Technological Superiority: Star Wars vs. Star Trek [Infographic]

At first look, this infographic paints a pretty bleak picture of the Star Trek universe. Do you agree with the data that’s in there? Are you more of a Star Trek or Star Wars fanboy/girl? Let us know in the comments section below!

Star Wars vs. Star Trek
Source: Best Online Engineering Degree

68 Responses to Technological Superiority: Star Wars vs. Star Trek [Infographic]

  1. One big thing missing in the comparison: Star Trek ships have FTL sensors and maneuverability. Star Wars ships can't maneuver tactically FTL. Thus the firepower is irrelevant–the Trek ships can pop in, fire and leave before the Star Wars ships can do anything about it. It would be a slow battle that would probably end up with the Star Wars ship simply leaving rather than being destroyed but in time they would lose to the eternal peck, peck, peck.

    • If the numbers are accurate that would be like thinking a guy on a motorbike armed with a rifle could take down a m1a1 tank just because the tank can't keep up with him. All it takes is one lucky shot the other way around.

    • but the problem is; the Federation is still largely based off Earth, if the Death Star was to destroy the Earth(which it has the power to do), then the Federation would most likely collapse and be defeated as their main shipyards and such are in the Sol(Earth) system. The Empire is spread out over an entire galaxy in comparison, so their factory base is much bigger

    • Also, it takes warp drives decades to cross a galaxy while it takes a hyperdrive mere hours or days. Star wars navies therefore, have much more mobility and can get to battles quicker

    • Sensors. Star Trek sensors can detect a ship in warp, but a hyperdrive travels much faster, and therfore, would travel to fast for the sensor to detect. Also, star trek sensors are configured for warp drive travel, not for hyperspace

    • i was wondering why they left out all the star destroyers inthe ship comparisons i would take a star desroyer over the enterprise any day.

    • However, the above complaint is really minor, because the Empire does have superluminal sensor technology, and can track an object in hyperspace. It is only limited by range, so its detection time is short (ships in hyperspace move at such a high velocity that they would quickly disappear from range even for a superluminal sensor system). There are several reasons to believe that the Empire has superluminal sensor technology and can track objects in hyperspace.

    • First and foremost, this myth is flawed because it claims that it is no more difficult to track a 1,000,000c object than a 1,500c ship. Why do I say this? Because it assumes that if you cannot track a 1,000,000c ship, then you cannot track a 1,500c ship. There is no reason to believe that it is just as easy to track a 1,000,000c ship as a 1,500c ship. It is perfectly conceivable that the Empire would be able to easily track a ship which is travelling at only a few thousand times the speed of light, but be unable to track a ship which is travelling at many millions of times the speed of light.

  2. They also forget that Star Wars ships use lasers and solid projectiles. Something that is easily stopped by the shields of a Star Trek ship. So, Slave-1 being any match even for a Star Trek freighter is laughable or the Borg cube being bothered by the Death Star's laser is yet another Star Wars loss.

    • but the borg cube is not even close to the mass of a planet, and while the borg do adapt, the still get hurt by the first shot, which is all it takes from something like the Death Star. In addition, Star Trek also uses projectile and energy weapons, which are blocked by the shields of a star wars spacecraft

  3. The Slave 1 is more comparable to a fighter than a star ship, so the speed and maneuverability aren't really comparable. And where do the laser GW figures come from? The Slave 1 is also displayed wrong, it doesn't fly oriented that way. Maybe if it were compared to the Defiant it would make more sense.

    • they are saying that a small starship from star wars is in a lot of ways better than a Federation starship(aka a naval vessel), essentially putting the Enterprise to shame

  4. Of course all of this is just silly because the numbers are just made up silliness, especially in the star wars universe. One thing about some of the star trek tech – there are at least some small amounts of conceptual science to back it up – power sources for those acceleration and weapon power figures for a start. Space magic always wins!

    That all said, Red Matter is such a joke it should not be included in the comparison. I enjoyed the new movie for the fun of it, but it really threw what little star trek physics existed out the window.

  5. The other side of this warping business is that in the SW universe, some of the more specialized ships would prevent the warping. One such vessel is the Interdictor Cruiser, who employs advanced gravity technology. No warping after that.

