The Great Battle Beyond the Stars — Wars vs. Trek

Pitch Deadline: 19 June 2009

Final Deadline: 17 July 2009

Contact: Bill Gibron

Email: bgibron AT / gibron AT


Star Wars vs. Star Trek. That’s it. As simple as that.

Actually, there’s a little more to it than a basic clash of the cinematic titans. 2009 is the year when JJ Abrams brought the seminal Gene Roddenberry ‘enterprise’ back from the commercial dead. It is also the 10th anniversary of jaded George Lucas’ purposeless prequel, The Phantom Menace. In light of such interstellar happenstance, PopMatters would like to settle the debate once and for all — Star Wars. Vs. Star Trek.

The rules are simple — take a side and defend it. Take a position within the vast universes contained in both Star Wars and Star Trek and argue it out. Think Wars reinvented sci-fi for a non-geek mentality? Write it up! Do you believe Trek takes the notion of serious science fiction to heights of unheard-of social commentary? Give us your take. Think one is more entertaining than the next? Let’s hear it. Want to argue merits over merchandising? Go for it. We welcome all ideas, no matter how esoteric or earnest.

Indeed, the entire approach to this massive special feature will be a definitive look at both series, how they affected both popular culture and people, and your own personal perspective on how the Wars/Trek way of imaginative fiction changed your life. We want it all — the scholarly and the silly, the well-researched and the reactionary. If it can be linked to the weird, wonderful worlds of Kirk, Spock, Picard, Janeway, Skywalker, Solo, Kenobi, or Vader, we want it. From reviews to reminiscences, this is your ultimate chance at letting your Starfleet/Jedi allegiance be known.

Here are the deadlines:

Pitches (DUE 19 JUNE) — A single paragraph proposing your take on the subject matter. The only thing we ask is that you stay within the confines of a specific series. We will entertain cross-over pieces, but the pitch will have to point out the unique nature of the approach or idea. Indeed, what we are really looking for, specifically, are passionate defenses for one side or the other.

Once a pitch is received, it will be reviewed and an email confirmation will be sent out within 48 hours. If you do not receive a response, make sure to contact the editor directly. Emails can sometimes get lost.

Essay (DUE 17 JULY) — Word count: minimum of 750 words, with a generous allowance for pieces of much longer (and we mean, longer) lengths.

Participation: This is open to EVERYONE, PopMatters staff as well as members of the educational and media communities. If you believe there is someone who would be interested in participating, please pass this call along. Again, we don’t care if you passion runs toward music, television, videogame, books, or other cultural concerns. We want participation on the largest scale possible.

Any questions, comments, or concerns should be voiced to the editor for this special feature, Bill Gibron. His email addresses are bgibron AT and gibron AT

We look forward to hearing from you. Until then, may the Force allow you to live long and prosper.