Millennium Falcon vs. Starship Enterprise: Neil deGrasse Tyson Weighs In

December 4, 2015 | Joanne Kennell

Star Wars' C-3P0 versus Star Trek's Data
Photo credit: JD Handcock/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Will this settle the long, heated debate?  Probably not.

Which is it?  Lasers or phasers, warp drive or hyper drive, “May the force be with you” or “Live long and prosper?”  There is a long standing debate on whether the Star Wars or Star Trek series is superior, which characters are better, whose technology is more advanced, and which spaceship is stronger.

Many fans of both series have strong opinions on the matter, however, there are also many people who don’t see a difference between them — both series occur in space, have aliens, experience epic battles, and contain spaceships.  So really, what is the difference?

This question can be answered a multitude of ways, but one of the more popular methods is to compare the technology of each series, leading to the inevitable question, “Would Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon or Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise Win in a Battle?”  

This question was even asked to everyone’s favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who responded with “That’s easy,” and he backed this statement with scientific facts.




Do you agree with Tyson?  To understand why Tyson believes the Enterprise would win in a battle, let’s examine the technological differences between the Millennium Falcon and the Starship Enterprise:


Starship Enterprise consists of photon torpedos which are matter/antimatter devices that travel at light speed.  It also is equipped with phasers, a cloaking device and transporter technology.

Millennium Falcon is equipped with quad laser cannons, blaster cannons and concussion missiles.


Warp drive on Starship Enterprise uses a matter/antimatter reactor, which can reach speeds of 21,000 times the speed of light, but most ships tend to travel around 2,000 times the speed of light since they are designed for exploration.  Although the Enterprise is very good for long distance travel, the ship is quite slow at maneuvering in space.

The Millennium Falcon uses fusion and fission reactors, capable of traveling around 16,500 times the speed of light, called hyperdrive, but most ships travel around 11,000 times the speed of light.  It is very good at moving through space, avoiding asteroids and dodging incoming attacks.

Shields and Sensors

Starship Enterprise has deflector shields, a form of a force field, which blocks incoming attacks.  These shields can weaken and collapse with continuous bombardment.  It also is equipped with sensors that can scan ships that are trillions of miles away, as well as sensors capable of reading the DNA of opposing crews.

Sensors on the Millennium Falcon can scan hundreds of thousands of miles away, and it is also is equipped with deflector shields to block incoming attacks.


Star Trek has the character Data, a very advanced android that is part of the Enterprise crew.  Data was created by a mad scientist, and is described as “fully functional,” and “hyper intelligent.”

Star Wars has C-3PO and R2-D2, both really cool robot characters.  C-3P0 is a protocol droid that seems to mess up a lot, but R2-D2 on the other hand is intelligent, a mechanic, can shoot lasers, and is very good at getting out of sticky situations — usually caused by C-3PO.


Enterprise has a large crew consisting of scientists and engineers constantly working on the ship.  It is manned by Captain James T. Kirk, and has First Officer Spock and Chief Medical Officer McCoy.

Millennium Falcon is captained by Han Solo, and his first mate Chewbacca.  Han Solo has an extreme amount of luck on his side when it comes to staying alive.

So what do you think — is the Starship Enterprise a superior machine?  Hard to say.

I do not think there is anyone out there who can settle this debate.  Star Wars fans will always be Star Wars fans, and Trekkies will always be Trekkie's.

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