Did Star Wars cash in on Star Trek?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Flake, May 18, 2013.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, the dictionary just says it means to profit from a thing or use it to one's advantage. And Lucas has acknowledged that he did use Star Trek's reputation to his advantage, citing it as an example of a successful space opera in order to sell the studio on his movie and using a title that evoked it.
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I'm aware of that.
     
  3. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not sure that would've been such a great thing, though. Already they seemed to be running out of ideas, their budget was being reduced, etc. It might have faded into obscurity if not for syndication.

    I'm a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, and sci-fi in general. :)
     
  4. poundpuppy29

    poundpuppy29 Commander Red Shirt

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    I love both as well as many other scifi/fantasy tv shows and or movies (just click on the link in my sig to see)

    I really don't understand this fight between ST & SW fans
     
  5. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think I agree with you, Belz. There's always the "what if." What if the network hadn't jerked the show around and Roddenberry had held onto control. What if the show was kept in a good timeslot. Since I personally like generally how Star Trek evolved over the years, I'm glad it went the way it did. But who knows?
     
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Star Trek and Star Wars are arguably not the same genre. Star Wars is a Western.

    The same way Game of Thrones is a mafia series.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Actually ST was the one that was kinda sorta pitched as a Western -- "Wagon Train to the stars." (Although, contrary to popular belief, that was more in reference to Wagon Train's storytelling format than its genre.) And it's built around the trope of pioneers braving a dangerous frontier, part of the core mythology of the American West (as well as the Great Trek of the Boers in South Africa, which seems likely to have inspired the show's title). Star Wars is a sword-and-sorcery fantasy transposed into outer space. It's explicitly presented as a fairy tale: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." And it's about people who fight with swords, wield magic, and rescue princesses while battling evil emperors, without a frontier in sight. Sure, it has some Western trappings, along with trappings of just about every other genre Lucas was ever a fan of, but Westerns aren't its primary syntax.
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    For every thing Star Wars cribbed from Star Trek, it cribbed numerous other things from other genres.

    Star Wars managed to break out of the sci-fi niche and appeal to general audiences with record-breaking long lines. The original film was basically #1 for a whole year. Star Trek never came close to that sort of broad appeal, until JJTrek.

    One of the other connotations of cashing in on something is that the thing riding the coattails is the lesser. That clearly wouldn't be the case here.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    So's Star Trek. Especially "Mudd's Women". A plot I've seen in more than one Western.

    Game of Thrones takes partial inspiration from The War of the Roses. Was there a mafia in Plantagenet England?
     
  10. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    One day, this movie might happen:

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    Star Wars Episode VII: Star Trek
     
  11. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Everything set in space with space ships that is a huge success makes more science fiction, space opera, space fantasy (whatever name people want to call stuff) more likely. IMO Star Trek owes a lot to the phenomenal success of Star Wars. They both paved ways for each other and for other great endeavors in the genres.
     
  12. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Western sci-fi fairy tale. Gotta love the mix.
     
  13. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I'm a little suprised no one mentioned how much "Dune" is in Star Wars. One of the (many) problems for David Lynch's Dune was they had to make sure it didn't look too much like Star Wars, at least I read that somewhere but I can't find where I read that. But Tatooine is like Arakis and Han Solo dropped Jabba's spice shipment, and there's the Emperor and his Sardaukar, although only in the first few minutes, then they're all redshirts under the armor for the rest of the movie.

    EDIT:
    I found a link http://moongadget.com/origins/dune.html
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Clearly?" How many SW movies were actually good? There are really only two of the six that are considered classics. And the original film never aspired to be more than a lightweight popcorn movie -- while the prequels' attempts to say something more substantial were hamfisted. SW has the edge over ST in production values, but certainly not in terms of writing or acting.

    And really, as I said before, it's a mistake to treat ST and SW as direct competitors. They aren't trying to be the same thing. They work on different levels. TOS's inspirations were things like Forbidden Planet, Horatio Hornblower, The Twilight Zone, and the prose/pulp science fiction of the '40s through the '60s. SW's inspirations were things like Flash Gordon, The Searchers, Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, and Joseph Campbell.
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Huh? Star Trek wasn't even on the air, aside from reruns in syndication. There was maybe a handful of original novels, and a short-lived cartoon series, but Trek was essentially in limbo during the seventies. Even Roddenberry had moved onto other things: Genesis II, Planet Earth, The Questor Tapes, Spectre, etc.
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    We're talking about 1977, yes? So, when I say Star Wars in this context, the one of the OP, I'm talking about the 1977 film, which was called just "Star Wars". I cited my evidence: a film that was basically #1 for a whole year. That's clear enough.
     
  17. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Mid-1970s, stream-of-consciousness:
    Posterbooks, photonovels, magazines, "pen-a-posters," models, blueprints, tech manual, comics, donmoor kid shirts, Mego action figures and bridge, pj's, curtains, the show stripped every weeknight in every major tv market, even non-nerd kids saying "beam me up" in school, TMOST in how many printings, Gerrold's WOST and Tribbles in mass market paper, etc., etc. I was there, it was huge. You must have been there too. Don't you remember? I was a kid and just entering our average small-town bookstore, they had a star trek section.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, it wasn't in production, but it was one of the most popular and successful shows in rerun syndication, the early conventions had huge attendance, and it was clear by that point that it was a major cultural phenomenon. No, it wasn't as big as Star Wars became in public awareness -- but nothing in SF, or arguably in movies/TV in general, was as big. Star Wars launched a whole new era of blockbuster films, and the popularity of pre-1977 works must be assessed on a different scale. By pre-'77 standards, taking fan culture into account rather than simply what was in production, Trek was the biggest thing in mass-media SF.

    Essentially, Star Trek was a quantum leap beyond prior screen SF in terms of its popularity and cultural impact, and Star Wars was the next quantum leap beyond that.



    That it was more successful, yes. Not that it was better.
     
  19. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Well, we should probably squeeze Planet of the Apes in there. That was huge in the seventies: five movies, two TV series, books, magazines, comics, and enough merchandise to fill the Forbidden Zone . . ..

    Was Trek bigger than Apes in the seventies? That's probably a judgment call.
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I never claimed that SW was "better". I did however claim, and support, that SW (1977) can't be pigeonholed as only riding the wave of ST's success, which hopefully should be a clearer way of expressing some of what I said. SW was much more than that, in concept, in terms of the interest it generated, and in terms of marketshare.