    • While I respect what you're saying, unfortunately, you're incorrect. Interdictor vessels create a large field of gravity, equal to that of a planet which prevents SW ships from being able to open a hyperspace window. The same doesn't apply to the fictional theory of warp mechanics, because of the capability to alter and adapt a stable warp field ST vessels would simply have to reallign the warp field so that they could escape.

      Planetary Mass has no effect on warp engines, as evidenced by the capability to go straight to warp from a planetary orbit. The only way that an Interdictor class vessel would be able to prevent a warp engine from establishing a stable warp field would be to produce a gravitational field equivilent to a black hole.

      • Warp drives can be disrupted by strong gravity fields. The gravity well of the Dyson sphere in Relics forced the Enterprise-D out of warp, even though its surface gravity level was no higher than Earth-normal gravity. This was seen when Starfleet officers boarded the derelict, unpowered USS Jenolan, where they were able to move about unimpeded even before they re-powered the ship's systems. This indicates that the intensity of the gravity well is not as important as its sheer size- a passing starship would be influenced by such a large gravity well for an unusually long duration, even though the gravity well is no more intense than a typical planetary gravity well.

      • The enormous gravity-well projectors can be reversed to project anti-gravity beams in a manner similar to a standard Imperial repulsorlift drive, but on a larger scale (and a much larger scale than Worf's puny anti-graviton beam). In fact, this was actually done in Solo Command, when an interdictor reversed its gravity-well projectors to put a Victory-class Star Destroyer away. This means that Imperial interdictor cruisers can potentially be just as effective on warp-driven starships as they are on hyperdrive-equipped starships, regardless of whether reverse-polarity is actually required.

      • Further evidence of warp drive vulnerability to gravity wells is seen in Once More Unto the Breach when Worf used an inverse graviton beam (an anti-gravity beam) to keep Jem'Hadar warships from going to warp. The technique was successful, so this indicates that Jem'Hadar warp drives can be prevented from functioning through the use of anti-gravity beams. It is reasonable to conclude that Romulan, Klingon, and Federation warp drives would be similarly affected, since all of the aforementioned warp drives appear to function on the same basic principles.

    • Subspace warp technology is not as strongly affected by gravity wells as hyperspace technology is. The Federation has gravity-manipulating technology; if it were an effective counter to warp technology, it would have been developed long ago.

  6. they also forgot that all star wars ships have no shields so all the star trek ships have to do is teleport a photon torpedo into the engine bay of any of the wars ships and boom they win

    • star wars ships do have shields as a matter of fact. Additionally the Empire has weapons such as proton bombs and proton torpedoes that can do the same or better as a photon torpedo

  7. All this "what if" would be a lot more fun if these clever infographics were not just ads that sites like this publicize for free. Oh well.

  8. This issue will be debated by fanboys for ever. Nice how that choice picked certain item to compare and I would like to see where the got the stats for the SW fighters. One thing that never seems to get mentioned by the SW fanboys is how the ST ships can maneuver at warp speeds (FTL). Also ST has matter transporters and other weapons the SW fanboys seem to forget about (like the Genesis Device or pure antimatter weapons). What's really funny is how we are comparing FICTION weapons to each other. It's like two kindergarteners saying "My dad can beat up your dad!" (when the dad's are best friends.)

  9. Actually Amy, they have deflector shields. Difference between a deflector and an absorption shield(what ST uses) is that so long as power exists, the blasts won't physically hit the ship unless overpowered. Effectively the same as an absorption shield.
    There is a lot of science behind both, lasers for example are real, phased particle weapons aren't. Although, being that at low levels they act as an impulse suppressor and at high power act like an extremely powerful lightning bolt, they do work as a taser without the need to actually "touch" the target.
    I could go on, as someone who has an interest in both, and a sound working knowledge of technology and science (some people really do have the perfect jobs), it is a very good discussion to sit with:)

    • But Particle Beam Weapons are a real, just not yet highly developed, and are certainly more grounded in reality than a laser bullet that explodes when it hits something.

