Star Wars vs. Star Trek – The
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Main Program: B
doubtful a rivalry really exists between the Star Wars and Star Trek
franchises, but the special interest piece Star
Wars vs. Star Trek (2000) would like there to be one. However, with one a mystical space opera and
the other an intellectual take on science and humanity, it is not easy to argue
anything, except commercial success.
went to being shot entirely on Model-T stage Digital High-Definition Video and
lost its soul to too much toy merchandising, Star Wars had a great cache about being state of the art
filmmaking. Creator George Lucas created
Industrial Light & Magic, as well as the company that was spun-off into the
mega-success that is Pixar. At that
point, Lucas decided to go digital and abandon film forever, which is great
since he will be a pioneer in digital cinema.
The total abandonment of film and the Academy Award-winning visual
effects of the past is made disturbing more so by their replacement (and even
re-replacement) by all-digital substitutes that ultimately do not cut it. This special was issued before the fifth film
(aka Episode Two) was issued and
totally originated in digital video, Attack
of the Clones. That was the least
successful film yet, but the constant tampering with the originals (always
dubbed Episodes Four, Five & Six by new fans as if older moviegoers and fans never heard of the
franchise before) and the digital-mania is a permanent defeat for the
franchise. There is only one more (they
say) and the originals will be out on DVD finally for the first time, but in
their fifth versions. There was the
original issues, the restored originals, the Special Edition re-releases with
digitizing, those films issued again with newer EX soundtracks on Japanese
LaserDiscs, and now the DVD versions with further digital alterations to fit
the newer releases. We can say it the
sixth of the 1977 original, if we remember the Flash Gordon-like Saturday
Morning Serial crawl was added to that film in 1979. In all this, the oldest fans that made it all
possible are slapped in the face for all time and the franchise has lost its
root truth and its soul.
not to say Star Trek survived
better, now shockingly less popular at the moment that Star Wars overall, though the older shows were not as tampered
with, though alterations have been made.
It should be noted that restorations of the older shows have not
necessarily retained the great Deluxe color that made the show so distinct, but
we’ll cover that when the next video versions arrive. The sequel TV series never really worked for
me and have eventually failed the fans, especially the new Enterprise prequel, which has not saved the franchise from
decline. Far better was the impressive Star Trek: Nemesis, which could have
saved it, but was too late. (Read more
about that in our DVD review and NOSFERATU essay elsewhere on this site). The biggest problem that this DVD never
perceives is how the militarism of the franchise (via Nicholas Meyer’s
contributions) negated the Gene Roddenberry vision in the long run and the
ideas of world piece and a better future in space would have NEVER happened if
the original was stuck with what is essentially a square, clichéd idea of
military-is-good-in-space vision from the conformist 1950s. That is in stark contrast to the original
idea of the show being a step ahead of that model. N Important philosophical
ideas and discussions have been replaced by latex aliens, bad digital effects,
and predictable repetitions that have limited the vision of what was one of the
most creative and thought-provoking of all franchises before the idea of
franchises was so tired and processed.
program is about 45 minutes, with the extras being a semi-Spanish interview
clip with Carrie Fisher, and English interview clips with Harrison Ford, Liam
Neeson, Leonard Nimoy and (in black and white videotape), raw premiere footage
of a Trek attraction in Las Vegas, and re-release premiere footage from the
1997 Star Wars. The picture is above average, with varying
types and qualities of footage throughout.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is said to be “surround sound” but is simple
stereo at best, so don’t expect multi-channel.
Fans of either franchise will enjoy the rarely-seen clips on both, plus
on many a Star Wars rip-off.
the main program credit for saying what is rarely said about either franchise
and their imitators, especially the films and ideas that did not go over
well. It does not sugar coat or ignore
what really happened. Too bad Passport
did not extend the main program for the DVD release, but it is a worth a look
for all who are curious.
- Nicholas Sheffo