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Jess Knows Best! Advice on love, life, and more for the modern geek and geekette!


This week: Fanmail and the Undying “Star Trek vs. Star Wars” Debate

I usually start my column off with some mention of my Myspace. While my usual mission is to get people to drop me a line, this week’s mention has to do with someone who did just that. After a recent “friend-adding-binge,” I received the awesome letter below:

Dear Jess,

Glad you found me here in 'Space. I love the idea for this column! Us geeks could use all the help we can get. I myself am currently going thru a divorce. I am trying to use my newfound spare time to closer devote myself to my children, my friends and myself. Hopefully, this will be for the best. I hate to see my family broken up, but it's simply not worth it to stay together and be miserable every day. That would not help anyone. Moving on, I am working on reinvigorating myself, making improvements and (eventually) looking for someone to accept me for me, not what she thinks I could or should be. Praise you for offering your helping hand and best of luck with the column. I'll be checking it out.

Your new fan,

Kokomo, Indiana

After reading Jeremy’s letter, I sat gaping at my computer screen for a few minutes as glee spread through me. I’ve received a few other positive notes from people over the last few weeks as well: “Great idea for a column,” “Site looks nice,” etc.

While Jeremy and these other readers were not responding to advice I’d given to them, the volume of letters I’ve been getting overall gives me hope that I’m making a difference for those individuals that are asking me for advice. In Jeremy’s case, as a man – a father – going through a divorce, I’m just happy he reached out to me at all. If he’s sitting at his computer late one night and feels the urge, he’ll know he can reach out to me in cyberspace. Yes, yes, I know: This is a self-congratulatory cheese-fest. So sue me. Or, better yet, send me a letter about it! ;)

Dear Jess,

I believe in my heart of hearts that Star Trek is better than Star Wars, and I am constantly harassed by friends for this belief. Why are all Star Wars fans such bigoted assholes?

Pastey Boy

Dear Pastey Boy:

From one geek to another, it sounds like you and your friends need to get out more – and I sincerely hope this debate doesn’t keep any of you up at night!

That said, I’ll humor you:

For starters, if we’re including Star Wars I-III at all, your friends lose this debate before it starts. I’ll give you that. As far as Star Wars IV-VI…I grew up with those movies, and you can believe I have a soft spot for them.

On the other hand, I did not watch Star Trek growing up. I caught episodes here and there when I was allowed control of the television, but when my mom dismissed it as “boring” and “slow,” I trusted she knew what she was talking about. (I can admit my mistakes, okay?) At any rate, I’ve been redeeming myself by watching the series on DVD with my family, a decision which I do not regret.

While this won’t be the answer you want to hear, this debate falls apart on principle. There is no right or wrong answer. In 1977, the world already knew George Lucas by name for American Graffiti. When Star Wars premiered to thousands at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the movie drew broad appeal for both geeks and civilians alike. This formula does not apply to Star Trek, even if you consider the ten successful movie installments. Star Trek began life as a television show whose target audience was supposed to be men ages 18-34. It never had a vehicle large enough to come close to the reach of Star Wars, no pun intended.

In conclusion, Star Wars and Star Trek, by design, are two completely different animals and cannot be compared. Besides, opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one – and I’m really only concerned with my own!

So there!

Jess Knows Best on MySpace!
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