Buffy The Vampire Slayer Is Star Trek According To Show Icon

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Updated

buffy star trek

That’s right–according to Spike, otherwise known as James Marsters, Buffy The Vampire Slayer has more in common with Star Trek than you might think. He said as much at the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunion panel at Emerald City Comic-Con (via Popverse), where the fan-favorite vampire waxed nostalgic about his Trekkie childhood. The actor concluded that, like the original Star Trek, Buffy imbued fans and audiences with a sense of hope–one inviting them to reenter Buffy’s dark world again and again. 

At an Emerald City Comic-Con Panel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel veteran James Marsters compared the former series to the sci-fi hit Star Trek.

The Buffy actor fondly remembered attending Star Trek conventions costumed as Spock (classic but respectable choice) from the tender age of 13. Not only did Marsters watch each OG Trek episode countless times, but he also memorized every line of dialogue–a feat all die-hard Trekkies can relate to.

Marsters recalled that, even though he knew by heart every adventure awaiting the Enterprise and her crew, he nonetheless ached to return to the classic Star Trek universe. Why? Because it provided hope–an inexhaustible resource nonetheless in short supply. 

Due to his foresight, Marsters knew that, beyond merely shooting another throwaway episode of a forgettable television show, the cast and crew of Buffy were indeed creating a world.

It was that sense of hope that Marsters saw similarly enshrined and embodied in Buffy The Vampire Slayer

According to the Buffy fan-favorite, Marsters realized the similarity with Star Trek amid a late-night shoot with the original stars. Musing about the potential legacy of the scene they were filming, the actor turned to his fellow cast members. “Hey guys,” he said, “we might be talking about this scene for the rest of our lives. Anybody want coffee?” 

seth green sarah michelle gellar
The cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Season 4

Due to his foresight, Marsters knew that, beyond merely shooting another throwaway episode of a forgettable television show, the cast and crew of Buffy were indeed creating a world. One that the show’s devotees would revisit countlessly, seeking its signature excitement, beloved characters, and yes–hope. 

Of course, at least on the surface, the shadowy back alleys of Buffy’s Sunnydale would seem leagues from the vast expanses of Star Trek’s Final Frontier. Pressed to explain each show to someone unfamiliar, you’d probably describe a young woman tasked with defending the world from scary, supernatural threats—juxtaposed with an intrepid crew of space voyagers exploring the stars, pushing the boundaries of the known universe. 

But, at least in Spike’s eyes, hope intimately unites them. How so? 

How Hope Unites Buffy And Star Trek

Star Trek ultimately offered a glimpse of the future where humanity had surpassed its divisions, journeying through the cosmos hand in hand. Buffy, despite the supernatural threats and aesthetic gloom, suggested a similar optimism. One infused with a reality people wanted to be a part of, presented in stories fans know by heart–where obstacles are surmounted, friendships are forged, and hope wins the day. 

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Star Trek: The Original Series

Certainly, the parallels Marsters draws between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Trek diminish neither of the show’s unique identities. Rather, they underscore an essential element that makes each series veritably timeless: their ability to inspire hope. 

Despite being in outwardly different universes, each show reassures us that no matter the adversities–no matter how terrifying the vampire or otherworldly the alien–humans can prevail, evolve, and achieve a brighter future. In trying, turbulent times such as our own, such themes resonate loudly, reminding us all of our own abilities to shape the future. 

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