  10. People, arguing about this kind of stuff is like winning at a poop eating contest. Different intellectual properties that have differing concepts of what they're trying to portray. Why not round out the geek trifecta and throw Doctor Who into the mix? What then? Or if Battlestar Galactica decided to horn in on the deal? How about have Babylon 5 crash the party too?

    There's not going to be any winner beyond people's personal preference. It's all imaginary, and the cause of many, many wedgies when discussed in public.

    • Yes, but arguments are fun. So people have them.

      Just go ahead and be thankful that they're being unreasonable about fictional things and not actual important political debates.

  11. I find the comparison to be pointless and funny. Mostly because the technologies and warfare are not compatible.

    How do you properly compare a space station the size of a moon that can only shoot in a straight line to a ship that can fire torpedoes that can bypass any physical or energy based obstacle?

    How do you compare ships used for scientific exploration and rarely for military purposes to an empire who has been at war with the rebel forces for years?

    How do you compare the Empire with the Federation without accounting for the greatest literary defense mechanism ever built; the main character bubble? As Peter Griffin said as Han Solo. "Look guys we have four of the five main characters aboard, we're gonna be fine." If you want it to be a fairer comparison, you would have to compare the Empire to the Borg, or the Rebel Alliance to the Federation.

    It is also definitely written by those with an obvious bias.

    • The point is to compare the two pinnicle main civilizations from each storyline.
      When done, it shows that the Empire has an advantage because they focus more on military, while the Federation focuses more on peacekeeping and science. Also, Star Wars technology is at least 100 years more advanced than what the Federation has, as well as at least a million times its resources.

      Bias or not, Star Trek would lose badly

      • "…the Federation focuses more on peacekeeping and science."

        Perhaps you have heard of a little thing called the Dominion War? When threatened properly, the Federation can put up one hell of a fight.

  12. The ST phaser has a "Wide Angle" stun setting for use against a large number of targets. How does a Light Saber defend against that?

    • Well perhaps the jedi could jump out of the way or block the bolts, which has been done in several of the Star Wars movies. Also SW has the blaster, which does the same thing as a phaser, and is the main footsoldier weapon of the Empire

  13. I love star wars with a passion, I love star trek with a little less passion though. They are my top sci-fi themed things. Although if you could games then Mass Effect is above star trek, maybe even better then star wars……maybe.

    I just love watching nerds and geeks fight over whats better. To me its all win/win, especially since I think it would be fun to combine the two series. Like some dimensional tear that causes them to become one. Thats the good thing about loving both, you don't have to choose what is better.

  14. One thingf where star wars and star Trek diverges most is: Weapons and Speed

    Star Wars ships can fly around the galaxy in Weeks. While it pretty much needs a Deathstar, arguably the second most powerful ship after the stasrforge, to destroy a plenaet.

    In Star Trek moving to to another Spiral Arm in Voyager was an estimated tour of more than a hundred years with regular flight. On The other side… spaceships like the enterprise could with little problems destroy a planet.
    The numbers in the picture just don't represent what is shown in the respective universes. ..

    • I dont remember in any of the trek movies that enterprise has close to enough firepower to even slag the crust of a planet

  15. The difference in Star Wars and Star Trek really comes down to whether you prefer science or magic.

    Star Wars is really just fantasy masquerading as scifi (now I'm not saying it isn't scifi mind you), Star Trek is a hard scifi universe.

    And for those of you who would bring it up I would put Doctor Who somewhere in the middle. There are things that seems magic like, but the Doctor always gives the credit to sciences that sometimes even he doesn't understand.

    • well then by your argument, star wars uses physics concepts not discovered yet. There is no data against a hyperspace existing. There is a full wiki devoted to how star wars tech works

    • In Star Trek, it is possible to use sound waves as a weapon against a starship in the vacuum of space, cool something below absolute zero, live on an inhabitable planet which is only ten light-seconds from its star, find a crack in a mathematically defined radius, measure power in units of joules and energy in units of watts, shrink a shuttlecraft to the size of a thimble, make gravity propagate at superluminal speed, intercept photons without changing their energy or direction, see non-incident non-radiating particles, come to a meaningless "full stop" in outer space, expand the scale at which quantum effects are significant to encompass the entire universe, live without being born, fly a ship that was never built, dig up miraculously naturally-occuring alloys, vapourize something without producing any vapour, subject metals to high-energy plasma bombardment without damage, find magical "omega particles" that have greater energy density than matter/antimatter annihilation, and take a drug that protects you from radiation.

