World-renowned astrophysicist and the director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson has done a lot to make science exciting for kids and students. In pop culture, Tyson had a hand in finding Superman’s home planet of Krypton, and he weighed in on the actual weight of Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir. Now Tyson has now chimed in on the age-old question: which is better, Star Wars or Star Trek?
In an interview with Business Insider, Tyson explains why he’s a Trekkie, and why Star Wars never caught his attention. Tyson says, “I never got into Star Wars. Maybe because they made no attempt to portray real physics. At all!” Despite his love of Star Trek, the host of StarTalk Radio did compliment Star Wars for the planet Tatooine’s double suns:
I like the double star sunset scene (on Tatooine). Most stars you see in the night sky are double and triple stars, so that’s a very common thing we would expect in the universe. But, yeah… [as he displays the ‘Live long and prosper’ hand sign]”
Once he chose a franchise, he was then asked which Starfleet captain he preferred. Tyson picked William Shatner’s Captain Kirk, which is surprising because Tyson seems like a man of intellect, rather than a man of action. It just goes to show that Neil deGrasse Tyson is an old-school Star Trek fan. I wonder what he thinks about J.J. Abrams’ take on Star Trek.
While it’s true Star Trek is rooted more in science than Star Wars, George Lucas‘ space opera has always been more of a fantasy adventure story than Gene Roddenberry’s future allegory of advanced science, technology, and social class. It’s really hard to choose one over the other, because they’re both very different.
You can watch the brief Business Insider video interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson below: