It is quite possibly the nerdiest pop culture question ever, one that has rattled the foundation of nerddom for half a century: Which is better, the Millennium Falcon or the U.S.S. Enterprise? Yes, the battle between Star Trek and Star Wars has been a long and arduous dispute made up of the blood, sweat, and tears of many geeks over the years. But the biggest geek of them all, the one and only Neil deGrasse Tyson, provided his own answer on the TV version of his popular show StarTalk.
Check out his answer below:
Here at Inverse we think NDT is pretty good at looking at science through a pop culture lens, but we have to call bullshit on his preference of the Enterprise over the Falcon. Call us Star Wars biased, but the Falcon is obviously the better ship.
In the basis of his ostensibly firm argument, Tyson says of the Enterprise:
“It has the benefit of being real…in the sense that there are real scientists and real engineers on staff on the ship monitoring its engines, its warp drives, its torpedoes. And so it’s fake-real.”
He then takes a dig at the Falcon saying, it’s “just fake-fake. It’s just part of a fantasy storytelling in Star Wars.”
Sorry Neil (can we call you Neil? Great.), the Enterprise is just as fake as the Millennium Falcon regardless of the scientists on board manning all of the dials and doo-dads around the Starfleet ship. Also, do you mean to imply that Han and Chewie aren’t capable of manning the Falcon by themselves? Sure they get in some water because the hyperdrive doesn’t work all the time, but they get the job done. And to paraphrase Han himself, the Falcon’s got it where it counts. How else do you think they managed to evade a Star Destroyer that one time?
Then Tyson’s argument just kind of falls apart from there. “[The ‘Enterprise’] is the first ever spaceship represented in storytelling that was not designed to go from one place to another. It was only designed to explore.”
Huh? Exploring is going from one place to another Neil (again, hope we’re on a first name basis). The Enterprise has a mission just like the Falcon has a mission. Kirk and his cronies just kind of lollygag around the galaxy, endlessly winding up in moralistic adventures, while Han and Chewie buzz around smuggling stuff so they can get paid. What would you prefer, having to put up with Spock’s boring righteousness or having a shipload of cash and the bragging rights behind helping to blow up not one, but two Death Stars?
The Enterprise definitely can’t do this:
Still, Tyson’s parting jab at Han Solo’s main mode of transportation rings true: “In a battle the Enterprise would just wipe its ass with the Millennium Falcon. Score one for Tyson, sadly, but can the Enterprise say that it made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? We think not.
Sorry Neil, the Millennium Falcon rules.