Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why he prefers Star Trek to Star Wars

Here's an awesome video from a few years ago where Neil deGrasse Tyson and other astrophysicists praise Star Trek for making an "admirable attempt" to portray space travel with actual scientific explanations. Star Wars? Not so much.


Tyson recently told Business Insider that he loves "old-school" Star Trek, with Captain Kirk and the original crew, but:

I never got into Star Wars. Maybe because they made no attempt to portray real physics. At all.


[via Washington Post]

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I always thought calling Star Wars fantasy in space was a stupid simplification. It's a plot that's familiar to fantasy, but it's still sci-fi, just like a sci-fi mystery is still sci-fi. For anyone complaining about the Force being magic, the Force is a sci-fi take on Eastern mysticism, just like how Star Trek has all those superpowered space gods, which are a sci-fi take on Western religion and mythology. Most of Star Wars's sci-fi elements (hyperspace, blasters, superweapons, droids) can be traced back to classic science fiction. And as for Star Wars failing to portray real physics... Star Trek tended to forget the third dimension existed during in its space battles, to the point that acknowledging this was a twist in Wrath of Khan.

Moreover, the people who obsess over the hardness of their sci-fi tend to point to Battlestar Galactica as their ideal show for 'hard sci-fi', which is total bullshit, because NuBSG cared about its sci-fi trappings far less than Star Wars did. BSG was one of the most technophobic sci-fi shows ever, because its writers were ex-Trekkers who thought they were too cool for science fiction and wanted to tell SERIOUS, HUMAN STORIES (TM). It used real-world physics for the same reason why it used real-world telephones on a fucking spaceship; it wasn't interested in being a sci-fi show at all. Meanwhile a show like Fringe doesn't give a shit about real-world physics and can be a great science fiction story.