  16. reading the posts i do agree with both sides, star wars has been at war for years and know how to fight, star trek enjoy uneasy peace and a neutral zone that once u enter its considered an act of war? but if it came down to it in a land battle star wars has them beat, in a space battle it could go either way would the combined forces of the federation, the empires( klingon, romulan, cardasions { how ever u spell it} ferengie,) and if u bring in cloak, star wars has them too, vs the empire and rebel alliance tons of battle ships and what not and dont forget that how long could a federation ship hold up against tons of tie fighters and x-wings attacking all at once? all in all; all vader has to do is start choking peeps from his command room, maybe the big head bald guys could make star wars see weird things, but would those work on a jedi or sith master?, then someone said "Q" if anything they wont get involved they were probably the ones who would bring the 2 universes together to see what happens, but hey we didn't start the debate, and i'm damn sure we're never going to finish it.

  17. I think the beauty of the discussion at large is that we have these kinds of odd discussions. Because what if, at some point, these technologies start to become possible? Which one is more likely in our real world? If we could harness enough energy or manipulate our environment enough (who knows, maybe we will figure out a way to extract energy out of dark matter that exists all around us and so we not only have unlimited energy, but also unlimited quantities of energy at any needed moment), then what would be the true solution to having enough protection necessary to either subdue or prevent an attack from ourselves or other intelligent lifeforms?

  18. Worst infographic eve! So many flawed assumptions and blatantly incorrect comparisons is hurting my head. I would like to see infographic of this infographic vs a potato. Potato for the WIN!

  19. Debating Star Wars vs. Star Trek, espeically on the basis of their comparative technologies, is a logical nightmare. Neither universe was written with the intent of meshing with the other. The various technical manuals that give measurements on energy use for weapons and so on were written only to scale within that universe. Trying to compare the one to the other is like comparing an apple and an AK-47 – there is no true, impartial, and universally consistent way to compare the two.

    For example, while the statistics comparing the Etnerprise-D and Slave One may be pulled from equivalent sources, I recall a point in an Original Series episode where Jim Kirk talks about how his Enterprise – the one from a better part of a century before the Enterprise-D, mind you – had the capability to destroy all life on a planetary surface inside of 24 hours, anecdotally giving it the equivalent or near-equivalent firepower of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer.

    TL;DR: This debate is pointless, can never be properly concluded, and only frustrates those of us that are fans of both franchises.

    • The only way that the Enterprise could have wiped out all life on a planet is by fireing all of its photon torpedoes, which are nonrechargable. A star destroyer slags a planetary crust using its turbolasers, and being energy weapons, they can be recharged, so it can easily go slag several planets, while the Enterprise would have to go get more ammunition from somewhere

  20. Star Wars has scale. Star Trek has tech.

    The lack of scale in ST is what makes it lose out on the numbers game. If you have the technology for robots capable of scavenging for resources and controlled repair and self-replication (and ST definitely has this), they could build something of arbitrary scale. But ST never followed that to its logical conclusion, so we get rather paltry numbers, suitable for episodic TV battles.

    SW, on the other hand, is big – implausibly big, everywhere, even in low-tech land-based craft like walkers and sandcrawlers. Instead of building weapons that damage ships, they build weapons that destroy planets. It's still just a matter of scale, rather than technology.

    About the only place that SW has ST beat, technology wise, is in speed of interplanetary travel. But with the alleged speed of SW craft, they should be an intergalactic empire, not just a Galactic one.

    SW is still trading spice. ST has replicators and a post-capitalist economy. Think about that for a little bit, and you should see why it's no contest.

    • economywise, Star trek essentially is a communist or socialist economy, while star wars has a capitalist economy. We all know great communitst nations fall after a while. Capitalism makes the world go round. So what does that say?

  21. Star Trek wins easily. Enterprise out manuevers death star. Uses transporter to beam attackers into space. Darth Vader would be up to his armpits in tribbles. Cloaking device renders your argument invalid. Numbers are way off, like aircraft carrier versus tug boat.

