Monday, May 27, 2024

The Millennium Falcon vs. the USS Enterprise

Ever do people make comparisons between the ships and technologies of Star Trek and Star Wars, namely a hypothetical battle between the Millennium Falcon vs. the USS Enterprise, so now I shall. And I will begin by saying that I deem the comparison silly beyond belief. Why? Well, let us delve into broader technological differences between the 24th century Milky Way and those in a galaxy far far away.

Millennium Falcon
It begins with speed. In Star Wars the Galactic Republic/Empire is just that, galactic, spanning basically the entire galaxy. On a routine basis across all the films ships – be they Star Destroyers, Queen Amidala's royal starship, to one-man ships like Luke's X-Wing – traverse half the galaxy and back again in a matter of days or less. Which makes sense, as how else can a galaxy-spanning political entity keep together? 

USS Voyager
In Star Trek, however, it is completely different. The entire series Star Trek: Voyager was the USS Voyager getting thrown over 70,000 light years away from the Federation, across the Milky Way, and having to seek out new technologies to shorten what would at Maximum Warp be a 75 year journey home. And the same can be seen in Next Generation, each episode often referencing in the Captain's Log and through dialogue how many days it would take to reach Point A to Point B. For example, it would take a Starship traveling at Warp 9.975  one month to traverse 132 light years. A month. Now Star Wars does not get into the intricacies of tech as much as Star Trek, but, again, I point to the fact that Star Wars ships travel across galaxy and back in a matter of days. Luke's X-Wing, much less the Millennium Falcon, would have seen the USS Voyager's 70,000 light years journey as nothing to sneeze at; an average flight. In short, Star Wars hyperdrive engines are worlds superior to Star Trek Warp Drives.

Death Star
Now onto weapons. In Episode IV: A New Hope when Obi-Wan Kenobi says that Alderaan was destroyed by the Empire Han Solo replies "the entire star fleet couldn't destroy a whole planet, it'd take a thousand ships and more fire power than I've seen in a..." though a Tie Fighter interrupted him, the Captain of the Millennium Falcon told us all we need to know. Namely how many imperial ships – all armed with the best weapons, mind – it would take to destroy a planet. In short, in Star Wars it takes nothing less than a fully operational Death Star to do the job.

USS Defiant
Now on to Star Trek, which is where the irony comes in since the Federation loathes war and Starfleet is not strictly a military organization. Ironic because Federation weapons leave Galactic Republic/Imperial ones in the dust, the proof lying in the fact that there are several episodes where the USS Enterprise uses its phasers to drill into planets, and the Deep Space Nine episode the Broken Link Worf catches Garak attempting to gain control the USS Defiant's phasers and quantum torpedoes to destroy the Founders' homeworld; as Garak puts it, "we have enough fire power on this ship to turn that planet into a smoking cinder." Granted that the USS Defiant is one of the most heavily armed ships in the Federation, but it is also one of the physically smallest. Bottom line: basically a single Federation Starship can do what, in Star Wars, only the moon-sized Death Star can.

So, to recap, Star Wars hyperdrive engines wipe the floor with Star Trek Warp Drives in the speed contest, yet Federation phasers make Galactic Republic/Imperial laser cannons looks like outdated pistols. Again, let us appreciate the irony that something called Star WARS actually has the weaker weapons.

USS Enterprise-D
Which brings us back to the age-old Sci-Fi question of: Who would win, the Millennium Falcon or the USS Enterprise? Like I said before, it is a silly question – and the reason why should by now be clear. In an even battle the Enterprise would blow the Falcon to pieces without breathing hard, yet the Falcon would not give it the opportunity since it could outrun it as easily as a regular falcon would a robin. Indeed, even in Star Wars how often does the Millennium Falcon truly fight? Usually only when trying to escape; since speed is the ship's claim to fame, the whole purpose behind it is that the Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca can outrun the Imperials; indeed, it is made very plain that Millennium Falcon cannot best even a single Imperial Star Destroyer. The USS Enterprise, however, is an utterly different animal: the flagship of a vast interstellar power and home to over a thousand people, it was designed to hold its own in a fight against the best the enemies of the Federation had to offer. Whereas the the Millennium Falcon is a freighter; the faster freighter in the galaxy and capable of taking out several one-person attack ships, but a freighter still.

Imperial Star Destroyer
Hence my belief that the whole Millennium Falcon vs. the USS Enterprise debate is silly because, to employ an aphorism, it is comparing apples and oranges. The two ships are so utterly different, both in technology, size, and purpose, and if the two ever did cross swords it would ends as I described above: with the Falcon either in pieces or leaving the Enterprise literally half a galaxy behind. Indeed, it would be the same between the Enterprise and its nearest Star Wars analogue, a Star Destroyer. Given the overwhelming superiority of Federation weapons, a Starship could fry a Star Destroyer easily, leaving the Imperial ship no option but to employ its overwhelming superiority hyperdrive engine to escape.

No comments:

Post a Comment