Mark Hamill Just Revealed the Biggest Difference Between ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’

Mark Hamill might have stepped away from playing Luke Skywalker. But the actor never shies away from sharing his thoughts on Star Wars or anything else. Now Hamill has finally revealed why — despite decades of rivalry among fans — Star Wars and Star Trek are fundamentally different franchises.

Mark Hamill at San Diego Comic-Con
Mark Hamill at San Diego Comic-Con | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart face off in a new ad for Uber Eats

Hamill recently appeared in a commercial for Uber Eats. And in the spot, he prepares to go to battle with Patrick Stewart. Of course, Stewart is renowned for playing Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, its spinoff films, and — most recently — Star Trek: Picard

So the commercial playfully pits two icons against each other, one from Star Wars and the other from Star Trek. On their face, it’s easy to see why the two franchises — which each encompass movies, TV, comics, novels, and assorted media — are so often compared by fans.

After all, both involve aliens, fantastical technology, and iconic heroes and villains. However, Hamill has a very different take on whether Star Wars and Star Trek are similar. In fact, he boils it down to one key distinction between the two fan-favorite franchises.

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Now Hamill revealed how ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’ are different

In a joint interview with Stewart for Men’s Journal, Hamill addresses the perceived rivalry between Star Wars and Star Trek. More specifically, the actor — who is always engaging with fans about the saga — reveals why the comparison never really made sense to him in the first place.

“[Star Trek] is classic science fiction, with humans going out to space and encountering aliens. Star Wars was purposely set in a galaxy far, far away because it is fantasy, not science fiction. … I have to say I feel like it is really apples and oranges. You can like either or both, or none of them. That is why this campaign struck me as funny because I knew what they were doing pitting us up against each other.”

Star Wars does feature many of the trappings of sci-fi — aliens, space travel, robots, etc. — but has always been framed as more of a fairy tale. For instance, the entire saga is set “a long time ago” and never references Earth. So there’s no connection to the real world, unlike Star Trek.

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Could the fan-favorite franchises ever cross over?

Rather than harboring a competitive spirit, Hamill has long maintained a respect for Star Trek. And according to Stewart, the feeling is mutual. In fact, the actor — who is also famous for playing Professor X in the X-Men films — always hoped the two franchises could join forces. 

“I will admit that, at least for us on Star Trek, we have fantasized about a combined universe between Star Wars and Trek movie. There have been a lot of ideas thrown about on putting together two iconic universes and having all of these great characters coming into contact. I would personally get such a kick out of that.”

A lot would have to be sorted out to make that happen. The Star Trek movie rights remain with Paramount, while Disney is the keeper of Lucasfilm. Plus, there’s the issue of how to make a project that exists outside of either series’ canon. Still, the two franchises do share a director in J.J. Abrams, who revived Star Trek and Star Wars in 2009 and 2015, respectively.