George Lucas: Star Wars stood on the shoulders of Star Trek

Ryan Leston
George Lucas: Star Wars stood on the shoulders of Star Trek
George Lucas on the set of 'Star Wars: Episode III'

It's often thought that 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek' fans never see eye-to-eye, but George Lucas explains how Roddenberry's classic sci-fi paved the way for 'Star Wars'.

Which is better - 'Star Wars' or 'Star Trek'?

It's a question that has plagued the geekdom for decades, but it seems that legendary filmmaker George Lucas has a lot to thank 'Star Trek' for… as he pays tribute to Gene Roddenberry's work in an all-new documentary.

[Star Wars: The pig that looks like Yoda]

The film 'Trek Nation' follows Rod Roddenberry's quest to uncover the impact and importance of his father's legendary sci-fi series… and includes encounters with fans, family friends and even legendary actors (and directors) who enlighten Rod about his father's influence on the entertainment industry.

Among these is 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas, who admits that 'Star Trek' paved the way for his own sci-fi epic…

"Star Trek softened up the entertainment arena," he explained, "so that Star Wars could come along and stand on its shoulders."

Of course, boldly going where no man has gone before is part and parcel of the 'Star Trek' universe… but it seems that Gene Roddenberry's unique and inspirational series made it a lot easier for other directors to make sci-fi popular.

[Star Wars: The return of Darth Maul?]

"There was an effective group of people in the beginning who accepted it," Lucas explained. "That it wasn't that far out. For the studios it was way far out. [They said] 'What is this?' But there was a fan base out there - primarily the Star Trek fan base -who understood science-fiction, understood visual science-fiction, and was ready for something like [Star Wars] to be in the feature arena."

Of course, with 'Star Wars: Episode VII' expected to make over $1.2 billion, it seems that George Lucas has plenty to be thankful for. But did 'Star Trek' really pave the way for 'Star Wars'? I'm sure there are plenty of fans who won't be quite so willing to agree…

And if you're wondering which franchise I prefer… may the Force be with you.

'Trek Nation' is released on DVD in the USA next week.

Where do you stand on the timeless debate? 'Star Wars' or 'Star Trek'? Let us know in the comments below…

Ryan Leston is a sci-fi geek from Cardiff who loves all things Star Wars. His favourite Star Wars film is The Empire Strikes Back and he still wants to be Han Solo when he grows up. Follow Ryan Leston on Twitter or Facebook.

More from this contributor:

The enduring charm of vintage Star Wars figures

The Star Wars cameos you might have missed

How Star Wars fans restored the Lars Homestead