    • Nope, many things prevent transporters from working, electromagnetic storms, ambient radiation, natural ores! The death star has shields and massive armor. It also has defense turrets, transporters have one person per second limits. Cloaking devices have limits.

    • Imperial I-class Star Destroyer : 2,300 g (reference : Star Wars: Complete Cross-Section)

      Slave 1 : 2500 g (reference :? Star Wars: Complete Cross-Section)

      Acclamator I-class assault ship : 3,500 G (reference : Star Wars: Complete Cross-Section)

      Galaxy class : 1000 G (reference : TM pg. 75)

      SW yet again wins.

  22. I think this comparison is forgetting that Star Trek isn't JUST the United Federation of Planets. They included the Borg, but they also forgot the Romulans, the Breen, the Dominion, the Klingon Empire… The Federation is not the most powerful force in the universe in Star Trek – it's just damn lucky. And a bit clever. And it's written that way.

    • lets not forget the dinosaurs who evolved so far beyond anything else in the federation they were able to beam a shielded ship into the middle of one of their "Science" vessels", or the organians who were able to heat all weapons across both the federation and klingon spheres to over 200 degrees farenheit untill both sides declared a truce, or a race that can literally warp a ship within seconds to a point outside the known universe, or when the old enterprise D shrugged off a nuclear explosion with its shields, the ability to go back in time with such regularity that they have to create a temporal police force "Kirk, one of the worst violators ever". or a ship that can literrally alter the fabric of the entire frakkin universe.

  23. Sorry but love the tangible flaws in Star Wars with the force, you can lift a fighter out of a swamp but you can't keep yourself from falling off a building, riiiggghhhttt. I have heard it explained by people trying to fill in facts not in evidence that it all depends on users ability, I spell that as cop out. The 4th, 5th and 6th films are great the 1st, 2nd. and 3rd were just badly done.

  24. I'm not from either camp, but its a win for Star Trek, they have red matter that can create a black hole; could swallow Star Wars whole, all Episodes.

  25. Devotee of both with a slight lean to Trek – I would kinda hope SW tech would be superior, given that, at the time of Episode I the Republic has existed for 25,021 years ("a thousand generations" but really 1001) while the prequel series Enterprise was launched 88 years and 7 days (I'm not even sure that's 1000 MONTHS) after First Contact.

  26. Too bad these numbers are taken from NON-CANON tech manuals. The Star Trek tech manuals are not canon and contradict what is seen in shows (absolute canon). The Star Wars tech manuals contradict the Star Wars films as well.

    Also, Star Trek would utterly annihilate Star Wars in an all out battle to the death.
    The Q Continuum are a race of godlike beings that can change the constants of the universe with a snap of their fingers. Then there are plenty of other super-advanced races in Star Trek that could pretty much lay waste to the entire Galactic Empire with barely any effort at all. Look up the Douwd race for example. A single Douwd instantly killed an entire space-faring race of 50 billion with a single thought!

    Star Trek is far more advanced and far more powerful than Star Wars.
    Star Trek wins. Deal with it.

    The more you know!

  27. My only problem with this is not the strength of the weapons but how they’re used. In SW all ship weapons are manned by crew, while in ST it is mostly done by computer.

    In ST impulse engines can come close to reaching the speed of light. So to hit a ship going this fast will need a lot of calculations done. There is no way a person can effectively hit any ship going this fast while sitting behind a turbolaser unless there a Jedi. The last time I checked the Jedi are rare and have many differences in power. Also ships in SW se3m to miss very easily due to shooting projectiles. While in ST they mostly use beam weapons to help make it easier to hit ships traveling at fast speeds.

    Also lets say SW shields are better than ST (I doubt this personally). In ST they have tri-cobalt torpedoes which are designed to rip through shields. 2 shots to those giant balls above the bridge which I believe are shield generators and no more shields.

    And I’m not sure what’s in a proton torpedo from SW. But I do know that ST photon torpedoes use anti-matter warheads and the yield can be increased and decreased to fit the mission. One ounce of anti-matter is equal to one H-bomb.

    But in all honesty I think the best and coolest weapon is from Stargate. I love those ancient squid like drones which can rip ships apart from the inside out.

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