Monday, December 14, 2015

Character Insight No. 170: Star Wars/Star Trek Crossovers

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe. An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here 

Welcome back to Character Insight! This week, we celebrate the release of the first trailer for Star Trek Beyond as well as the Star Wars The Force Awakens premiere with a look at how these mega franchises have crossed over.

The Enterprise in a spot of bother
(A screenshot of the trailer, courtesy Paramount Pictures)

Star Wars is approaching its 40th anniversary while Star Trek celebrates the big 5-0 next year, but these science fiction mega franchises have not had a ton of crossover in actors, etc. However, one part that defines these franchises at least in the theater is special effects, and both have used Industrial Light and Magic often for the visual effects we love on the big screen.

Turning to those actors, before the JJ Abrams reboots of both film franchises, the only actor who had crossed over was Felix Silla, who played a Talosian on The Cage as well as an Ewok on Return of the Jedi. However, now Deep Roy has crossed over as Droopy McCool in Return of the Jedi and Scotty's friend Keenser in the recent Star Trek films. Speaking of Scotty, according to IMDB this week Simon Pegg is to appear somewhere in The Force Awakens, which would make him the most obvious crossover actor yet thanks to his prominent Trek role as Scotty.

If we go a bit farther into the expanded universe of Star Wars and the cartoons, there are a lot more notable names which cross over from Star Trek. These actors include George Takei, Brock Peters, Brent Spiner, the aforementioned Simon Pegg, Ron Perlman, among others.

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't also mention JJ Abrams himself, who directed Star Trek 09 as well as Star Trek Into Darkness before moving on to co-write and direct The Force Awakens. He made Star Trek fans pretty happy in 2009 and hopes are high that he can bring the same film magic to rekindle Star Wars as well. If he does, he will be the unquestioned king of this era of mega science fiction franchises.

So there has been crossover, even though there have as of yet been no explicit character crossovers or story crossovers. These franchises are set in different time periods, but don't be surprised if many years form now a crossover occurs at some point. We could then hopefully settle one of the great debates of our time: Enterprise or Millennium Falcon?

Oh, it turns out Neil Degrasse Tyson already solved that one for us: (Insert Quote)

But seriously, both ships make great bottle openers on Think Geek, for what it's worth. Until next time, let's all geek out together and laugh at those poor souls who just don't get the beauty and fun of both these science fiction franchises.

 ------------   Feedback can be sent to me with future segment suggestions on Twitter @BuckeyeFitzy.

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