it's so funny whenever I read or hear somebody complaining about something to the effect of what you just said about like, you know, like, stop making star Trek, political, or stop making star wars political. I want to be like, it was always political. It's just that when you were a kid, it went over your head.

[01:04:53] JOHN: Yeah,

[01:04:54] JOSH: I also think that, if star Trek is doing its job, right, you should feel a little. Uncomfortable. I mean, the idea that star Trek is supposed to make you feel good, you, personally feel good.

[01:05:11] That's not what it's about. What star Trek is about is, like Joe said is about holding up a mirror, , and seeing what you see in it. And maybe, there's some things in there that you don't like, and you have to reckon with that. And I think that star Trek in particular, new star Trek is, doing what the best star Trek has always done.

[01:05:30] And you know, same with star wars. Like I think, all of those particulars controversies about, , the sequels, even yesterday, I was reading. And, this is the vocal minority, but, I was, reading reaction to, uh, you and McGregor quote about obiwan about how, here, when we find obiwan he's, he's kind of defeated.

[01:05:49] He's given up, , he's a bit of a broken man and I, I read a tweet, that was like, how come all are our franchises? have to depict all of the men as broken shells, like, you know, why can't they be, heroes anymore?

[01:06:01] And I'm like, Jesus Christ, like, what are we doing? Like, you really have to be

[01:06:05] looking at the

[01:06:06] world through a very warped

[01:06:08] lens to, to see that.

[01:06:11] JOHN: Oh, yeah. I think that that's you say is that, you know, all fans see things through our lens or we see it through our own lenses, but we put these things onto it. And star wars is very much because it's a visceral experience because this is if you've been going on, but it's something you really experienced in your heart, um, that it.

[01:06:33] It's also how we relate to it. So responses to it are very emotional. So it surprise to me when somebody has that interaction with star Trek, they'll say, Hey, then you experience it as the more cerebral thing where it was pushing your boundaries and making you think about something because countless episodes were just something where even, even the main cast member, they weren't broken, but captain Kirk would be there on the enterprise questioning himself a little bit.

[01:06:57] Did I make the right call on

[01:06:58] that? That here he

[01:06:59] is. Yeah. It's, it's the future. We're all supposed to be a better, but he's still learning. He's still

[01:07:04] like, Hey, maybe that maybe I have something to take away from this new experience, which again is the purpose of new worlds and new life forms. Um, and you see it's, but instead of focusing and obsessing on the doubt, they cover the doubt and then the growth from that.

[01:07:22] So that's, and that's what you sort of end up comfortable again, you just say, okay, well, The, the, the, the crew members of the enterprise face adversity, maybe they realized they were wrong about something, whether they didn't have what they needed to understand it. Uh, and now they do. And that, of course, that was Joe's first mentioned.

[01:07:39] The first episode that he was recalling was you thought it was just an alien? No, that somebody, it was a creature trying to protect their offspring. And they learned from that. And that's that star Trek at its best. Uh, and interestingly, I think star wars is going in that direction because that's what makes a good TV story.

[01:07:59] So you're seeing that a little bit more in some of their stories is that the characters have to grow. The Mandalorian starts at one point. And even by the end of the first season is not the same in terms of worldview and has learned to grow. And it's funny to see fans get a little uncomfortable with somebody they think is just supposed to be a kick-ass character, always, right?

[01:08:19] Always the good guy, always winning, uh, to have to face that maybe even what made them, who they are, that the tenants and beliefs of the man, you know, a metal or aren't entirely in line. With right or good. And that's, that's something cool. That's something cool to watch. And then that's why I'm excited for more star wars as, as, as it comes out.

[01:08:38] Because I think we're going to see, uh, some stories of that type. Um, but what, yeah. What, watching the fans react to star Trek in a way today where they questioned what it's doing and said, why w why are they pushing diversity so much? It's like, that was, was the point, man. That was the

[01:08:55] JOE: That was the whole premise. That was the whole premise. of the

[01:08:57] series.

[01:08:58] JOSH: day one.

[01:08:58] I mean, infinite diversity and infinite combinations.

[01:09:01] That's, I mean, it's amazing to me, how many star Trek fans. Forget that granted that whole medallion thing was a ploy on gene Roddenberry's, part for the merchandising, to sell through his, his Norway enterprises.

[01:09:16] But that aside message is sound.

[01:09:21] Any final thoughts? I really think we covered a lot of ground.

[01:09:23] JOHN: Okay, but I still want to know who I'm going to fight at the enterprisers it's our destroyer.

[01:09:28] JOSH: I mean the enterprise.

[01:09:29] JOE: I have one final thought. I always like to, when we do these things, I like to look for cool.

[01:09:34] And, uh, that will, that will somehow sum up what things, what these series are about. And I think I found one for star Trek and one for star wars. And, uh, my star Trek quote is make itself. And my star wars quote is I've got a bad

[01:09:50] feeling about this.

[01:09:51] JOSH: I love it. I love it. I just want to close with, a, star Trek, star wars connection that I learned only very recently and it blew my head, my head wide open when I discovered this. So, um, Richard Edlund , who did visual effects for the first star wars? He shot a lot of the models and he, worked on empire and Jedi.

[01:10:12] He worked on Raiders of the lost Ark. , he, his first job . Was. In 1965 at the Westheimer company where the first project he was assigned to professionally was star Trek. And he recalled years later, what his duties entailed. Mostly what I was doing was, leaving guys in and out though, I did wrote a scope, the original enterprise for the opening credits.

[01:10:31] It was the only enterprise fly by they had for at least the first season and they used it over and over and over again, speeding it up, flopping it left or right. And the other thing that he did, he did the title design, the, uh, the typeface for the opening credits in, in star Trek.

[01:10:47] he created that sort of slanted star Trek. I guess you call it a font now.

[01:10:53] JOE: Cool.

[01:10:54] JOSH: Yeah. so, how about this? it's not a debate. It's not a rivalry. It's a conversation between two worlds. How about

[01:11:02] JOE: Yes, the human

[01:11:03] adventure

[01:11:04] continues.

[01:11:04] JOSH: human adventure continues. I like that. I like that very much. I want to thank my guests. John and Joe. And, if you like what you heard here, uh, you can hear similar conversations actually on our cousin podcast, the secret origins of mint condition of which Joe is a cohost, Joe, where can we find that show?

[01:11:23] If we want to take a look.

[01:11:25] JOE: Actually James could put this better than I came with my lack of computer knowledge, but you can find this on our Facebook group as the grand Paige of course, on Spotify.

[01:11:33] you know, how I find things that I

[01:11:34] just Googled them

[01:11:35] JOSH: I was going to say, if you Google secret origins of mint condition,

[01:11:39] it will come up. Um, I want to thank both of you for joining me on this discussion. I really, really enjoyed the hell out of it. And, if you guys in the audience, if you'd like what you heard, please rate and review us on your podcast platform of choice.

[01:11:53] you can visit trashcompod.com and rate and review us there. And we are trashcompod across all social media, and we will see you on the next one.

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Josh

Editor/Writer

Sometimes I make things.

Joe