It is the ultimate science fiction question that warring fandoms have been debating for decades: Which sci-fi series is better, Star Wars or Star Trek? And even more pressing, which starship would win in a battle, the Starship Enterprise or the Millennium Falcon? Well, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye the Science Guy — the unofficial rock stars of the science world — have decided to weigh in on this age-old debate.
In a YouTube video published on November 27 for Neil deGrasse Tyson’s National Geographic television show Star Talk, a fan asked Neil the question that has been plaguing the duelling fandoms for some time.
“Millennium Falcon or Starship Enterprise? Which would you choose and why?”
As Time reports, it seems deGrasse Tyson has, himself, pondered this very same query. It takes Neil less than five seconds to give his answer.
“Oh that’s easy. Oh my gosh. Oh, the Enterprise. There’s no question! No question.”
With a small laugh and some overzealous hand gestures, Neil deGrasse Tyson answers the fan question as easily as if someone had asked him to name his favorite planet, which we all know is obviously not Pluto. Yes, we’re still smarting from that, Neil.
“The Enterprise has the benefit of being real. In the sense that there are real scientists and real engineers on the ship, monitoring its engine and its warp drive, its photon torpedoes. And so, it’s ‘fake-real,’ as opposed to the Millennium Falcon, which is just ‘fake-fake.’”
Tyson has obviously put a lot of thought into the question, however. As the video continues, and deGrasse Tyson goes into detail on why he’d choose the Enterprise, it’s clear his opinion comes from a scientific standpoint, rather than just a sci-fi fan’s standpoint. Tyson even admits that he’s thought long and hard about this particular question, and he believes he’s correct in his analysis on the subject — and not just because Neil believes the Enterprise would “just wipe its a** with the Millennium Falcon” in a battle.
“The Enterprise is the first ever spaceship represented in storytelling, that was not designed to go from one place to another. It was only designed to explore. Every movie, every show, that preceded that, built it to go to a destination, and they go there, and they get out, and they pitch a tent. They’re not completely living on the ship as an exploratory vehicle. That was revolutionary, in terms of what we would think space would and should be about.”
Not to be outdone by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Neil’s colleague and friend, Bill Nye, decided to have his own say on the ultimate sci-fi debate question during an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this week.
To ensure he doesn’t offend anyone, Bill Nye prefaces his answer with the stereotypical “some of my best friends are Star Wars fans,” but then goes on to likely offend every Star Wars fan out there by finishing his initial thought with “but Star Wars has magic in it.”
Nye goes on to call Star Wars Shakespearean, what with all the family conflicts, commoners, and “all-powerful kings” running rampant. Star Trek, on the other hand, is “an optimistic view of the future with science,” says Nye. Star Wars, he says, is just magic, and there’s “wings, and sound effects in space.”
“The Force, is like a ghost, or magic, or religion. There’s an invisible thing that has super powers, magical power. But in Star Trek, they didn’t do that. They didn’t go that way.”
Which way do you swing on the ultimate sci-fi debate? Are you with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye?
Watch the video of Neil deGrasse Tyson answering the question below. To watch Bill Nye’s, head over to Rolling Stone and check it out.
[Image via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]