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Star Wars is better than Star Trek, and we have the stats to prove it

The battle to be the best science fiction movie is an intense one, and fans of both Star Trek and Star Wars have argued for years but we finally have an answer.

Leonard Nimoy as Star Trek's Sock, and Darth Vader from Star Wars A New Hope

If you had to pick between Star Wars or Star Trek, which way would you go? Maybe you’d head to a galaxy far, far away and see space wizards fighting with laser swords, or maybe you’d prefer to beam yourself up to a place where you can live long and prosper.

Star Trek may have come first, but Star Wars certainly made up for lost time and, when it comes to deciding which franchise has produced the best science fiction movies, there can only be one winner. Watching the Star Wars movies in order and scouring the whole Star Trek timeline is a mammoth task, but that’s the only way to really judge which saga is better, right?

Sure, we’d love to spend our evenings in the company of the best Star Wars characters and join the crew of the best Star Trek starships, but there is another way. Turns out, the folks at the American Film Institute may have just settled the matter once and for all.

If you take a look at the AFI’s list of the top ten best movies of all time in each genre, you’ll spot something pretty fascinating in the sci-fi department. There’s two of the best Stanley Kubrick movies, 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, classics like The Day the Earth Stood Still and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and the charming ET.

There’s also space for Blade Runner, Alien, Back to the Future, and the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Terminator 2. And what’s that? Oh, that’s just the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope. But, there’s no space for any of the Star Trek movies, sadly.

Now, we’re not claiming the AFI is the definitive authority on this topic, and just because one Star Wars movie is in there, that doesn’t speak for the quality of the rest of the Skywalker Saga (looking at you, The Rise of Skywalker). But, it is pretty telling that A New Hope is deemed worthy of being one of the ten greatest sci-fi flicks ever made.

Before Trek fans deem us more despicable than even the best Star Wars villains, we want to stress that we love both franchises in equal measure. Picking a favorite would be more difficult than choosing between two beloved children. If you ask us, there’s enough room for both of these amazing properties.

The best Star Trek captains have taken us on some incredible voyages through the years, be it in any of the Star Trek series or on the big screen. Meanwhile, the fight between the Jedi and the Sith has kept us enraptured for decades.

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For more from each franchise, learn about the Star Wars cast, or take a look ahead to the new Star Wars movies and the Andor season 2 release date, or go boldly into our guides on the Star Trek Legacy release date and the Star Trek 4 release date. For other new movies, here’s a rundown on The Marvels and Avatar 3.